Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dallas Junior Forum 40th Anniversary & Spring Luncheon

Dallas lifestyle expert, author and philanthropist Kimberly Schlegel Whitman delighted a full ballroom of volunteers, philanthropists, and nonprofits with the story of her grandmother whom she remembers fondly for always doing for others. 
Ali Mikles, Kim Schlegel Whitman

“My grandmother had five children of her own, and during her lifetime, she also had 36 foster children!” exclaimed Whitman.  “She was an angel on earth.  Seeing my grandmother’s joy in serving others had a huge impact on me.”
Whitman provided the keynote address titled, “Adventures in Philanthropy:  How Trying To Give Back Changed My Life And Career,” at the Dallas Junior Forum 40th Anniversary spring luncheon on April 26, at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion. Luncheon chair was Mary Cartwright, and WFAA’s Jane McGarry served as mistress of ceremonies.

Janice Whitehill, Sue Ragsdale, Royce Cooper, Linda DeFee, Linda McCarthy
The Dallas Junior Forum (DJF), a non-profit volunteer organization for women in North Texas that employs no paid staff, is one of nine chapters of Junior Forum, Inc. – Texas based service organizations originating in Houston in 1959.  DJF was founded in 1977 to create greater interest in civic, educational and philanthropic endeavors in the North Texas community through volunteer work focused on children, families and the elderly. 

Boys from Jesuit College Preparatory in Dallas volunteer each year at the luncheon
The annual luncheon, known for its expansive silent auction featuring hundreds of items, helps to provide monetary grants to the nonprofits the group serves. 

Organizations served by the Dallas Junior Forum include Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, The Ebby House, Juliette Fowler Communities, Frisco Family Services, Hope’s Door New Beginnings Center, Interfaith Family Services, Network, PediPlace, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Ashlee Kleinert
Since it began 40 years ago, DJF has donated hundreds of thousands of volunteer service hours to the charitable agencies it supports. During the 2014-15 fiscal year alone, members volunteered more than 16,400 hours and saved the nonprofits served $411,800 in wages, employment taxes and benefit expenses.  Additionally, DJF awarded  $123,700 in grants and non-grant funding.  Over the years this all-volunteer organization has donated more than $1 million in direct grants and non-grants to worthy non-profit organizations throughout North Texas.
DJF Past Presidents - Back row: (left to right) Jamie Isbell, Julie Sheridan, Valerie McMahan, Mary Cartwright Front row: (left to right) Vanessa Hoffman, Joan Oxford, Carol Gregston, Leah Margerison, Vicki Olson, Marianna Thiebaud, Ann W. Jones, Sheila Moore, Kristin Parrino
As guests enjoyed pink champagne soup with mint drizzle, tenderloin of beef Nicoise salad, and triple chocolate parfaits, Whitman praised the members for their amazing work and the many volunteer hours they give so many nonprofits each year. 
“As a child, I watched how my parents were always very involved with giving back to the community, and I want my children to see me giving and helping others as well,” added Whitman.
She also highlighted the seven books she has written and said that her most recent book “Monograms for the Home: The Art of Making Your Mark” was inspired from a quote she read from Reese Witherspoon:  “If it doesn’t breathe, monogram it!”

Immediately following the luncheon, Whitman held a book signing and visited with guests.
Book signing with Kimberly Schlegel Whitman
“Kim represents a new generation of volunteers involved in service to others,” added Cartwright.  “We were excited to look out in the audience and see some new faces and hope to have some new members to help us serve others in the coming year.  As we continue our 40th anniversary celebration this year, we hope to reach even more people in need.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ZOO TO DO 2017: Animal Gathering Kicked Off at the Simmons Hippo Outpost at the Dallas Zoo

Zoo To Do kicked-off the Animal Gathering with a private soirĂ©e at the Dallas Zoo’s new $14 million, 2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost. The new hippo exhibit is the zoo’s first major exhibit since 2010 and was funded solely through private donations. The impressive new space features an immersive African waterhole habitat which includes an underwater viewing area of the zoo’s two newest hippo residents, Adhama (uh-DAHM-a) and Boipelo (BOY-pa-lo).  
Barbara and Don Daseke, Zoo To Do Chairs
 A cool breeze was in the air and everyone was in a festive mood as they boarded the trams taking them to this special outpost for the kick-off event. In a salute to the Animal Gathering theme, a flamboyance of plastic flamingos (DID YOU KNOW?: a gathering of flamingos is known as a flamboyance?) served as a beautiful welcoming party and brought smiles from the crowd, as did special appearances by hometown guests, including flamingos Aruba and Bermuda, mother and daughter tamanduas, Chispa and Cora, along with Dulce the spectacled owl. 
Tom Leppert, Karen Waller, Kevin Hanrahan
Zoo To Do chairs Barbara and Don Daseke set the scene for the evening while the hippos roaming and swimming in their habitat provided the perfect backdrop for photos outside. Inside, tables were set with gourmet delights created by the Zoo’s Executive Chef Ian Feiwus paired with wines curated by Hayley Cogill, a certified sommelier and certified specialist of wine.
Joan Walne, Zoo board chair; Alan Walne
Gregg Hudson, president and CEO of the Dallas Zoo, thanked everyone for their support and for attending the evening’s event, and touting the zoo’s record-setting 1.2 million visitors last year. Joan Walne, Zoo board chair, congratulated everyone on last year’s event, which earned a record $1,475,000. She thanked last year’s chairs, Hal Brierley, Don Glendenning and John Levy.
Alisha Gummer, Chris Gummer, Cindy Gummer, Chuck Gummer
Chairs Barbara and Don Daseke said they were delighted to chair the 2017 event and noted that since they went on their trip to Africa, they have grown to appreciate how important natural habitats are to the animals and are thrilled to help bring awareness to the Dallas Zoo’s dedication to its mission to create a better world for animals. As longtime Dallas Zoo and Zoo To Do supporters, they have brought on many friends and some former Zoo To Do chairs to join their committee this year, including Honorary Chair Mary McDermott Cook, Live Auction Chairs Diane and Hal Brierley, Host Committee Chairs Barbara and Steve Durham, Underwriting Chairs Kate and Lane Britain, Decorations Chair Cindy Gummer, Honorary Chef Chair Dan Landsberg from Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa, Chef Wrangler Brett Krafft from the Hilton Anatole, and Chef Chair Sarah Barr from Hotal ZaZa.
Kevin Rabe, Nancy Rabe, Douglas Rabe
Slated for Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 and hosted at the Dallas Zoo, guests and patrons of the 2017 Zoo To Do Animal Gathering will stroll through the award-winning Giants of the Savanna exhibit, sample exquisite dishes from more than 25 of Dallas’s premier chefs and restaurants, and enjoy interactive animal demonstrations and musical entertainment. Following dinner, guests will move to the Wilds of Africa plaza for a live auction featuring rare zoo experiences, travel and more! Finally, partygoers will dance the night away to music from Emerald City All Stars.

          Zoo To Do is a major source of funding for the Dallas Zoo. Proceeds from the event help support the zoo’s dedication to providing the best animal care, delivering unique education offerings and furthering its wildlife conservation efforts. 
          Sponsorships range from $7,500 to $50,000. Underwriting ranges from $7,500 to $100,000. Individual tickets are $750 each and a VIP ticket pack is $3,000. For more information, visit the website at or contact Stephanie Thompson, events manager at 469-554-7441 or via email at

Monday, June 26, 2017

Anteks Hosted President’s Night Out

Johanna Keen, Alexa Para
Anteks owner Jason Lenox saved baby rhinos with every ceramic cactus, Hancock chair and Pendleton blanket this last May where at an anticipated occasion Candy Evans emceed. Most know after 35 years of business that Lenox’s interior design talents help us achieve pastoral elegance or log home luxury, but this summer the refined rustic aesthetic supported the rhino conservation efforts at Fossil Rim.
Lizzy Chesnut, City Boots Founder
Lenox hosted Presidents Night Out on May 11th where guests perused Anteks /Anteks Curated, saved 20% and benefited the cute horned creatures.  The event was Co-Chaired by Nita and Chris Hudson (past Dallas Safari Club President) and Martha Justice Moore.
Jason Morgan and Monica Radford
Those who attended mingled with the elite of Dallas Safari Club, Park Cities Quail, Fossil Rim, Weatherby Foundation, Quail Coalition, Texas Bighorn Society, Rolling Plains Quail, Stewards of the Wild, Bisbee’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund and many other likeminded associations.
Claire Hudson - Stuffed Rhinos for Conservation
Guests including DSC president Craig Nyhus, war veteran and author Jason Morgan, Fossil Rim Executive Director Dr. Patrick Condy, Trammel S. Crow and others also kicked around with local boot designer Lizzy Chesnut of City Boots, sported some ‘fashion for the field’ Upland Bespoke ladies’ vests and slid behind the steering wheel of a Jaguar and Land Rover.
Nita and Chris Hudson
And all savored Stratos Greek Taverna, Stoli cocktails, Peroni, Tequila Sheela, Cameron Hughes Wine and were entertained by Phil Brumley. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mayor Rawlings kicked off pre-registration for Mayor's Back to School Fair

A one-stop shop to prepare children and their families for the school year, the 21st Mayor’s Back to School Fair, presented by Walmart, will take place on Friday, Aug. 4, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Centennial Building at Fair Park.

“We want to make sure that kids are well-prepared for their first day of school,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “Getting ready for school - buying supplies, getting immunizations and haircuts and seeing the dentist – can be overwhelming and expensive for families. We hope that the Fair can ease some of that burden, plus put kids on the right track for a successful school year.”

With an expected attendance of 35,000, the Fair is a one-stop-shop complete with all the back-to-school basics. Parents and children can find everything they need to prepare for the school year – from free school
supplies for Dallas schoolchildren (who meet eligibility requirements); to free health, dental and vision screenings; to immunizations and haircuts; plus the latest information on education, health and social services. The Fair also will feature musical entertainment, kids activities, games, interactive demos and more. Eligible families with pre-K and elementary school students also will receive a colorful backpack at the Fair.

Walmart will conduct free vision screenings and offer general health screenings, including blood pressure and
glucose checks, for all family members. Texas A&M University College of Dentistry will provide free dental screenings and oral health information for everyone, plus fluoride applications, toothbrushes and toothpaste to students. Dallas County Health & Human Services will provide free immunizations; the National Kidney Foundation will offer kidney health screenings; and Children’s Health will offer consultations on asthma, behavioral health, BMI readings and nutrition. Cedric B’s Barber and Beauty Salon and Ogle School of Hair, Skin and Nails will offer free haircuts to students. Essilor Vision Foundation will be on site conducting eye exams and providing eye glasses at no cost to qualifying families. In addition, Half Price Books will give away 10,000 books.

Dallas ISD will have a large area with bilingual staff on hand to provide information on magnet schools, scholarship and alternative programs, psychological and social services, parenting and family literacy.

Additionally, educational information and services, in English and Spanish, will be offered at hundreds of community resource booths on crime prevention, fire safety, college readiness, housing, transportation, personal finances, health, nutrition and literacy.

Free school supplies are available ONLY to those who meet specific eligibility requirements (must be public school students pre-K through 12th grades who reside in the City of Dallas or attend a Dallas ISD school and meet the 2017 Federal Poverty Income Guidelines). A PHOTO ID, PROOF OF RESIDENCY AND PROOF OF INCOME ARE REQUIRED TO QUALIFY.

Admission is free. Parking is free, or visitors can take the DART Rail Green Line to the Fair Park or MLK, Jr. stations. New this year: Shuttle service within Fair Park will be available to and from the Centennial Building, where the Fair’s main entrance is located. The Centennial Building at Fair Park is located at 1001 Washington St. in Dallas.
Eligible families who qualify for free school supplies are encouraged to pre-register by mail or in person at pre-registration events throughout Dallas.

For more information and pre-registration schedule, please call 311 or go to

Volunteers are also needed. View volunteer opportunities and sign up here:

Friday, May 26, 2017

Children’s Cancer Fund’s Annual Fundraising Gala Surpasses $1 Million Fundraising Goal!

“Broadway Nights and Runway Lights,” the 2017 Children’s Cancer Fund’s Annual Fundraising Gala on April 21 at the Hilton Anatole, raised a show-stopping $1 million+ and dazzled more than 1,000 guests with an all-star lineup of Dallas Cowboys and celebrities, including long-time honorary co-captains of the event Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as well as NFL Coach of the Year Jason Garrett, current starting quarterback Dak Prescott, Cowboys safety Byron Jones, Miss Texas Caroline Carothers, and a cast of others. But the evening's spotlight was on 75 pediatric cancer patients and survivors taking the stage and hitting the runway as well as raising money for cancer research.

Grand Finale on the Runway featuring this year’s children and all Children’s Cancer Fund Fashion Show Alumni who could attend
Sixteen children ages 5 to 16, matched with celebrity escorts, lit up the runway in their fashions provided by Dillard’s for a star-studded fashion show, coordinated by RSC Show Productions. Additional celebrity escorts included the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders; Rowdy, Dallas Cowboys Mascot; Station #19 Dallas Fire Department; Dallas SWAT Team; Julie Dobbs-Fox Sports Southwest Dallas Stars Commentator; Alisha Laventure, WFAA; Medieval Times Red Knight; Scott Murray; Pink Heals Firefighters; and Amy Vanderoef.
Jesus Martinez, 11 (South Dallas) escorted by Dallas Fire Station # 19
Emcees Karen Borta and Russ McCasksy of CBS11 kept the evening on track introducing the young models and special guests as they hit the runway.  Throughout the evening, entertainment was provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, Next Step Dance, Avery-Jai Andrews, and Jacoby Pruitt.
Flick Blevins, 6 (Frisco) escorted by Dak Prescott
Inspired by the cause and the featured young cancer patients, guests added to the success of the 29th annual fundraising event by donating more than $100,000 to the Live Auction and another $100,000 to this year’s Call for the Cure raising funds for a cure for Acute Myeloid Leukemia… which was matched by another $100,000!
Westyn Bates, 7 (Waxahachie) escorted by Medieval Times Red Knight
The live auction included naming your own street; a Dallas SWAT experience; a Dallas Cowboys game package; a suite for the Justin Bieber Concert at AT&T Stadium; a Broadway experience in NYC; six nights in Pebble Beach home; an Aspen Adventure; a live painting by Cuban Artist Rolando Diaz; and an Oscar de la Renta chinchilla and mink vest. The event also included a silent auction and a raffle of a Mercedes-Benz GLA250.
Gabriel Triguis, 10, (Frisco) escorted by Jason Garrett
Guests dined on a salad of white and red endive and arugala salad with toasted walnuts, pomegranate seeds, shaved parmiggiano-reggiano, and pancetta tart with champagne vinaigrette followed by filet of beef with demi shrimp ravioli with fennel and butter sauce, sweet potato mash and seasonal vegetables.  For dessert, guests enjoyed lemon semi-freddo with raspberry coulis and chocolate bavarois.
DJ Lucy Wrubel
Fryda Salinas, 14 (Oak Cliff) escorted by Byron Jones
A grand finale on the runway featured a total of 75 patients and survivors to a burst of confetti in sync with Katy Perry’s, “Firework,” played by DJ Lucy Wrubel.  Immediately following, guests filled the dance floor to celebrate the evening’s success. 

Honorary Co-Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, Children’s Cancer Fund Exec. Dir. of Development Jennifer Arthur, Dak Prescott, Gala Chair Pamela Moayedi, Byron Jones, Jason Garrett
A standing ovation goes to Gala Co-Chair Pamela Moayedi and all the many sponsors – including lead sponsor Centurion American – donors, and silent and live auction bidders, and guests! 

Bennett Towbin, 5 (Frisco) escorted by Rowdy

Proceeds from the Gala go to Children’s Cancer Fund to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Medical Center. Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated almost $8 million to the cause. The Children’s Cancer Fund spring event is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Partners Card 25th Anniversary Kick Off

Partners Card 2017 Co-Chairs Jennifer Burns and Brynn Bagot Allday
Despite anticipated storms, a lively crowd gathered in Highland Park Village on Thursday, May 18, 2017, to help The Family Place kick off the 25th anniversary of Partners Card, presented by Bank of Texas. Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin welcomed guests as they mingled throughout the event space above the Village Theater. Guests enjoyed sounds by DJ Jennifer Miller, appetizers provided by Lombardi’s Family Concepts, an open bar and a fun photo booth from LeForce Entertainment.
The Family Place CEO Paige Flink and The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin

Remarks were given by co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns who thanked retailers, shoppers, volunteers and sponsors Avant Garden, BEYOND, LeForce Entertainment, Lombardi’s Family Concepts and DJ Jennifer Miller. They also introduced the new Partners Card App where you can buy or gift a card, view participating stores, see upcoming Partners Card events and more. The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin gave a special introduction to the honorary chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman of Ylang 23, who have been longtime supporters of Partners Card.

Past Partners Card Chairs and The Family Place CEO Paige Flink
"Bank of Texas is so proud to be partnering again with The Family Place for Partners Card for the ninth year," said Mike Meredith, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Bank of Texas. "The Family Place's mission to end domestic violence is truly one of the most important causes of our times. It's a difficult subject that many folks do not want to talk or think about, but it's a reality for too many, and we're very appreciative of the work The Family Place does to help so many people." The Family Place CEO Paige Flink reminded guests of the reason behind the card and noted that their money aided in a big way by helping The Family Place get the first men into shelters, as well as many women and children. The remarks concluded with attendees coming together in celebration of the cause as “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge played through the speakers.

Past Partners Card Chair Maggie Cook Kipp, Katherine Wynne, Scott Turner, The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin and Kelly Perkins

Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, Texas’ largest and longest-serving family violence agency, and over the past 25 years has become one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex. Cardholders who purchase a $70 card receive a 20 percent discount at a variety of their favorite stores and restaurants while supporting The Family Place. In 2016, more than 750 retailers and restaurants participated in the program, raising more than $1 million to support The Family Place’s mission to provide life-saving shelter and support to victims experiencing family violence.

Bank of Texas Team Ralph Prieto, Eric White and Mike Meredith

This year’s 10-day Partners Card shopping event will be Friday, October 27 through Sunday, November 5, 2017. Cardholders are invited to shop with a purpose and help The Family Place reach its goal of raising $1.2 million.

Guests Included: Partners Card 2017 Co-chairs Brynn Bagot Allday and Jennifer Burns, The Family Place Vice President of Development Melissa Sherrill Martin, Ross Martin, The Family Place CEO Paige Flink, Randy Flink, Partners Card 2017 Honorary Chairs Joanne and Charles Teichman, Mary Catherine Benavides, Melanie Hancock, The Family Place Development Manager Heather Street Baker and The Family Place Development Associate Grace Dewar, Paula McCloud, Dana Clack, Robby Sturgeon, Katherine Wynne, Amy Camp, Sandy Stevens, Brett Dougall, Eleanor Watson, Angela Foster, Rebecca Meadows, Margaret Gall, Mary Gall, Stephen Bodwell, Naz Jannah, Walter Love, Kelly Jekauc, Kelly Perkins, Dominika and David Barnes, Elizabeth Barber, Linda Knox, Traci and Ryan Freling, Myriam and Anton Prodanovic, Sheryl Pidgeon and David Pidgeon, Roderick Bonds and Cameo Raymond and Past Partners Card Chairs: Lisa Bhattacharya, Andrea Cheek, Samantha Wortley, Diane Fullingim, Maggie Cook Kipp, Lynn McBee, Diana Hamilton

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Education is Freedom annual fundraiser - An Evening with the Stars

Education is Freedom (EIF), Dallas’ most comprehensive college and career-readiness provider, held its second-annual fundraiser and scholarship reception – An Evening with the Stars – on Thursday, May 18, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The event recognized and rewarded EIF Scholars from 14 Dallas ISD schools by investing in their future.

Thanks to the continued generosity of Highland Capital Management, the scholarship reception honored more than 150 Dallas ISD seniors in the EIF Scholars Program who received personalized scholarships.

Event chairs were business leader Jim Keyes, who founded Education is Freedom in 2002, and his wife, philanthropic and community leader Margo Keyes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Special Evening with Jennifer Nettles Benefiting LaunchAbility

The 16th Annual A Special Evening hosted by Alliance Data and benefiting LaunchAbility® will be held Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. On this memorable night, LaunchAbility® will present the Milton P. Levy, Jr. Outstanding Volunteer Award and the Alliance Data Corporate Champion Award. Guests will be entertained by a live performance by Jennifer Nettles.

6:00 - 7:45 pm  Sponsor Reception
8:00 pm  Presentation
8:30 pm  Concert

Honorary Chairs: Christine & Shawn Spieth
Event Chairs: Beth & Steve McGaw

LaunchAbility's 2017 Alliance Data Corporate Champion is Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

2017 Milton P. Levy, Jr. Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to US Congressman Pete Sessions.

Over the past 15 years, A Special Evening has raised more than $4 million and has allowed LaunchAbility® to continually expand its programs and grow each year by gaining state and national recognition for its innovative programs and training.

The lead vocalist for international duo Sugarland, Jennifer has become one of the most admired singer-songwriters in music today. Since exploding onto the music scene in 2004, the decorated duo earned eight #1 singles, over 22 million in worldwide record sales and racked up numerous awards from the Grammys, American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music, The Country Music Association and CMT Music Awards.

Tickets range from $25-$150 and can be purchased by visiting or calling 1-800-595-4TIX.