When Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support opened its doors in 1985, Robyn and Don Conlon had only been married seven years. Now, 33 years later, the Conlons are celebrating their 40th anniversary by co-chairing the 26th Annual Genesis Luncheon on Friday, May 10, at the Hilton Anatole.
To make it a family affair, the Conlon boys and their wives (Casey and Lizzie Conlon, Keith and Megan Conlon and Kevin and Marybeth Conlon) are joining the effort to “facilitate in planning the primary fundraising event that provides safety, shelter and support for women and children who have experienced abuse.”
The relationship between the Conlon family and Genesis goes back to Robyn’s father, the late Gil Thomas, who was a founding board member of Genesis Women’s Shelter.
According to Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein, “The Conlons’ philanthropic footprint is highly regarded in our community, and we are honored to continue our work with Robyn and Don and their family. The fact that Robyn’s father Gil Thomas was the founding board treasurer only amplifies this, because now it’s coming full circle for us to continue the work with his daughter and grandsons.”
As if that weren’t enough to kick off the Mother’s Day weekend celebration, they’ve just announced that best-selling author/game-show host/action movie hero/sitcom star/former NFL player Terry Crews will be the keynote speaker.
So, what is a successful, handsome guy like Terry doing on stage for an organization that helps women and children escaping from abuse? Simple. He “endured and witnessed abuse in childhood, experience financial difficulties, confronted the challenges of a toxic masculine culture and overcame an experience with sexual assault.”
Terry’s book, “Manhood: How to Be a Better Man or Just Live with One” that was released in 2014 was described by online Jezebel as “one of the most progressive and thoughtful voices in gender criticism.”
One of the issues that he confronted was his addiction of pornography. It was destroying his personal life. In 2009 and 2010, he entered rehab to overcome his condition.
He made headlines in 2016, when he publicly revealed the person — Adam Venit, “head of the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor, one of the biggest agencies in the world, period” — as the person who sexually assaulted him. Due to the statute of limitations, criminal charges could not be made. But Terry filed a civil lawsuit resulting in Venit’s sending a letter apologizing for his actions and his retirement from the agency.
As Jan put it, “Terry Crews brings to the table a combination of radical honesty, natural charisma and infectious enthusiasm. We are privileged to announce him as our 2019 luncheon speaker. Crews inspires audiences to overcome fear and shame, be honest and live life to its highest potential.”
Starting at $1,750, sponsorships are available now with individual tickets not being available until April.
* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter and Support