When a typical organization celebrates a milestone anniversary, pressed tuxedos and formal ball gowns are often the rule of the day. But leave it to Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center to do what comes naturally, befitting a group that’s not just been family-friendly, but building families, for a century. That’s right; Dallas-based Hope Cottage—the oldest nonprofit, non-faith-based adoption agency in Dallas, which also supports women facing crisis pregnancies—just turned 100 years old.
To celebrate the centennial, a sold-out crowd of more than 225 gathered Friday, June 1, at the Lakewood Country Club for a reception, dinner, and entertainment in partnership with The George and Fay Young Foundation. (The Young Foundation, along with the Young and Carol Young Marvin families, have been Hope Cottage’s most steadfast supporters over the years.) Instead of black tie it was mostly no-tie and summer dresses for this party, which felt more like a casual family reunion—complete with a number of charming, family-reunion-type stories about how guests were connected to Hope Cottage.
Consider, for example, Ed Magruder and his daughter, Elaine Magruder, who drove in from Midland for the celebration. Ed’s late wife Barbara, it seems, was adopted many years ago from Hope Cottage. Ed and Elaine also were fondly remembering Elaine’s great-grandfather, a Panhandle rancher who wanted a son to carry on the family legacy. When he learned that twin boys were up for adoption at Hope Cottage, he took the train to Dallas, and promptly spied an adorable little girl at the adoption home; so, he changed his plan and adopted her instead. The little girl would become Elaine’s grandmother and Ed’s aunt.
Then there was John Dickey, who wasn’t just adopted from Hope Cottage by Kathy and Bill Dickey. John went on to become a member of the Hope Cottage board and eventually its president. Also attending the celebration were Katherine and Michael Phillips (Mike was adopted from Hope Cottage); Sara Sue and Donald C. Potts (Don too was adopted from Hope Cottage); and Carmyn and Joe Neely (Carmyn, who’s a member of the group’s board, was adopted from Hope Cottage as well).
After grazing on the likes of pulled-brisket tacos and bacon-wrapped shrimp in Lakewood’s Garden Room, the guests moved into the Main Ballroom, where they were treated to a buffet dinner including herb-marinated chicken breast, salmon filet, and a birthday cake, natch. Hope Cottage board president Shannon Hills-Cline presented former Hope Cottage CEO Sonyia Hartwell with a plaque commemorating Sonyia’s eight years of service to the group.
Current CEO Brooks Quinlan, who attended with his wife Gina, then welcomed several special guests. They included Christopher Shaw of the Young Foundation, Kathy Smith of the Meadows Foundation, and James Hardin and Andrea Glispie of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Board member Jerry Holbert, who served as the evening’s emcee, led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to Hope Cottage before music by DJDeluxe Productions kicked in.
Carmyn seemed to sum things up in recognizing members of the “adoption triad”: birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Carmyn also shared with the group a copy of a doctor’s report from the six months she lived at Hope Cottage herself. The report was signed by Margaret Pinson RN—the very first registered nurse ever hired by Hope Cottage—whose daughter, Dr. Diana Cunningham, was in the audience. During her more-than-25-year tenure at Hope Cottage, Pinson cared for 5,000 babies, some of whom were guests at the centennial celebration as well.