Category: Philanthropy

Make Sure the Lost Boys Have a Happy Birthday

Here are some of the birthday boys who will be celebrating Jan. 6.

You won’t want to lose your invitation to the eighth annual Birthday Party for the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Friends of the Lost Boys, a local nonprofit that provides outreach and financial support to the refugees, is collecting new or gently used items between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5 for the celebration, and they need help. 


Bushes React to Death of Ruth Altshuler

Ruth Altshuler

UPDATE: A live webcast of a memorial service Thursday to honor renowned civic and philanthropic leader Ruth Altshuler will be available at smu.edu/live

Ruth Altshuler, a Dallas icon of leadership and philanthropy, died Friday at age 93.

News of her death drew reaction from the likes of the Bushes, Troy Aikman, and former Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who tweeted, “Our prayers are with her.”

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush issued a statement on Saturday.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of our dear friend, Ruth Altshuler,” they said. “Dallas has lost an outstanding civic leader in Ruth. Ruth taught us the lessons of philanthropy, service, and friendship. She was charming, humble, talented, generous, and funny. We loved being with her, and we will miss her.”


Esteemed chefs prepare unique dishes at Symphony of Chefs fundraiser

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Jane McGarry, left, tries a bite from Top Chef Finalist Tiffany Derry's menu.

The 7th annual Symphony of Chefs benefiting KidLinks was held on Feb. 27 at the newly renovated and renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station.

The culinary evening was led by Honorary Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock, Event Co-Chairs Georgia and Marc Lyons and Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Honorary Chef Chair Salvatore Gisellu with Urban Family Restaurants.

Funds raised from the event will support KidLinks’ efforts to provide healing experiences for the special needs of children through the therapeutic power of music – a unique mission that seeks to enrich the lives of children everywhere through songs of health, healing and happiness.

The night began with an hors d’oeuvres reception featuring Rising Star Chefs Jan Loov of Texas Spice, Benjamin Maulsby of Happiest Hour and Juan Orocio of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery. DSQ Electric provided a live musical performance from the balcony in the Stationmasters Lounge lending a romantic flavor to the start of the night.

Guests then entered the ballroom for a seated four-course dinner prepared tableside by featured chefs with differing menus.

Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Each course was paired with wine selected by winemaker Willem Johnson of 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery and a specialty cocktail using Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege cognac crafted by Joshua Hendrix, Hennessy Brand Mixologist. DSQ Electric played everything from classical music to pop throughout the dinner.

Good Morning Texas Co-Host Jane McGarry served as emcee for the evening and even got in on the action when she joined Tim Willett on stage for the culinary experiences live auction.

Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Their job was made easier after guests viewed a video called “Griffin’s Song”, bringing KidLinks’ work to life through the eyes of one young patient.

The evening concluded with a dessert reception by Pastry Chefs Dunia Borga of LaDuni Baking Studio, Tina Miller of Proper Baking Company and Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin of Haute Sweets Patisserie.

The event was made possible in part by Presenting Sponsors Mason and Allen Custard, Emily and Bruce Robson and Kaari and James Wiklund.


The complete list of chefs included:

HORS D’OUEVRES RECEPTION – RISING STAR CHEFS
Jan Loov, Texas Spice
Benjamin Maulsby, Happiest Hour
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery

COURSED DINNER – FEATURED CHEFS
Kevin Ashade, Celebrity Chef
Andrew Bell, Saint Ann’s
Justin Box, The Cedars Social
Richard Chamberlain, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Robert James Clifford, Nick & Sam’s
Tiffany Derry, The Cupboard by Tiffany Derry
Fitzgerald Dodd, Celebrity Chef
Francesco Farris, Zio Cecio
Salvatore Gisellu, Urban Family Restaurants
Gorji, Canary by Gorji
Joshua Troy Harmon, Kitchen LTO
Josh Healy, Filament
Chad Houser, Café Momentum
Nick Hurry, Proof+Pantry
Uno Immanivong, Chino Chinatown
John Kleifgen, Nick & Sam’s Park Cities
Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Ken Patrick, Celebrity Chef
Jared Robinette, Le Bilboquet
Jeramie Robison, Uchi Dallas
Steven Torbron, Asador
Jacob Williamson, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck
Yutaka Yamato, Yutaka Sushi Bistro

DESSERT RECEPTION – PASTRY CHEFS
Duni Borga, LaDuni Latin Cafe
Tina Miller, Proper Baking Company
Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin, Haute Sweets Patisserie


ABOUT KIDLINKS
For decades, KidLinks has provided healing experiences for the special needs of children through performing arts and media. The support of donors has enabled KidLinks’ musicians to perform in hospitals and special care centers across the country, funded university-level music therapy training and provided free/low cost treatment programs for children in need. Through therapeutic music entertainment and clinical music therapy programming, KidLinks reaches children of any ability level.

Funds raised go directly to the creation of content for the Hugworks Children’s Network (HCN) – content that can improve the daily experiences of children when they need it most as well as provide educational resources for the adults who care for them.


Happy Kitchen Cooks Up More than Healthy Meals

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Every year as fall and spring roll around, 15 women meet at Wesley-Rankin Community Center for a cooking class where they learn how to create healthy meals.

The West Dallas cooking classes at Happy Kitchen empower women by giving them confidence in the kitchen. (Photo courtesy GROW North Texas)

The West Dallas cooking classes at Happy Kitchen empower women by giving them confidence in the kitchen. (Photo courtesy GROW North Texas)

At the end of each class, the women take home several ingredients so they can recreate those same recipes with their families. Though the ingredients change with each class, one ingredient in particular remains a staple of the cooking course: newfound confidence in the kitchen.

La Cocina Alegre (Happy Kitchen) provides West Dallas women a hands-on culinary and nutritional education that they otherwise may not have had access to. Many face socioeconomic challenges when trying to feed their families a nutritious meal. However, the curriculum at La Cocina Alegre is proving that eating healthy doesn’t have to cost more.

The classes are provided by GROW North Texas, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting North Texans with local and sustainable resources that inspire a healthy lifestyle. While Happy Kitchen and its curriculum stemmed from the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, members of GROW North Texas quickly discovered that certain pockets of the Dallas community could also benefit from community cooking classes.


“Mystery Friend” Surprises Salesmanship Club with Anonymous Donation

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Senior Director of Finance Patty Pickard (left) and Senior Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships Jessica Slie Trudeau held back tears while reading the letter from an anonymous donor. (Photo courtesy of Momentous Institute)

Two anonymous guests wearing Santa hats surprised the Salesmanship Club of Dallas at their offices in Oak Cliff on Dec. 19 with a check for $10,000 from a “Mystery Friend.”

In the letter attached, the donor wrote, “You should know this gift was made possible by your friends at Educational FirstSteps.”

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The donor had asked personnel at EFS, a nonprofit that works with daycares in at-risk neighborhoods, to name of a local agency whose work they admired, and they selected the Momentous Institute, the lab school founded by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. 


Crystal Charity Ball Committee Continues Mission to Serve Area Children

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2016 Crystal Charity leaders: Ola Fojtasek, Silent Auction Chairman; Kristina Whitcomb, Children’s Book Chairman; Susan Farris, Foundations Chairman; Claire Emanuelson, Underwriting Chairman; Christie Carter, Ball Chairman; and Elizabeth Gambrell, Special Gifts Chairman. Courtesy of Crystal Charity Ball.

The annual Crystal Charity Ball returns Dec. 3 at the Hilton Anatole and its fundraising legacy is getting bigger than ever.

“We didn’t raise near the amount back then that we do now,” 2016 ball chair Christie Carter said. “It’s grown so much over the years.”

Donors have contributed more than $130 million since the ball’s inception in 1952. This year’s total sum of $5,650,258 will be split among seven local children’s charities.

This year’s beneficiaries include Captain Hope’s Kids/Hope Supply Co., Community Partners of Dallas, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Notre Dame School of Dallas, Parkland Foundation, Teach For America, and The Family Place.