As the Northwood Woman’s Club guest gathered for lunch at Bent Tree County Club on Thursday, May 24, the accessory du jour was an over-the-top smile. It was due to the day’s theme — Give It Away.
In addition to the promise of dollars for the highly vetted 2018 beneficiaries, the NWC members had given thousands of volunteer hours for Baylor Scott And White in Plano, Children’s Medical Center in Plano, Community Partners of Dallas, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas CASA, Dallas Museum of Art Docent Program, Emily’s Place, Frisco Family Services, Genesis Women’s Shelter, George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Grant Halliburton Foundation, Heritage Manor Nursing Home, Interfaith Family Services, Lifesavers Foundation Literacy Achieves, Network of Community Ministries, New Friends New Life, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Our Friends Place and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. Why in the past five years along, they provided 100,000 volunteer hours. Valuable? Just ask any non-profit like Dallas CASA and they’ll tell you that the value of volunteers is priceless.
But on this day, the beneficiaries and NWC would see the final results of the fundraising activities (Kaleidoscope Gala in October, Dine by Design Luncheon in February and Sack Hunger Drive in April) with the handing over of checks.
Even before guests entered the Club, the first sign of results was in the driveway. Cristo Rey’s Colin Campbell was smiling next to a sparkling van branded “Cristo Rey.” Discreetly placed on the back of the vehicle was the NWC logo.
Inside Dallas CASA’s Development Director Becca Leonard reported that Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle was going to be delayed due to a near friend’s memorial service.
Another late arrival was Ebby CEO Mary Frances Burleson, who had been negotiating the very successful “sale” of the mega residential real estate company to Warren Buffett‘s HomeServices of America. When asked how she felt, Mary Frances smiled and responded, “What do you think?”
As for the NWC, they were all smiles despite a year of hard work headed by NWC President Patricia “Kay” Dube and Philanthropy Director Suzanne Caruso. Afterall $297,000 was going to benefit the following 2018 beneficiaries:
- Attitudes And Attire — $31,500 to “support the Boots to Heels program, a series of workshops which provides self-esteem training and job readiness skills for women veterans as they seek self-sufficiency in civilian life.”
- Callier Center For Communication Disorders At The University Of Texas At Dallas — $40,500 to “support the Callier Cochlear Implant Program with the audiology and speech language therapy services necessary to allow children who are deaf the opportunity to function in a hearing world and achieve positive developmental progress and academic success.”
- Cristo Rey Dallas — $47,000 to be used “to purchase a 15-passenger van to transport students to their corporate work study program. This program enables the student to pay for approximately 60% of his/her tuition.”
- Dallas CASA — $50,000 to be “utilized to increase the number of volunteer advocates , who are recruited, screened, trained and supervised CASA staff to serve a greater number of abused and neglected children.”
- Interfaith Family Services — $36,000 to “assist with purchasing new laptops and tablets, instructional software and an additional teacher” for its daily onsite after-school and summer programs for the homeless children.
- Simon’s After-School — $31,500 to “fund five after-school programs serving elementary school children from low-income, working families for an academic year with remedial reading programs, academic assistance and enrichment activities.”
- NWC Scholarships — $60,500 to provide scholarships for Rosemary Hernandez, Cecille Lopez, Lilibeth Ramirez, Jada Ross and Joy Yu.
In addition to the beneficiaries, the NWC recognized their own for their contributions. Peggy Shuman, who had been on the sidelines coordinating the presentation, with 2018-2019 NWC President-Elect Jan Folmar snapping photos, looked startled when her name was announced and she was presented with the Service Award by lifetime member Mary McElvany. Next up was Kay’s announcing the recipient of the President’s Award. Her understanding of the award was that it “was given from your heart to someone who has helped you tremendously this year. I could not have done this year without the assistance of Suzanne Caruso.”
No sooner had the checks been handed out than 2018-2019 Chair Vaughn “A Real Dynamo” Gross took over the mic and revealed plans for the upcoming year that would be NWC’s 50th anniversary. Over the past 50 years, NWC has “given away $5,750,144 to area nonprofits.