When the guests, including Ron Gafford, Lili Kellogg, Bill Noble, Adele and Hobson Wildenthal, Kerry Wildenthal Fagelman and Michael Fagelman, Bill Davis, Marti Carlin and Ute and Rolf Haberecht, gathered for the 2019 Each Moment Matters Luncheon on Thursday, October 3, there was a sense among them of the “special-ness” of the fundraiser. After all, the event at the Hilton Anatole Dallas would mark the luncheon’s landmark 10th anniversary raising awareness of, and support for, Faith Presbyterian Hospice. The facility, Dallas’ first and largest not-for-profit hospice, serves more than 1,500 patients and their families annually.
But the busy guests had other topics on their minds as well, of course. Consider Ellen and Don Winspear. They were in the midst of serving as honorary chairs for The Dallas Opera’s First Sight and First Night 2019 festivities. Ellen was also the First Sight Fashion Presentation and Luncheon chair, partnering up with fashion house Dolce&Gabbana for the occasion—and the black handbag she was carrying proved it. It was a Dolce bag, natch, embossed with the image of the Winspears’ late Cavalier Spaniel.
But on this day the Winspears were joining in-laws Laura and Tom Leppert, who were serving as the Each Moment Matters Luncheon honorary co-chairs.
Meantime, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher was thinking about a recently announced pediatric-care partnership between Children’s Health and UT Southwestern Medical Center. “We’re like an old married couple,” Brent said drily. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but we decided to renew our vows.”
Inside the Trinity ballroom, it was like “old home week” for the 800 or so attendees, as Fox4 news anchor Clarice Tinsley was returning to the lectern as Each Moment Matters emcee for the ninth time. Following a formal welcome by Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation Executive Director Tena Burley, Clark Hodges of the foundation board introduced a video about the late T. Boone Pickens that also had been played at the very first Each Moment Matters luncheon a decade ago. It was Boone’s $18.4 million gift, many in the audience knew, that led directly to the opening of Presbyterian’s T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center in 2017.
After the serving of a delicious lunch, it was time to hand out some hardware. Sammye and Mike Myers presented the organization’s Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy award to Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, who chuckled to find the award weighing so much. It definitely required two hands to hold.
Next came recognition of the luncheon’s 2019 Honorees — change agents who’ve “made a significant difference in the community and impacted the lives of others.” Ruth Fitzgibbons was given the Don W. Hodges Joy of Service Award, while the other Honorees were Equest Hooves for Heroes, Jorge Baldor, Jim Farrell, John Gallagher, Louis Harrell, Sabrina Harrison, Chad Houser, Mary Kennedy, Mary Kimbrough, David Krause, Mylinh Luong, Daniel Roby, Rose-Mary Rumbley, Connie Scott and Lillian Bradford Smith.
With that, Luncheon Co-chairs (and previous Honorees) Andy Walsh and Thear Sy Suzuki took to the lectern, talking up contributions to the PwC-underwritten Giving Tree, before Tim Mallad introduced Kim Campbell, the event’s guest speaker. It seems that Tim, who’s CEO of Presbyterian Communities and Services, had met Kim, widow of the late guitarist and country singer Glen Campbell, through actress Jane Seymour. Jane had been executive producer of a 2014 documentary called “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me,” about “The Rhinestone Cowboy”‘s long public battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The award-winning film helped open up a national conversation about the disease, and gave Kim a platform to advocate publicly for people with dementia.
Kim, who was married to Glen for 34 years until his death in 2017, told the Anatole crowd that her husband had received the Alzheimer’s diagnosis from his doctor in 2011. The entertainer then invited the “I’ll Be Me” filmmakers to accompany him on his “good-bye tour,” a period that was originally intended to last five weeks. But eventually the five weeks stretched into “151 shows over two years,” Kim said, with the film documenting Alzheimer’s effects on Glen from the “beginning to the middle stages” of his disease.
Over that time the entertainer reverted to the consciousness of a toddler, she went on, reveling in simple things like hamburgers and sunsets. Once in a gift shop, she recalled, she stopped Glen from buying a bottle of Pepto-Bismol that they didn’t need. Later, she discovered that he’d been intending to give the bottle to her for Mother’s Day, because, he remembered, “Kim loves pink.”
The realization of her “insensitivity,” she concluded, was heartbreaking. “If you’re caring for someone with dementia, each moment does matter,” she said, bringing the luncheon’s name to life in a way that no one else could have.