Badovinus Brings Seafood to Preston Center


Nick Badovinus will open Montlake Cut this spring. (Courtesy photo)

Seattle’s culinary culture is known for two things: seafood and coffee. Nick Badovinus hopes to bring both of those to Dallas in a new way with his latest Preston Center concept, Montlake Cut.

The restaurant, named after the canal that links Lake Washington to the Puget Sound, evokes Badovinus’ childhood in the Seattle area.

“There’s a saltwater-scented, blue collar appeal to it,” he said. “That’s what we kind of hope to bring — that great, quality fish doesn’t have to be rarified. It’s a different point of view to fish.”

PHPC Welcomes New Pastor


kwr photographyPreston Hollow Presbyterian Church’s two-year search for a new head pastor is over. Rev. Matthew Ruffner was elected following a congregational meeting yesterday. He also preached at the church for the first time during a combined, single worship service.

“I believe God calls particular people to particular places at particular times, and I am excited that God has called our family to the Preston Hollow family,” Ruffner said in a statement.

Ruffner succeeds longtime pastor Blair Monie in the position, who retired in June 2014. Monie announced his impending retirement in 2013 to provide the pastor nominating committee with sufficient time to search.

Ruffner comes to PHPC from Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga. His wife, Sarah, is a physician assistant in cardiology. The couple has an 18-month-old daughter named Olivia.

Amateurs Can Build DIY Veggie Gardens

Columnist Stephanie Casey

Columnist Stephanie Casey

Food doesn’t get any fresher or more delicious than when picked from your own yard.

I know, I know. That sounds great, but there is all that process, dirt, and green-thumb knowledge to contend with to make homegrown food a reality. I’d toyed with the idea before, but always decided it was easier to just buy veggies and herbs from real farmers. I mean, I only keep plants at home that require sunlight and (hardly any) water.

Orphan Outreach to Honor Simmons

Cindy Brinker Simmons will be honored tonight along with the medical team who helped Guatemalan orphan Gersi Ordonez.

Preston Hollow philanthropist Cindy Brinker Simmons, right, will be honored tonight along with the medical team who helped Guatemalan orphan Gersi Ordonez.

The civic and philanthropic legacy of Cindy Brinker Simmons is no secret, but what many people might not know is that the Preston Hollow resident — along with her son William — sponsor 18 orphans from around the world that she considers part of her family.

So it makes sense that Simmons will be honored tonight with the Champion of Hope Award during the second annual Children’s Hope Dinner at the Hilton Anatole.

“There are children from all corners of the world waiting for someone to give them hope,” said Simmons, the founder of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer. “Love is a powerful tool. For those children who feel unwanted and unvalued, sponsorship lets them know they are worthy to be loved. It transforms their lives and the lives of the sponsor.

National Beer Day Pairings at Grain


Celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the end of Prohibition, aka National Beer Day, with a few brews and bites at Grain.

Grain’s Executive Chef Patrick McElroy is teaming up with Lakewood Brewing Co. to pair a four course Texas-themed food and beer tasting to celebrate the holiday on April 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50/person and seats are limited, so book your reservation by calling Grain at 469-232-4962.

CEO Shares Passion For Art

Ashmore thanks supporters and announces 2014’s winners. (Photo: Travis Lilley) 0
Ashmore thanks supporters and announces 2014’s winners. (Photo: Travis Lilley)

Eight years ago, Mickey Ashmore’s son asked a simple question: “Why don’t you go to Booker T. to look for art?”

For Ashmore, CEO of Universal Commercial Realty, the idea to look for gifts for his most valued clients for his company’s 20th anniversary was novel. Now, seven years later, the simple question has led to a legacy of art advocacy among high school students in the form of Retail as Art.

The scholarship photography competition, a charitable initiative of UCR, presents a number of high school students with prizes for images that capture their interpretation of the essence of retail. From fish markets to store racks, past winners have varied in subject matter, but all feature a high level of style. 

Ursuline Rower Signs With Creighton

is surrounded by her Ursuline teammates during a signing ceremony on Wednesday.

Louisa Karam is surrounded by her Ursuline teammates during a signing ceremony on Wednesday.

By Kelly Morris / Special Contributor

Louisa Karam’s rowing career will continue at Creighton University.

The Ursuline senior signed with the Bluejays on Wednesday. Karam, who has been rowing since her freshman year, liked Creighton once she stepped on the campus in Omaha, Neb.

“I like that Creighton is a Jesuit school, and I like their business department,” Karam said. “Over the years, I just fell in love with rowing. I like the companionship and the teamwork.”

JLD Honors Rangel School Graduates


The Sustainers of Junior League of Dallas are hosting a luncheon to honor the 59 graduates of the Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School on Saturday April 18.

The graduates of the all-girls’ school, many of whom are the first generation to be college-bound, were previously paired with Sustainer mentors for career advice and encouragement to continue volunteering.

“Our goal in hosting this luncheon is to raise the awareness of opportunities available to the graduates once they finish college, particularly those related to volunteerism,” said Beth Brown, luncheon chair.

The speakers at the luncheon are JLD members Cynthia Villanueva and Miranda Bond. Villanueva, attorney and JLD diversity chair, will speak about her relationship with school namesake Rep. Rangel, and Bond will speak about the importance of leadership.

The luncheon honorees will receive mementos to celebrate their graduation and will keep in touch with their Sustainers throughout their college careers.

St. Michael’s to Host Human Trafficking Symposium Saturday


Human trafficking is a big problem in Dallas. That’s why organizations such as New Friends New Life and Traffick911 go to work every day to rescue girls from helpless situations. But there’s more to be done. Saint Michael’s and All Angels Episcopal Church is hosting the Dallas Symposium on Human Trafficking from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 18 at the church.

The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and the American Friends of the Anglican Centre Rome are just of a few of the faith-based organizations coming together to stop trafficking. Use the hashtag #stopslaverydallas to spread the word about the event and mission.

“All people of good will, and especially people of faith, have a moral obligation to do all that they can to put an end to human trafficking,” said Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas.

Here’s a video from the Global Freedom Network that St. Michael’s has posted on the event page:

Adoption Backstory Inspires Volunteer

Taylor and Kimberlee Gromatzky in front of Hope Cottage’s temporary home. (Photo: Chris McGathey) 0
Taylor and Kimberlee Gromatzky in front of Hope Cottage’s temporary home. (Photo: Chris McGathey)
Taylor at 17 months.

Taylor at 17 months.

Taylor Gromatzky’s connection to Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center goes back to birth. She was adopted through the agency by her mom, Kimberlee Gromatzky.

“They called on a Friday and said, ‘Come pick up your daughter Monday morning,’” said Kimberlee.

That was on Valentine’s Day 25 years ago. Today, Taylor serves as president of the Hope Cottage Leadership Council, a group of young professionals looking to support the agency through fundraising and awareness.

As part of her duties, Taylor is responsible for helping to plan the second annual Serving Hope sand volleyball tournament on April 18, which functions as the group’s key fundraiser.

Proceeds from the tournament go to Hope Cottage’s Foster to Adopt program, which takes children out of dangerous situations identified by Child Protective Services and puts them in loving homes. 

Explore Mid-Century Churches with DHS


Check out some of the city’s modernist religious architecture with the Dallas Historical Society’s mid-century churches tour. John Brown will narrate the tour of religious buildings from 1-4 p.m. on April 25.

The pick-up/drop-off site is still TBA, but plan on visiting the following religious sites throughout Preston Hollow: Temple Emanu-el, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, St. Monica Catholic Church, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, and Fifth Church of Christian Science.

Tickets are $30 for members of the Dallas Historical Society and $40 for non-members. Reserve your spot on the tour online here. For more information, call the Dallas Historical Society at 214.421.4500 or shoot them an email.