Just minutes ago, with a crowd filling the fragrant walls of NorthPark’s diptyque, 2023 North Star Luncheon Co-Chairs Brooke Bailey and Elizabeth Dacus revealed the speaker for the Family Compass fundraiser presented by ExxonMobil.
But before the reveal was made, store manager Layanne Da Silva and her staff were passing glasses of champagne, and guests like ExxonMobil’s First Lady Kathy Woods and North Star Honorary Chair Candace Winslow were checking out the diffusers, sprays, candles and soaps. Needless to say, noses were in overdrive sniffing all the scents.
Then just as the room was in an overflow status, the program began.
In addition to the 2023 North Star Award to be presented to the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, other plans for the luncheon were afoot as well. It was 31 years ago that more than 400 members of local Exchange Clubs came together to prevent child abuse in the area. During that time period, the “efforts of the Lake Highlands Exchange Club have made a tremendous impact on Family Compass and over 55,000 parents and children.”
It also was during that time period in 1998 that North Star guest speaker Erin Gruwell rose to national fame “when she and her 150 high school students were featured on ABC’s “Primetime Live.” Known as Freedom Writers, the youngsters were the victims of “broken home lives affected by poverty and violence.” Thanks to Erin’s guidance, “the students overcame adversity to pursue higher education.” Just recently the PBS documentary “Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart” earned an Emmy.
Erin has continued her efforts transforming her social justice activism into a movement, creating the Freedom Writers Foundation, writing books, adapting one into a major motion picture with Hilary Swank and being recognized with numerous awards including the Spirit of Anne Frank Award.
The girls revealed that on Monday, April 24, Erin will be on stage for the 5th Annual North Star Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club for a conversation with former TV reporter Calvert Collins-Bratton.
According to Family Compass CEO Ona Foster, “This year’s luncheon promises to be a truly inspiring day as we honor founding partner Exchange Club of Lake Highlands, as well as recognize the unwavering support of our dear friend Candace Winslow, who has graciously agreed to serve as our honorary chair. In addition, I know our luncheon audience will thoroughly enjoy the powerful message of hope and possibility from speaker Erin Gruwell as she sits down for a conversation with Calvert Collins-Bratton.”
Thanks to funds raised through the luncheon, Family Compass will be able to “build healthy families and a strong North Texas community by preventing child abuse and neglect.”
Tickets and sponsorships are available here. BTW, if you have a friend who happens to be a teacher, why not bring them as your guest?
* Graphic/photo provided by Family Compass