More than 200 people dedicated to helping Camp Sweeney—a summer camp in Cooke County for children with Type 1 Diabetes—gathered at de Boulle Diamond And Jewelry on Thursday, February 8, for the seventh annual Sweethearts for Sweeney fundraiser.
None of them were more dedicated, though, than David Genever-Watling. The London-born “G.W.” is a close friend of deBoulle owner Denis Boulle and, nearly a decade ago, identified a need to replenish the special scholarships for underprivileged children to attend Camp Sweeney, giving rise to the Sweethearts for Sweeney event.
“One hundred percent of what we raise goes to scholarships for kids,” G.W. said, standing at the entrance to deBoulle as the evening’s guests poured in. Each scholarship amounts to $3,600 for a full three-week session, he explained. “The JDRF is trying to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. But the problem is, what do you do in the meantime? All these kids that are affected … we’re teaching them to take care of themselves.”
Not far away was Dr. Ernie Fernandez, the camp director. “Ernie is the closest thing to a saint I ever saw,” G.W. said. Ernie, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital, said this was his 34th year of involvement in the program. During camp, he went on, a driver takes him from his office in Dallas to the Cooke County site every day. That’s 72 miles each way.
At the party, donors like Josie and Carl Sewell III and Camp Sweeney Chair of the Board Dr. Milton Dickson, could purchase tickets for high-end raffle items, including a Rolex watch donated by G.W. and deBoulle, benefiting Camp Sweeney, which has been owned and operated since 1947 by the nonprofit Southwest Diabetic Foundation. Another highlight of the evening was a bagpipe performance by Pipe Major Robert Richardson, who played on the smash 1970s hit, “Mull of Kintyre” by Paul McCartney and Wings.
Host committee chairs for Sweethearts for Sweeney were Stefanie and Michael Prentiss and Patricia and Mike Prentiss.