Archive for October 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

by Joy Donovan on October 30, 2011

Good golly, it’s Halloween.

I’m so happy that fall weather is here. Happy that it’s football season. Happy the leaves are turning. But you know what else this all means?

It’s eating season.

Yes, today and tonight it’s candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner followed by popcorn balls and a spiced-cider chaser. And now it’s just a hop, skip and a jump until it’s 2012, and from now until then, we eat.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, egg nog, Grandma’s fudge, the kitchen wallpaper. Put it on a tray, play a little background music, and we’ll call anything a party. Reason fairly waltzes out the door.

So what did I do in anticipation of this impending eat-a-thon? I practiced. This weekend, as I was reading one in a series of Sweet Potato Queens books written by Jill Connor Browne ( ), I tried one of her many decadent recipes. These recipes, always found in the back of the book, are sure to clog your arteries and pop your buttons.

So, I’m happy to report that “Little Larva’s Homicidal Maniac and Cheese”  from American Thighs was on our training table. A couple of pounds of macaroni, a ton of cheese (give or take), a whallop of sour cream–plus bacon–and we are off and running. Yum and yum.

At Thanksgiving, I’ve already got a list going for what I can say I’m truly fortunate to own. I know I can say I’m thankful for elastic waistbands.

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Diane and Hal Brierley Named Top Philanthropists

by Joy Donovan on

Hal and Diane Brierley

DALLAS _ The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals, with presenting sponsor KERA, will honor seven recipients at the 26h Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Nov. 18 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The awards luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will be emceed by long-time supporter Scott Murray in the hotel’s Landmark Ballroom.  Luncheon chair is Tanya Downing, and co-chair is Abi Erickson.

Award recipients are: 

  • Diane and Hal Brierley, Outstanding Philanthropists.  The couple has focused on the arts (AT&T Performing Arts Center, Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet School, The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Association, Dallas Theater Center, Shakespeare Dallas TACA), animals (the Dallas Zoo and the SPCA), healthcare (American Cancer Society, Baylor Medical Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center), education (Harvard, Regis College, the University of Maryland), as well as promoting North Texas (Super Bowl XLV).  The Brierleys donated $8 million for the construction of the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  Their recent gift to the Dallas Zoological Society of $1.5 million is the largest single gift the couple has given to any charitable organization outside of the performing arts.  Named in their honor are the Resident Acting Company at the Dallas Theater Center; the Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research at UT Southwestern; and the Principal Trumpet Chair at Dallas Symphony.
  •  The Rees-Jones Foundation, Outstanding Foundation. Founded in 2006 by Trevor Rees-Jones and his wife Jan, the foundation focuses on projects affecting community development, youth, education, human services, and medical and mental health.  In its first years of operation, The Rees-Jones Foundation averaged $35 million in annual giving.  Its largest gifts to date, each in the aggregate amount of $25 million have been for construction of the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the construction of a new Parkland Hospital, and the support of Circle Ten Boy Scouts and its Scout Reach program. It has also been a major contributor to the SPCA of Texas and Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, among many others. 
  • ExxonMobil, Outstanding Corporation. The petroleum and petrochemical company supplies energy needed around the world. In 2010, Exxon Mobil Corporation, together with its employees and retirees, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $237 million in contributions worldwide.  In 2010 in North Texas alone, more than $6 million and 21,000 employee volunteer hours were donated to local nonprofits and area universities.
  • Fredye Factor, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. Factor has organized volunteers for more than 20 years, planning and supervising more than 25 fundraising events.  She has been involved with numerous civic groups including  the Crystal Charity Ball, the Texas Medical Association Foundation, Ronald McDonald House,  the Alzheimer’s Association, The Science Place and St. Phillip’s School and Community Center.  She is past president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League and is currently co-chairing the Baylor Foundation’s “Celebrating Women” Luncheon.  Factor was
  • Deborah Montonen, Outstanding Fundraising Executive. She has spent the last 30 years in the philanthropic world both funding and fundraising, with a primary focus in social service and health care organizations, including six years at KERA.  She presently serves as chief development officer for LaunchAbility, formerly Special Care and Career Services.  She has been active with the Junior League of Dallas and London, the Ballet Folklorico Board of Directors and the YMCA Urban Services Board of Management.
  •  Nicholas Cobb, Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. Cobb, 15 and a sophomore at Allen High School, started a nonprofit called Comfort and Joy when he was 12 to help the homeless.  His passion to help began at age four when he saw homeless people living under a bridge.  Through the years he has participated in numerous projects,  and for his Eagle Scout project in 2009, he set a goal to provide new winter coats for Samaritan Inn residents, raising $3,400 and buying 129 coats.  Comfort and Joy was named one of 13 recipients of USA Weekend Magazine’s Make a Difference Day, and Cobb was awarded a $10,000 prize in Washington, D.C. in 2011, funded by the Paul Newman Foundation.   
  • Becky Sykes, Special Recognition Award. Sykes is only the third person to receive this award in the 26-year history of the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in Dallas.  Sykes, the founder and immediate past president and CEO of the Dallas Women’s Foundation – now the second largest women’s fund of the 170 funds in the world – will be honored for her leadership in philanthropy and the impact she has had on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector in our community.  Dallas Women’s Foundation is a public foundation that strengthens the community by increasing the investment in women and girls and empowering women’s philanthropy.  Throughout her career, Sykes has been active in public policy, nonprofit management,strategic planning and fundraising.   

 The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1981, and this year the luncheon is expected to draw  more than700.   National Philanthropy Day celebrates the great contributions philanthropy, and those who work in the philanthropic process, make to our community.   

Luncheon tickets cost $85 each, $850 for a table of 10, or $1,250 for a premium table of 10.   For further information on tickets and sponsorships, visit or contact Madeleine Crouch at 972-233-9107, ext. 204,

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Arts League Honor Shining Stars

by Joy Donovan on

Suzie Humphreys

Humorist Suzie Humphreys, best known for her years as an on-air personality with KVIL Radio, headlined the 2011 Shining Stars Awards Luncheon recently at the Hurst Conference Center.

The annual event, sponsored by The Arts League, benefits the Arts Council Northeast. Each year local organizations honor outstanding members as their “shining stars.”

Those recognized this year were:

  • Linda Pavona, Altrusa International Inc. of DFW
  • Margie Poole, American Association of University Women–Northeast Tarrant County Branch
  •  Rebecca Barksdale, Arts Council Northeast
  • Wanda Thompson, Battered Women’s Foundation
  • Sue Parent, Christmas is for Children
  • Debbie Snyder, Circle of Friends
  • Lynn Stillman, Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Jean Neisius, Colleyville Public Library Foundation
  • Paula McCollough, Colleyville Woman’s Club
  • Donna Wilbanks, Community Enrichment Center
  • Olivia Pace, Community Storehouse
  • Kim Harrison, Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation
  • Linda Pekowski, GRACE
  • Patty Recca, Greater Keller Women’s Club
  • Gretchen Carter, Greater Southlake Women’s Society
  • Linda Huggins, Hurst-Euless-Bedford Chamber of Commerce
  • Pam Conley, HEBISD Education Foundation
  • Dottie Nicholson, I Can Still Shine
  • Diana Behrens, Metroport Meals on Wheels
  • Cindy Flint, Mid Cities Fine Artists
  • Patty Shaw, Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven of Tarrant County
  • Marlene Turner, North Texas SNAP
  • Diane Johnson, Rocky Top Therapy Center
  • Monica Mainard, Southlake Women’s Club
  • Diana Panther, Summer Santa
  • Sharon Mayes, The Arts League
  • Nancy Doyle, Northeast Tarrant Chamber of Commerce
  • Barbara Hentzen, Trinity Arts Guild

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5th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes

by Joy Donovan on October 24, 2011

Date: 2011-11-05

Location: Grapevine

Start Time: 4:00 pm
End Time: 7:00 pm

URL: Click here
Description: Some of Grapevine\’s historic homes open to the public. $10.

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23rd Annual Harvest Moon Festival

by Joy Donovan on October 20, 2011

Start Date: 2011-10-22

Location: Granbury Town Square

End Date: 2011-10-23

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Hope Dinner and Auction

by Joy Donovan on October 19, 2011

Date: 2012-03-31

Location: Hilton Town Square, Southlake

URL: Click here
Description: Benefit for Community Storehouse.

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6th Annual Celebrity Chefs Event

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2012-01-15

Location: Hilton Town Square, Southlake

Start Time: 6:30 pm
URL: Click here
Description: Benefits SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

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Christmas from the Heart

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2011-12-04

Location: Trophy Club

Start Time: 4:30 pm
End Time: 7:00 pm

URL: Click here
Description: Holiday home tour.

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2nd Annual Shop-o-rama Bazaar

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2011-11-20

Location: Hilton Town Square, Southlake

Description: Benefit for Christ\’s Haven for Children.

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Festival of Trees Tinsel Gala

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2011-11-18

Location: Hilton Town Square, Southlake

Description: Gala with auction, wine pull, dining and dancing.

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