It was no wonder that The Magdalen House‘s 2019 “Leave A Legacy Dinner” on Thursday, October 3, at The Hall on Dragon was the biggest one in the organization’s history. With former First Lady Laura Bush as the keynote speaker and the announcement of the Legacy of Hope Capital Campaign, it was a full-plate evening. With a goal of $3.2M for the new facility, Executive Director Lisa Kroencke reported that $2.9M had already been achieved. Here’s a report from the field:
Although warmer than usual, the evening of Thursday, October 3, was the perfect setting for The Magdalen House’s 2019 “Leave A Legacy Dinner” – the biggest fundraiser in the agency’s 32-year history. With over 500 guests and former First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Laura Bush, the event was a celebration of life, recovery and freedom from alcoholism for both women and their families in North Texas.
A few sponsors and their guests came early to mingle while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the VIP Photo Reception. Here, guests excitedly lined up to have their photo taken with Mrs. Laura Bush. Others perused the silent auction, which featured prints by Arienne Lepretre and Brenda Bogart, tickets to a Cowboys game packaged with an autographed Troy Aikman jersey and football, and getaways to Rosemary Beach, Cabo San Lucas and Whitefish, Montana, among others.
The ambiance of The Hall on Dragon made the evening feel intimate. Beautiful white floral arrangements complimented the luxurious white and green tablecloths as guests sat down to enjoy their meal blessed by Rev. Matt Tuggle of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Event Co-Chairs Kathi and Scott Shuford opened the evening with moving remarks outlining their personal connection to alcoholism and recovery. They recognized the recipients of The Honorary Award, accepted on behalf of the David M. Crowley Foundation by Delia Johnson, and The Paul Tate Advocate Award presented to Nancy and Jack Zogg.
Following the chairs, Mrs. Bush spoke to the prevalence of alcoholism and the vital work The Magdalen House does to help alcoholic women achieve sobriety and sustain long-term recovery — “It is estimated that over 250,000 women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are alcohol-dependent. This includes wives, mothers, sisters and even daughters. The Magdalen House’s treatment plan has saved thousands of these North Texas women from the darkness of alcoholism, and most importantly, it has put mothers back with their children, and on a path to success.”
Following Mrs. Bush’s inspiring speech, the eight-minute agency video, “The Other Side,” captivated the audience’s attention, sharing firsthand experiences of alcoholic women whose lives have been saved by The Magdalen House’s programs. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Teary-eyed, Executive Director Lisa Kroencke approached the podium to make The Magdalen House’s first-ever public announcement of the $3.2 million Legacy of Hope Capital Campaign to build a new facility. She emphasized how the new space will allow The Magdalen House to better serve the growing population of alcoholic women and their families in North Texas, and she spoke to the increase in capacity for both the 14-day Social Detox and Peer Recovery programs.
Lisa explained that “Sobriety is an event, but recovery is an experience. And regardless of where a woman gets sober, The Magdalen House offers alcoholic women a community full of hope that is available for a lifetime and allows them the opportunity to give back what they’ve been given and be of service to the next woman in need. We are truly beyond grateful for the support to do this.”
The paddle raise for the Capital Campaign was filled with enthusiasm to support the project as excited donors raised their bid cards for every level from $50,000 to $250, raising $403,350 for the new facility alone in a single evening.
Overall, the event raised a net total of over $670,000 that will go toward providing free programs for alcoholic women and building a new facility for The Magdalen House. Sponsors of the event include the David M. Crowley Foundation, James Hallam and Louise Collins of Ben E. Keith Company, Lee Ann and Steve Van Amburgh of KDC, The Moozie Foundation, Linda and Ed Appleby, Tessa and Lucinda Real Estate Group, Dallas Auction Gallery, Sapphire Foundation, Becky Frey Real Estate Group, Sparrow House Counseling, Tradition Senior Living, Sewell Automotive Companies, Lucky 21, Improving, Origins Behavioral Healthcare and Benchmark Bank.
About the Legacy of Hope Capital Campaign
Donating their services pro-bono, KDC and Omniplan have taken the lead on the project to renovate a historic home on Gaston to serve as the new facility for The Magdalen House. They have enlisted Buford Hawthorne Builders to handle the renovations and aim to have the project completed in 15 months.
By increasing the overall square footage of The Magdalen House the capacity for the 14-day Social Detox Program will increase by 40%, while the space for Peer Recovery Program meetings, classes, and workshops will double.
“This project will enable us to serve more women in a home that is dignified,” said Mary Shuford, lead staff on the project. “We have not only outgrown our current space, but it is falling apart. We have needed a new home for a while, and it is incredible to have the opportunity to feel the support from the DFW community validating our mission and investing in our long-term vision.”
To date, $2.79 million has been raised for the new facility thanks to generous gifts from foundations including Constantin Foundation, Inc., the David M. Crowley Foundation, The Epperson Family Foundation, Hanley Family Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, The Hoglund Foundation, The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, The Rees-Jones Foundation, Sapphire Foundation, Simmons Sisters Fund, William and Phyllis Snyder Foundation, William and Susan Ragland Fund, as well as several generous individual donors.
More information can be found at https://magdalenhouse.org/capital-campaign/
* Photo credit: Grant Miller ** Photo provided by The Magdalen House