Tuesday, November 25, 2014

43rd Annual Candlelight Celebration at Dallas Heritage Village

Begin the holiday season with Texas’ earliest residents and see how holiday traditions were celebrated in the late 1800s on December 13 and 14, 3 - 9 p.m. at the 43rd Annual Candlelight Celebration at Dallas Heritage Village, sponsored by Baylor Scott & White Health.
“May Your Candlelight be Merry and Bright” will be this year’s theme, celebrating songs of the season with performers, stories behind these holiday favorites, and crafts inspired by these treasured tunes.  Take a stroll and experience gleeful carolers, holiday storytelling, hand-weaving, blacksmithing, interpreters in traditional costume, and many other festive activities such as the popular American Flyer model train exhibit in the Depot, operated by the Lone Star Flyer Model Train Club.
Guests may explore 38 historic buildings, circa 1840 to 1910, traditionally decorated by area garden clubs. Different family holiday traditions and activities are celebrated at Candlelight by interpreters. Visit with Mrs. Freeman in the Shotgun House and Mrs. de Léon in her two-room Tejano home, both preparing for the holidays. At the 1860s Farmstead, see how early Dallas pioneers enjoyed a modest Christmas as the country approached the Civil War. Listen to Cowboys tell tales around the bonfire, and stop by the Alamo saloon for a root beer and a game of dominoes. 
Don’t forget to visit a special 19th century guest, St. Nicholas, in the newly renovated Depot and snap a photo with him. While there, stop by to see the American Flyer model train exhibit.
Kids may participate in hands-on holiday crafts inspired by treasured Christmas tunes. Decorate a song book with sheet music ornament cutouts then select a few favorite carols to add to the book. Other crafts include making jingle bell bracelets, paper chains from Christmas sheet music paper, and crystal music note ornaments.
Attendees may ride around the Village in a surrey pulled by the Village’s loveable Mammoth Jack donkeys Nip and Tuck ($5 per rider) or a hay wagon pulled by a vintage tractor ($3 per rider). Local food trucks, such as Easy Slider, Rock & Roll Tacos, Ruthie’s, and more will have delicious food available to purchase. Wine and beer, Kettle Korn, and roasted nuts will also be available for purchase.
 For a complete list of performers and performance times, please visit www.DallasHeritageVillage.orgAll proceeds from Candlelight, the museum’s biggest annual public fundraiser, benefit museum programs at Dallas Heritage Village. Visit http://www.dallasheritagevillage.org/candlelight for more details and to purchase tickets online.

No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party 2015 Kicks Off a Magical 10th Anniversary Season

Celebrating a landmark year, the 10th Annual No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party launched its fundraising season with a Kick-Off Party at Scott + Cooner for approximately 150 avid No Tie fans and dessert lovers. Announcing the 2015 theme “Under the Yum Yum Tree,” the Bollywood-style Kick-Off Party captured the magic, vibrant energy and exotic flavors of The East and things to come at the main event to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas which provides housing and supportive services for low-income and formerly homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS.
Models Alika Ray and Deanna Cahill flaunt the exotic East Indies theme, “Under the Yum Yum Tree.”
Photo credit: Sergio Delgado
 Guests were greeted by models, Deanna Cahill and Alika Ray, dressed in vividly colorful Indian fashion and donning exotic hand and hair ornaments and jewelry. Hattie’s provided delectable hors d’oeuvres, such as coffee-crusted Wagyu beef and tiger sauce, tomato bisque, Applewood-smoked bacon wrapped butternut squash and plantain chips with mango salsa. Guests sipped cocktails, favoring the Equality Vodka concoctions, while listening to a mix of lively Hindi music and signing up to become a dinner host, sponsor, volunteer or guest of the 2015 No Tie Dinner Dessert Party.
2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Honorary Co-Chairs Sterling and Jody O’Donnell and Co-Chairs David Nelson and Dennis Kershner.
The Kick-Off Party revealed exciting news, from the 2015 date and theme to a first-ever VIP ticket that will offer a deluxe lounge area serving premium spirits, luxury auction packages, and exclusive desserts. The event also unveiled a new web site (www.notiedinner.org) and the 2015 chair committee. Stylist, interior designer and all-around Renaissance man David Nelson returns with Dennis Kershner, sales executive at Interior Resources, as Co-Chairs, and Jody and Sterling O’Donnell serve as onorary Chairs. Another first, No Tie has engaged Kristi Holman, owner of K&L Management, as coordinator of the spectacular tenth anniversary event which has been run by ASD staff and volunteers for the last nine years. Last but certainly not least, the 2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party announced the 2015 presenting sponsor, Purple Foundation, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that raises funds to improve the lives of people in the Dallas area who are living with or are affected by HIV/AIDS (www.purplefoundation.org).
Former No Tie Honorary Chairs Steve Kemble (2013) and LeeAnne Locken (2014)
Additional attendees included ASD President/CEO Don Maison, former No Tie Honorary Chairs LeeAnne Locken (2014) and Steve Kemble (2013), Dinner Host Chair Don Neubauer of Siter Neubauer & Associates, Lisa Petty of DFW Style Daily, Stuart Boslow of KTXD The Broadcast, and entertainment producer Rob Cahill. Purple Foundation representatives included Blake Baker, Chris Huffstutler, and Sara Fangmeyer, among others.
The kick-off party was made possible by: Purple Foundation, Hattie’s, Scott + Cooner, Dallas Light and Sound, Calise Partners, Rob and Deanna Cahill, Equality Vodka, Photographer Sergio Delgado, and Friedman Marketing and Public Relations.

CARE Breakfast Welcomed Featured Speaker and Former Boston Celtics Player

On Monday, November 3, 2014, CARE (Chemical Awareness, Resources & Education) held its 30th Annual Breakfast at the Omni Hotel.
Approximately 550 guests attended the breakfast with featured speaker and former Boston Celtic’s basketball player, Chris Herren, Honorary Co-Chairs Ellen and Clayton Kershaw and Breakfast Chair Shirley Cohn.
Featured Speaker Chris Herren and Honorary Co-Chairs Ellen and Clayton Kershaw
Together, they helped raise a staggering $220,000 for CARE and the crucial assistance they provide for individuals suffering from drug and alcohol dependencies.
Emcee Terry Bentley Hill, Kadie Hill, Beth Bradshaw, and Peyton Blackwell
CARE Executive Director Pam Murray kicked off the breakfast with the serenity prayer and welcomed guests as they took their seats. The audience then watched a short, yet inspiring video about several individuals who are now sober thanks to the help of CARE.
Katherine Thompson, Peyton Ward, Sydney Smith and Gabby Crank
After the video, Jan Osborn, CARE board chairman, announced the recipient of the Margaret Sharpe Community Service Award, Terry Boyd.
Christina Harper and Doug and Debbie Knauss
Breakfast Emcee Terry Bentley Hill then took the stage to introduce Chris Herren, who struggled with addiction for much of his basketball career. During the hour-long speech, audience members were captivated by his harrowing stories of substance abuse that lasted 15 years. Herren credited his sobriety to the moment when a counselor told him he should tell his wife to tell his children that he was dead so that he would no longer disappoint and hold them back.
Steve and Pat Schiff, Juliet Andersen and Denham Schiff
Now sober six years, Chris told the audience that he now travels the country sharing his story in hopes of reaching just one person and making an impact in his or her life.
Following Chris’ speech, guests stayed well after the breakfast to say “hello” and take pictures with him.
Ryan O'Dwyer, Tom O'Dwyer, and Honorary Co-Chair Clayton Kershaw
The money raised during the breakfast will help to fund several of CARE’s programs, such as New Directions, Red Ribbon Week, and parenting programs that give parents the tools to connect and communicate with their teens.
In addition, the money will allow CARE to continue to inform the community of the risks of drug and alcohol use and abuse and to provide referrals to anyone struggling with addiction.
Grace Restrepo, Meghan McCollum and Lainey Gonzales

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CPD Annual Toy Drive - Because Every Child Deserves to Wish...

Community Partners of Dallas (CPD) will mark two milestones this holiday season:  the agency’s twenty-fifth anniversary and the urgent need to fulfill the largest number of holiday wishes for abused and neglected children in the organization’s Toy Drive history. 
CPD is asking the community to help give the gift of hope this holiday season by supporting their annual Toy Drive, and ensuring they can fulfill over 8100 wishes for abused and neglected children in the care of Child Protective Services.  The number of wishes that need to be fulfilled this year is an increase of 1134 wishes from last year’s drive.  
The Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive is unique in that the wishes are brought to the agency by CPS caseworkers on behalf of the children in their care, and those same caseworkers will have the wonderful opportunity to deliver these gifts personally.  By supporting the Toy Drive, individuals, organizations and companies will be granting specific gift requests to these children, making them feel special and giving them a holiday they will remember. 
As Natosha Hooks, a CPS caseworker, shared, “I had a case with seven children in the family.  The oldest child, who was 13 years old, told me that for Christmas they get one toy and he, as the oldest, plays with it first and then it goes down the line to the smallest kids who get to keep it.  This Christmas they all had their own toys thanks to the generosity of Community Partners of Dallas.”
Wish cards can be filled by companies, churches, scout troops, business offices, or individuals.  Organizations and individuals can also organize a new toy drive for the undesignated toy collection used to serve additional children who come into CPS care after the wish list deadline and to fill wishes not selected by donors. This year’s most popular wishes include bikes, African American dolls, items from Disney’s FROZEN, Barbies, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, learning toys for toddlers, like a Vtech Learning Laptop, Dora dolls, MP3 players, LEGO sets, Tonka trucks and Bath and Body Works sets.
All gifts should be new and not wrapped.  Toys must be delivered to the Community Partners of Dallas Toy Drive Workshop at the Peacock Alley Warehouse located at 2050 Postal Way, Dallas, Texas 75212 no later than 1:00 p.m. on December 12.  
For more information on participating in the Toy Drive, contact Corinne Karp, 214.624.7588 or corinne@cpdtx.org or visit www.CommunityPartnersDallas.org.

Volunteer Opportunity: Community Member Panel at Nexus Recovery Center

Nexus Recovery Center has assisted more than 20,000 women, adolescents, and children on their journey to recovery since 1971. Parenting classes, family education and counseling, life skills training, and on-site childcare, combined with Nexus' award-winning, accredited treatment programs provide the tools to restore lives and create healthy tomorrows for families.

Located on 12 acres in east Dallas, their campus includes three dormitories, a childcare center, a medical clinic, two playgrounds, outdoor recreation facilities, a cafeteria, group rooms, outpatient center, an aftercare center, administration, an auditorium, a classroom for adolescents and laundry facilities.
Nexus is a Dallas non-profit at the forefront of specialized substance abuse services for females, offering programs for adult women and adolescent girls ages 13 to 17, including those pregnant or accompanied by children. It is one of the few programs nationally that invites women to bring their children into treatment.
This wonderful organization is currently seeking a few individuals to serve on their Community Member Panel, in a non board member role.  Be an advocate of the Nexus treatment program and make a difference right here in our community!  If interested in volunteering, please contact Abi Erickson at AErickson@nexusrecovery.org for more information.

A St Andrew Christmas - Annual Musical Celebration and Live Nativity

Put the true spirit in your holiday season with “A St. Andrew Christmas,” Sunday December 14, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093.
This annual musical extravaganza will include traditional and contemporary holiday favorites from “Jingle Bells,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “The Nutcracker” to majestic settings of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory,”featuring 200 singers, soloist Jodi Wright, bells, a 45-member professional orchestra, a magnificent pipe organ, and the ever-popular carol sing.
In between performances, from 5:45-6:45, there will be an outdoor Live Nativity complete with animals, shepherds, wise men, and the holy family. The Nativity presentation will be located on the west side of the church.
We are thrilled to offer two performances and invite the community to share in this wonderful celebration of the season with us,” said Chris Crook, Minister of Music and Worship, St. Andrew UMC. “If you are looking for one musical Christmas event for all ages that contains the classic favorites delivered at the highest quality by fine singers and professional orchestra, look no further.”
Tickets range from $8 to $18, depending on seating sections and are available by calling 469-385-1810, or online at www.astandrewchristmas.org.
Crook added, “Join 2,000 others for what has become one of the area’s most popular December events. You will not be disappointed!”

CH Carolina Herrera Played Host to Nexus Supporters for Annual Appeal Kick Off Event

Nexus Recovery Center hosted their annual appeal kick off event, chaired by Faye Briggs, on November 5th at CH Carolina Herrera in NorthPark Center.
Abi Erickson, Rachel Roberts, Victoria Snee, Becca Crowell
 Guests of the chic occasion -- including society fixtures, fashion savvy personalities, media and Nexus patrons and leaders  sipped champagne, wine and heavy hors d' oeuvres.
Regina Bruce, Romona Jones, Billy Lee Rippey, Faye Gould
Nexus thanks Faye Briggs and CH Carolina Herrera for their support. The annual appeal campaign began on November 7th and runs through January 2015.
Stephanie Collado, Crystal Parker

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Children's Medical Center Adopt-A-Family Program

Make the holidays bright for Children's patients and their families by participating in the 2014 Children's Medical Center Adopt-A-Family Program.
Coordinated by the Children's Medical Center social work department, this is a holiday gift program that benefits the children being treated at the hospital for a chronic, critical or terminal illness -- and their families.  Without your help, these families would not be able to provide holiday gifts for their children.
Any individual, family, classroom, Boy/Girl Scout troop, office, etc., can adopt a family. When you sign up, you will be given your adopted family's wish list. All gifts must be dropped off at the designated location on Friday, December 12, 2014.
For more information, email adoptafamily@childrens.com

Participate in National Family Volunteer Day this Saturday, November 22nd

Tis' the season of giving, and there's nothing better than volunteering as a family! In celebration of National Family Volunteer Day, Wee Volunteer is hosting the 3rd Annual 60 Minutes of Giving event on Saturday, November 22nd. There are several family-friendly service projects with organizations around the DFW Metroplex to be completed from 10:30am-11:30am.
Once projects have been completed, all participants are invited to Communities Foundation of Texas for an After Party starting at 12:00pm. There will be a photo slideshow, food, activities and fun. Goodwill will also have a donation truck on-site to accept gently used donations.

Get involved with your family and help make a positive impact in the community. Simply giving 6o minutes of your time can make a world of difference!

ChildCareGroup – 20 Volunteers
ChildCareGroup’s mission is to promote, deliver, and expand the best early care and education programs for children, parents and early childhood professionals. They provide a nationally recognized model of care at seven Head Start and/or Early Head Start centers for little or no cost to low-income families.  Volunteers will be decorating the front desk and teacher’s meeting room for the holidays at their Dallas Bethlehem Center. Wee will learn more about their mission with a short video and tour of the facility. Appropriate for families with children ages 4 years+
The Stewpot – 20 Volunteers
The Stewpot offers a safe haven for homeless and at-risk individuals of Dallas, providing resources for basic survival needs as well as opportunities to start a new life. They serve anywhere from 1,500 – 2,000 meals per day, 7 days a week.  Volunteers will tour the Stewpot, learn about their mission and the services and resources they provide for the clients they serve in our community.  Appropriate for families with children ages 8 years+
Location: 1835 Young St, Dallas, TX 75201
Trash Pick Up with Dusty – 20 Volunteers
Dusty the Dumpster is teaming up with Wee Volunteer to tidy up our city! Dusty will explain the importance of keeping the community free of litter, teach us about recycling and then volunteers will get into action by picking up trash.  Appropriate for families with children ages 4 years+
Location: TBD