Category: Philanthropy

Elizabeth Toon Charities Celebrate 10 Years

Justin Toon, Mary Margaret Toon, Wade Bowen, Phil Pritchett, Patti Toon, Larry Toon, Laura Toon Brooks, and Taylor Brooks celebrate the success of the 2015 ETC Concert and Shootout. (Courtesy photo)

Don't forget to add the 10th annual Elizabeth Toon Charities Concert and Shootout to your probably already full April calendar. The concert starts at 7 p.m. on April 28 at Gilley's Dallas. Tyler Dial will open for a surprise headliner. The shootout will be the next day at the Dallas Gun Club.

At the concert there will be plenty of live auction and raffle items to bid on and mystery Kendra Scott boxes to purchase for $100. The boxes will contain mystery jewelry and gift cards.

Toon was a 2002 Highland Park High School grad who was killed in 2006 by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles. Her parents, Larry and Patti, founded the nonprofit the following year to support organizations that comfort and aid to those impacted by abuse, grief, poverty, disabilities, and terminal illnesses.

Sewing Together a Community

Through the Charitable Sewing For Others Initiative, each of the women that Gina Gary has taught how to sew has earned her own sewing machine to take home. (Photo: Courtesy)

Holding an armful of colorful textiles, Highland Park resident Gina Gary enters the Vickery Meadow Food Pantry. More women quickly follow. Arriving in pairs and trios, they begin to set up their work and select fabrics. A mechanical hum fills the room.

Gary thought her skills as a seamstress would lead to a job. Instead, they led to Sew Sincerely, a group of women that meets twice a month to learn how to sew.

She got the idea when her friend Terri Heard invited her to a sewing event through Park Cities Baptist Church in January 2015. Gary, who had been collecting sewing machines at garage sales over the years, showed up with enough for everyone there.

When she met women who wanted to learn how to sew, Gary saw a chance to give back instead of a job opportunity.

“There are people around the world who live in poverty,” she says. “Then you realize it’s actually at your back door. We’re so close to it. I don’t think people realize that about the Vickery area.”

Save-the-date: Pot of Gold Luncheon


Leigh Anne Tuhoy (Courtesy Rainbow Days)

Leigh Anne Tuohy (Courtesy Rainbow Days)

You can hear author Leigh Anne Tuohy at the 19th annual Pot of Gold Luncheon, benefiting Rainbow Days, at noon on April 15 at the Omni Dallas.

Rainbow Days is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing at-risk children and youth a community to break negative cycles through support groups, teaching coping skills, and fostering positive experiences and environments. Last year, the luncheon raised over $250,000 through tickets, auctions, and donations and helped about 11,000 families and children facing adversity.

Tuohy is the author of Turn Around: Reach Out, Give Back, and Get Moving and The Blind Side, which inspired the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Her most recent book, Turn Around, challenges readers to re-think how they can give and live in their own communities.

Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased at Rainbow Days, Inc.

Partners Card Co-Chairs Announced

Elizabeth Dacus, Samantha Wortley, and Jane Rozelle (Photo: Courtesy)

The Family Place has announced that Elizabeth Dacus, Jane Rozelle, and Samantha Wortley will be the 2016 co-chairs of Partners Card, its annual shopping fundraiser presented by Bank of Texas.

Partners Card, now in its 24th year, will run from October 28 through November 6. Cards will go on sale September 1.

With the purchase of a $70 Partners Card, cardholders are invited to shop, dine and save with a twenty-percent discount at more than 750 participating retailers and restaurants throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. All proceeds from the card sales go to The Family Place, Dallas' largest family violence agency.

Reconciling Lives One at a Time

Reconciliation Outreach has residential treatment programs, summer camps, after-school programs, job training, and transitional housing. (Courtesy Photo)

Bryn May was stuck. She was stuck in a manipulative relationship, and a cycle of drugs and despair.

“I got introduced into another world than anything that I had ever before,” May said. “My life really just started falling apart. I started pulling away from my family, isolating myself, and I was just very broken.”

The Dallas native’s parents knew about Reconciliation Outreach — the ministry-based nonprofit that works with both adults and children to nourish the body and soul — because its CEO, Tim Chapman, was a family friend. They knew that’s what she needed.

Crum Celebrates 10 Years of Fashion For a Cause

Yvonne Crum (Photo: Paul Golangco)

Dallas philanthropist Yvonne Crum is prepped to chair the tenth annual Fashion Stars For a Cause gala on March 25 after successful warm-up pre-party fashion show at the Galleria on Feb. 24.

The longtime chair is the founder of Fashion Stars For a Cause, which benefits the the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. This nonprofit organization is focused on suicide awareness, prevention, and education.

The Ambassadors serving as this year’s Fashion Stars include: Sherice Lynette Brown, Francis Harrison Brito, Laura Fedock, Laurie Graham, Gina Marx, Kristy J. Morgan, Shelley Herrera-O’Neal, Shayema Rahim, Whitney Roberts-Kutch, Bridget Sommerlatte, Carmen Sargent, and Amanda Ward.

Steve Kemble and Holly Quartaro, Galleria Dallas’ official fashion stylist, were the emcees.

Retailers included Belk, Karen Millen, Macy’s, Banana Republic and BCBG MAXAZRIA.

Lady Scots Honor Wish of Captain’s Sister

The Lady Scots soccer team rallied around captain Maddi Thayer and raised money for Children's Health this February. Thayer's sister has been in and out of Children's for the past two years. (Courtesy photo)

When Hyer Elementary School student Abigayl Thayer started feeling severe abdominal and joint pain in 2014, her parents started searching for a diagnosis. They took her to three different hospitals before taking her to Children's Health, where 11 different specialty teams got on the case.

"She spent a month at Children's and has returned three times since the initial stay. Children's has been amazing in their effort to give a definitive diagnosis and treatment. [We] believe it to be an autoimmune disease," her mom, Laine Thayer said in an email. "Abigayl has wanted to give back to Children's so that they can continue to be energized in helping their patients. She has wanted the children to know that they are not alone and to have courage."

Older sister, Maddi, and her Lady Scots soccer teammates have rallied to honor Abigayl's wish and raised $5,050 for Children's through the team's annual fundraiser. Chip's Old Fashioned Hamburgers partnered with the team and donated 20 percent of profits from Feb. 25.

"We have so many friends and family in this community that have supported us in every way," Laine said. "The HP Lady Scot soccer team choosing to support us as well as Children's is an example of true goodness in service.  Maddi's teammates and coaches have walked this journey with her."

Emerald Ball to Celebrate Texas-Ireland Ties


The American Ireland Fund will host its 4th Annual Texas Emerald Ball this Saturday, March 5 at the Fairmont Hotel. The ball has quickly become a valuable tradition, celebrating the many connections between Texas and Ireland. The evening honors philanthropists and provides outstanding entertainment from both cultures.

This year, performances will feature Sephira, an Irish duo; Madison McWilliams, an upcoming Texas star; and Dallas' own Emerald City's Party Machine Band. Irish fashion designer Jacqueline Quinn will launch her couture collection, and Texas artist Gail Wendorf will present paintings from her collection.

The event will honor Amanda and Brint Ryan, two Texan philanthropists who have supported Irish and other international charities, as well as Caroline Rose Hunt and Vivian Young, who have worked to preserve Irish history as honorary co-chairs of the Dallas Irish Georgian Society.

Through the American Ireland Fund, this fundraiser supports organizations across Ireland and around the globe, and also contributes to local Dallas charities. These include Our Friends Place; Pauline's Place, named for an Irish nun who settled in Texas and devoted her life to assisting young girls and women in crises; Ground Zero Project's North Texas tour; and First Presbyterian Church of Dallas' Youth Leadership mission to Northern Ireland.

The evening sparkles as it celebrates the crucial ties between Texas and Ireland. Citing the opening of an Irish Consulate in Austin, Texas in 2014, Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds stated, "The Lone Star State really delivers for Ireland economically and, through the Emerald Ball, philanthropically."

Cinderellas Can Donate Gowns at UP Library


Before Highland Park teens don their tuxes and glistening gowns on May 7 for their prom, they can drop off gently used or new dresses (and shoes and accessories) at the University Park Public Library to donate to a "Fairy Tale Closet."

The drive is being run by the City of UP's Youth Advisory Commission in conjunction with the Dallas Public Library system to serve low-income teens. In the past two years, the Dallas Public Library has helped hundreds of girls from South Dallas and Pleasant Grove high schools to glitter and shine on their prom nights.

The groups ask that gowns of all sizes be clean and on hangers. You can drop them off tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.