On Wednesday, November 7, Champions of Children Awards Dinner Co-Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich got together with fellow Co-Chairs Regina Montoya Coggins and Paul Coggins for a patron party at the Miller-Rich palazzo.
And what better place in North for a photo than Jan’s and Jeff’s redder-than-red library. According to Jan, it’s not just lacquered in red, “It’s Ferrari red!” As proof of that statement, Jeff pointed to a painting of a Ferrari on the wall. While it was the perfect setting for a group photo, Award Dinner Co-Chairs Bela and Chase Cooley were MIA. Seems they were out of town, so Dallas CASA President/CEO Kathleen LaValle and her husband Michael LaValle filled in.
This wasn’t the first partnering up of the Coggins and the Miller-Riches. Paul “told the story of a Justice is Served event years ago when Jan was convinced to fly in Elvira, who was a client of hers. After the program, Elvira inscribed a book to Paul with ‘you are my only fan with a high school degree.’”
At 7:30 the group gathered to hear plans for the Thursday, November 15 fundraiser featuring Josh Shipp and honoring The Meadows Foundation. Here’s a report from the field:
Jan Miller shared the story of a young man from a war-ravaged region of Africa given a chance at an education in the U.S. by caring adults that changed his life. Jan and Jeff are involved with international children’s charities and share a desire to make the lives of all children better, but feel strongly that with our resources and compassionate spirits, children in our country and community should not suffer. She thanked CASA for caring about the children of Dallas.
Her home was the perfect backdrop for her to share the couple’s work around the world. Seven artists from Europe spent two and a half years in Dallas hand painting the walls of the home. Three entire rooms were moved from Europe, and the art and decor is stunning. Yet, Jan and Jeff made everyone feel comfortable and at home.
Dallas CASA will honor The Meadows Foundation with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award on Nov. 15 at The Fairmont Dallas. The Meadows Foundation President and CEO Linda Perryman Evans joined her good friends and Dallas CASA board member Christie Carter and Dallas CASA advisory board member Pam Busbee at the Patron Party.
Jan and Jeff are co-chairing the Champion of Children Award Dinner with long-time friends Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Dallas CASA board member emeritus, and Bela and Chase Cooley. Honorary chairs of the evening will be Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones.
Dallas CASA President and CEO Kathleen LaValle talked about what a critical neighbor and supporter The Meadows Foundation has been to Dallas CASA for more than 30 years as the organization has grown to meet the needs of abused and neglected children. She shared a quote from everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers:
“When I was very young, most of the childhood heroes worse capes, flew through the air or picked up buildings with one arm. But as I grew, my heroes changed so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
Court Appointed Special Advocates are heroes, too, LaValle shared. “Every supporter of effective advocacy for our vulnerable children – including everyone here tonight – is a hero. Because of what you do, we now serve nearly four out of five Dallas County children living in protective care.”
Dallas CASA board members in attendance included CASAL volunteer advocate Priscilla and Corey Anthony, Christine and Jonathan Bassham, CASA volunteer Jana and Mike Brosin, Suzanne Bryan, Barbara and Ben Cervin, Janice Davis, John Gibson, Magdalen House Executive Director Lisa and Dave Kroenke, Laura and John Losinger, Hannah and Greg May, Stephen Penrose and Jim Thompson.
* Photo credit: Rosanne Lewis