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Joel Durbin

Seasoned nonprofit veteran Joel Durbin recently joined The Concilio as the Chief Impact Officer responsible for the organization’s programming. Durbin comes to The Concilio with more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector, specifically in education and youth development. He will oversee the organization’s culturally responsive parent engagement programs, as well as the organization’s work advocating for Latino families in the North Texas community.

Most recently, Durbin served as chief program officer at Equal Heart. He has also worked as chief operating officer at Education is Freedom and Trinity River Mission (TRM), as well as director of education impact at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, managing its Destination: Graduation program and other education initiatives. At Camp Fire USA Lone Star Council, Durbin served as director of program services and interim executive director, and he worked as a consultant for Dallas Independent School District’s afterschool enrichment program. A Dallas native, Durbin is a graduate of The University of North Texas. He has served on the board of the Mayor’s Star Council and was part of the second Class of 2013-14.

Florencia Velasco Fortner, The Concilio president and CEO, said, “With Joel’s background in education and program development, he is the perfect fit for this newly created position. Joel will help The Concilio respond to the needs in our community, collaborate with Latino families, and scale our impact across North Texas.”

The Concilio is a North Texas nonprofit that has helped Latino and other diverse families unlock their potential since 1981. The organization’s culturally responsive parent engagement programs have empowered families in 24 regional school districts, equipping 11,000 families annually to forge a path to greater academic achievement, health and fulfilled potential. A recognized leader in connecting with and advocating for North Texas Latino families, The Concilio has recently led efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 on the Hispanic community and has reached more than 76,000 Dallas County residents with information about the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census.

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Census Walk Gloria F., Alex R., Zoey B., Rose P.

While most high school students are too young to complete a household census themselves, they know that a complete census count has a strong impact on their futures, too.

As the October 31st deadline for self-reporting approaches, a group of about 50 civic-minded teenagers, led by the nonprofit organization The Concilio, partnered with Dallas County Counts to block walk on October 3rd. The teenagers fanned out across Pleasant Grove, Bachman Lake and Northeast Dallas, where self-reporting numbers remain behind local and national averages. Over the course of three hours, they knocked on more than 500 doors to spread the message about the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census.

Florencia Velasco Fortner, The Concilio president and CEO, said, “We want to make sure everyone counts, particularly in these underrepresented neighborhoods. The Census numbers determine funding for schools, roads, hospitals and services as well as congressional representation for Texans to thrive for the next decade.”

For those needing to fill out the Census, go online at https://my2020census.gov/ or over the phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.

ABOUT DALLAS COUNTS:

Dallas County Counts is Dallas County’s effort to ensure a complete and accurate count in our region. Responses to the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire will allocate funding for everything from schools, hospitals and roads to emergency response and disaster relief. For every person that is undercounted during the 2020 Census, each city in Dallas County could potentially lose more than $15,000 in federal funding per person during a 10-year timeframe. Even a 1% undercount in Dallas County, given its current population, would result in a loss of more than $40 million a year in federal funding.

ABOUT THE CONCILIO:

The Concilio, a nonprofit that helps parents unlock the potential in their children and communities, has been serving Latino and other diverse North Texas communities in a culturally relevant way since 1981. The organization is a Census outreach partner of Dallas County Counts, Dallas County’s effort to ensure a complete and accurate count in our region. The event is part of a larger campaign by The Concilio that also includes outreach at area food distributions and apartment complexes, as well by social media, text and phone to some of the hardest-to-count areas. More information can be found at https://www.theconcilio.org/

 

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The Kessler School Eliza Solender of Solender/Hall; Vanessa Ullmann, Head of School for The Kessler School; Cooper Koch, The Kessler School board chairman

The Kessler School, a pre-K through 8th grade private school in North Oak Cliff, has completed the purchase of its new campus, located at 1822 W. 10th Street in Dallas, formerly the long-time home of Calvary Baptist Church of Oak Cliff. Located in the Sunset Hill neighborhood of Oak Cliff, the new campus totals more than 60,000 square feet across two acres. The Kessler School currently leases approximately 12,000 square feet at the nearby Kessler Park United Methodist Church.

Eliza Solender of Solender/Hall, represented The Kessler School. The seller was represented by Roosevelt Broach of Church Realty, Inc., which specializes in churches and schools.

With an eye for finding unique spaces and repurposing churches, stores and warehouses for schools and nonprofits, Solender/Hall worked closely with the school to find its new campus. “The Kessler School had to be in a specific geographic area, needed more space—both indoors and outdoors—to be able to increase enrollment and expand programs. When we walked into this historic church, we knew it was the perfect place.”

The Kessler School plans restoration of the original neoclassical architecture, updates to interior spaces to better allow for personalized education and technology, repurposing the current sanctuary into a gymnasium/multi-use performance space and the addition of sports fields, playgrounds and other landscaped outdoor spaces. The school expects to begin operating at the new campus in Fall 2021.

“This new location paves the way for The Kessler School’s continued growth and supports our mission to provide high-quality, personalized education in Oak Cliff,” said Vanessa Ullmann, Head of School. “The increased square footage - more than five times what we have now - will also allow us to add more students and expand our programming significantly for future generations of TKS Owls.”

“The response we’ve received from our new neighbors in the Sunset Hill neighborhood, as well as those who have been concerned about the future of the structures themselves, has been overwhelmingly positive. We look forward to reactivating these gorgeous old buildings while continuing to grow The Kessler School as an asset and contributor to North Oak Cliff’s success,” said Cooper Koch, President of the school’s Board of Trustees.

The sanctuary was built in 1924, followed by the addition of an educational annex in 1953. In the 1960s, the sanctuary was “modernized” with the addition of a brise soleil facade to cover the neoclassical columns.

BancorpSouth and The Real Estate Council Community Fund financed the project as the school ramps up its Capital Campaign to bring the full potential of the new campus to fruition.

Since 1991, Solender/Hall has been assisting nonprofit organizations buy, sell and lease commercial real estate in the North Texas area. The firm has been highly successful in finding unique spaces, often repurposing banks, stores, warehouses, bowling alleys and churches into new nonprofit locations. Find out more at www.solenderhall.com or by calling 214.265.8200.

 

 

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Teresa Lenling, CEO of Hope Cottage photo credit: Simon Luna

Hope Cottage, a nonprofit that fosters nurturing homes for North Texas children through adoption, foster care, education and parent support, has named Teresa Lenling as its new CEO, effective immediately. A proven nonprofit leader experienced in strategic management, community engagement and program design, she most recently served as vice president of school and community engagement at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

“We believe Teresa is the ideal leader to help Hope Cottage continue building on its strong, 102-year foundation of adoption services through our expanding work in foster care, new parent support and teen education,” said Kerry Fitzgerald, chair of the Hope Cottage board of directors. “As we embark on a new strategic plan this year, she has the right mix of expertise and community connections to increase the impact and visibility of our work, ensuring children grow up in the best environments possible.”

Lenling’s experience designing and advancing education programs to reach the Perot Museum’s diverse regional audiences aligns with Hope Cottage’s work educating and supporting current and potential parents across North Texas, from young birth mothers and teens at risk for pregnancy, to those looking to foster children or grow their families through adoption.

“Every parent is on a continual learning journey on how to best nurture their child,” said Lenling. “I can think of no mission more worthy, no challenge I am more honored to take on, than helping parents of all backgrounds be educated and prepared to give children safe, loving homes that help them grow and thrive.”

At the Perot Museum, Lenling crafted the vision and operations for the museum’s education programs when it opened its new downtown Dallas location in 2012. In addition, she designed the museum’s new TECH (Tinker, Engineer, Create, Hack) Truck mobile maker initiative, launching a comprehensive outreach and engagement strategy that broke down barriers and engaged communities that do not typically visit a science museum. These and other program initiatives, such as a STEM Teacher Institute and offsite school programs, grew in part due to her collaborative work with key community organizations and leaders, as well as her contributions to sponsorship and philanthropic strategy.

Prior to her work at the Perot Museum, Lenling was the director of public engagement at the Science Center of Iowa. She is currently completing her MBA this year through Baylor University and holds bachelor of science degrees in both psychology and biology from the University of South Dakota. She has served on the Deans Advisory Council for the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at University of Texas Dallas, the STEM Advisory Committee for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and the sySTEMS Club Board for Parish Episcopal School.

Lenling succeeds Brooks Quinlan, who served as Hope Cottage CEO since 2017 and is taking a personal sabbatical to travel across North America.

Hope Cottage is a nonprofit organization that nurtures and builds families through education, parent support, foster care and adoption services. Founded in 1918, the organization is the oldest non-sectarian, nonprofit adoption center in Dallas. The organization has expanded its services to include other programming that ensures all children grow up in safe, nurturing homes, including licensing and placing children with foster families, providing one-on-one support to young mothers and bringing preventative, healthy relationship education to teens in schools. In 2019, Hope Cottage merged with Dallas-based Alley’s House and adopted its program helping pregnant and parenting young mothers achieve academic, workplace and childrearing success. For more information about Hope Cottage, visit www.hopecottage.org, or connect on Facebook @HopeCottage or Instagram @Hope_Cottage.

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Thousands of North Texas families have not responded to the U.S. Census, so the nonprofit organization The Concilio continued its Census outreach through block-walking last night with 20 volunteers and staff in Bachman Lake, currently the most undercounted neighborhood in the city of Dallas. With the recent news of data collection ending a month early, The Concilio is doubling efforts to get the area counted. To date, the organization has reached almost 42,000 households in Dallas County through outreach with its families, phone banks and block-walking. Last night’s efforts reached nearly 240 households. 

On Aug. 3, the Census Bureau issued a statement stating that it “will end field data collection by September 30, 2020…self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.”

Florencia Velasco Fortner, The Concilio president and CEO, said, “We want to encourage all families to be counted, especially as state numbers are tied to funding and representation for many of the programs, schools and services that benefit them.”

Self-Reporting Statistics as of 8/4/20:

Bachman Lake area response rates: 24.36%-29.98%

Dallas County Response Rate: 58.6%

Texas Self-Response: 57.9%

National Self-Response: 62.9%

Responses to the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire will allocate funding for everything from schools, hospitals and roads to emergency response and disaster relief. As of July 22, only 57.9% of Lone Star residents had completed their questionnaires, making Texas 39th among the 50 states. This low response rate endangers billions of dollars in future funding and the state’s representation in Congress.

Residents can self-respond to the Census online at https://my2020census.gov/ or over the phone in English by dialing 844-330-2020 or in Spanish at 844-468-2020.

About The Concilio: The Concilio, a nonprofit that helps parents unlock the potential in their children and communities, has been serving Latino and other diverse North Texas communities in a culturally relevant way since 1981. The event is part of a larger campaign by The Concilio that also includes census outreach at area food distributions and apartment complexes, as well by social media, text and phone to some of the hardest-to-count areas.

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Grant Halliburton Foundation Created by Grant Halliburton Foundation, the free Navigation Line is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The helpline assists individuals of all ages in finding the appropriate mental health and addiction resources, including Telehealth options. The Navigation Line will remain open during the pandemic. Spanish language assistance is also available.

With the country rolling out social distancing measures due the coronavirus (COVID-19), North Texans are facing a new reality that may prove to be stressful for some people. Fear and anxiety about the pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in children, teens and adults.

 

Cami Fields, LMSW, director of outreach and education at Dallas-based nonprofit Grant Halliburton Foundation, offers tips and resources for children, adolescents and adults coping with this challenging time during the shelter-in-place orders:

 

Tips for Coping (children and teenagers):

  • Take a break. Our society is inundated by information overload – the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated that. Find time in your day to put your phone down and stop consuming news and information about the virus. You need some time away from it to breathe.
  • Connect. It can be hard to nurture your relationships when you aren’t seeing your peers anymore. This is where the beauty of social media and the internet can be so wonderful! Check on your friends, have a virtual dinner date, chat about what shows you’ve been watching – don’t put your friendships on the backburner; you need each other now more than ever.
  • Find joy. During a time of so much uncertainty and stress, find small things that bring you joy. This could be going for a jog, painting, drawing, writing, singing, playing music, doing yoga, making videos, or anything else that you enjoy. These positive outlets cannot be underestimated; sometimes when you least “feel like” doing them, is when you need them the most!
  • Speak up. If you are overwhelmed and unsure of how to feel better or stop worrying, talk to a trusted adult about how you’re feeling. Oftentimes, expressing your emotions and talking about how you feel makes you feel better even when the situation or problem hasn’t changed. You don’t have to feel what you feel alone. 
  • Sleep. It can be hard to make your sleep a priority. There are countless distractions and barriers to getting good sleep, but it can be a huge factor in your mood, emotional stability, and positive thinking. Start a nighttime routine that you do every night to alert your body that you are about to go to sleep; this can include things like washing your face, drinking a glass of water, doing a 5-minute meditation, putting your phone away, or lowering the lights.

 

Tips for Coping (adults):

  • Create routines. So much is out of control and unpredictable right now. Strive for consistency and predictability where you can in your home.
  • Validate feelings. It is easy to try to make someone feel better by saying, “at least…” comments or trying to put a silver lining on things. Sometimes our kids need to be able to express themselves and be validated that what is going on is hard and it is okay to feel what they feel. 
  • Model healthy stress relief. Show your kids that even when times are hard, you can use positive activities to relieve your stress. Don’t try to hide your worry – be honest with them about how you are feeling but show them positive ways to manage it. More is caught than taught. 
  • Connect. During a time of social distancing and quarantine, it is more important than ever to nurture your connections and have a support system. Don’t underestimate the power of checking in on someone and letting them know you care.
  • Self-care. We all know that you must put on your own oxygen mask first before you can help someone else. Don’t expect yourself to do everything for everyone and neglect yourself. Take some “me time,” do something you enjoy, replenish your energy.

Additional North Texas Resources:

 

Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line 

972-525-8181
granthalliburton.org/navline

Created by Grant Halliburton Foundation, the free Navigation Line is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The helpline assists individuals of all ages in finding the appropriate mental health and addiction resources, including Telehealth options. The Navigation Line will remain open during the pandemic. Spanish language assistance is also available.

 

Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Pandemic Resources Page

granthalliburton.org/pandemicresources

This page includes other mental health websites, helplines, information about the virus and articles on how to cope. It will be updated as the pandemic continues.

 

Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Resources for Teens Page

granthalliburton.org/forteens

This page includes websites, podcasts, apps, and crisis lines that are all relevant and safe for teens.

 

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before his suicide death at the age of 19. The Foundation that bears his name works to help families and young people recognize the signs of mental illness through a variety of avenues including education, conferences, collaboration and encouragement. Grant Halliburton Foundation works to strengthen the network of mental health resources for children, teens and young adults; promote better mental health; and help prevent suicide. The Foundation provides mental health education, training and support to more than 49,000 students, educators, parents, and professionals annually. More information can be found at GrantHalliburton.org/.      

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The Ireland Funds Texas Emerald Ball David Cronin, The Ireland Funds America president and CEO Enda Kenny, Former Prime Minister of Ireland and The Ireland Funds Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chairman of the board and chief executive officer and The Ireland Funds’ 2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award honoree Eugene M. McQuade, The Ireland Funds America chairman Darina Padian, The Ireland Funds Texas director

From the moment guests arrived at The Adolphus Hotel on March 7 for The Ireland Funds Texas Emerald Ball, they were surrounded by all things Irish, including the décor, beverages, entertainment and honorees. The annual event raises funds for the support of hundreds of charities and causes across the island of Ireland and around the world. This year, at the request of honoree Gary Kelly, a portion of the funds raised also benefited Plano’s Emily’s Place.

Eugene M. McQuade, The Ireland Funds America chairman, welcomed special guests at the Chairman’s Reception, where they met Kelly, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines; also honored was Enda Kenny, former prime minister of Ireland.

When it was time for the dinner and program, a bagpiper played and led guests to the upstairs ballroom, which was exquisitely decorated for the occasion.

To continue the festive mood and excitement, the Maguire Academy of Irish Dance performed to much clapping and fanfare.

Darina Padian, The Ireland Funds Texas director, welcomed guests. “I want to thank and recognize our amazing Emerald Ball Sponsor, CFM International, Platinum Sponsor, GE Aviation and Southwest Airlines for their incredible commitment. Thank you also to our generous table hosts and other incredible sponsors who make this all possible. This Ball would not take place without the drive and commitment of our Emerald Ball Co-Chairs, Maureen Kelly Cooper and Kathryn Cassidy, and our committee, who have worked so hard to make this evening such a success.”

Padian introduced Eugene M. McQuade, The Ireland Funds America chairman. McQuade said, “Thanks to you and your partnership with The Ireland Funds, that generosity translates every day into tangible change for those who need it most. Whether it is strengthening peace in Northern Ireland, preserving cultural treasures, offering access to education for the next generation, or strengthening communities through grassroots initiatives, The Ireland Funds is there. Your involvement makes a profound difference 365 days a year and for that, we salute you.”

He added, “Our Texas chapter has been faithful in its support and  long term commitment to the work of The Ireland Funds. In particular, I want to thank our Texas-based donors and National Board Members Dolores McCall, Thomas Codd and Kevin Curley for their time, their commitment and their care.”

To bless the evening and the dinner, Rev. Bill Shaw, director of 174 Trust from Northern Ireland, a project supported by The Ireland Funds, gave the invocation. Guests dined on a delicious dinner of charred corn and poblano soup, grilled filet mignon with roasted garlic, au gratin potatoes, zucchini and heirloom carrots. The dessert trio included Texas whiskey cake, fresh fruit tart and flourless chocolate cake.

David Cronin, The Ireland Funds America president and CEO, then introduced Enda Kenny, former prime minister of Ireland. Cronin expressed his gratitude to Kenny who he praised for his leadership stating, “The measure of his leadership was extraordinary at that time. It was truly a Celtic comeback. We also appreciate his long-standing support of The Ireland Funds.”

Kenny told stories about being the prime minister and helping Ireland during highs and lows, including an increase in business and commerce. He thanked The Ireland Funds for its leadership, support and mission, which is to harness the power of a global philanthropic network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development across the island of Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.

Cronin, along with Padian and McQuade, presented Kenny with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable efforts over a period of one’s life. 

Next, auctioneer Morgon Hopson got the crowd excited about the live auction items, such as an Emerald Isle trip for two, a stay for 16 at the Dunkerron Manor Estate in Ireland, a Belize Adventure and a Santa Fe private home.

Thomas Codd, The Ireland Funds America board member, introduced Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines president, who then introduced Gary Kelly. Before Kelly came to the stage, Nealon talked about Southwest Airlines’ community service and showed a video highlighting Kelly’s philanthropic leadership.

Nealon and Kenny then presented Kelly with The Ireland Funds’ 2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award, which honors an individual who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to making a positive impact on the community through giving of time, talent and resources. Kelly, who is of Irish descent, said, “I am honored to receive this prestigious award. I am so proud to be a part of The Ireland Funds.” His personal and Southwest Airlines families were on hand to congratulate and celebrate with him.

To close the program, internationally known Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sang a few songs, closing with “God Bless America.” Guests enjoyed visiting afterwards, drinking Irish coffee and dancing to the Manhattan Dance Band’s lively popular music.

Special thanks to the following sponsors:

Texas Emerald Ball Sponsor: CFM International

Platinum Sponsor: GE Aviation

Gold Plus Sponsor: PwC

Gold Sponsor: Southwest Airlines, Shelly and Thomas W. Codd, Dolores L. McCall

Silver Sponsor: Airlines for America, Altair Global, Boeing, Kevin M. Curley/Curley Financial Group, LLC, Cushman & Wakefield, Fidelity Residential Solutions, GSD&M, H+K International

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. With chapters in 12 countries, The Ireland Funds has raised over $600 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,200 different organizations. For more information, visit www.irelandfunds.org.

For information on The Ireland Funds Texas, please contact Judy Curtis, Dallas Event Coordinator, at jcurtis@irelandfunds.org or 469-232-9601.

 

 

 

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Solender/Hall Eliza Solender, Solender/Hall president; Ellen Magnis, Family Gateway president and CEO; Dave Woodyard, Catholic Charities Dallas CEO

Family Gateway, which provides stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness, has increased its capacity to serve more North Texas families through the opening of the new Simmons Family Gateway Resource Center. The Center, located at 1421 W. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, 75247, is housed in space that Family Gateway leased from the building owner, Catholic Charities Dallas. Family Gateway’s 35-room Emergency Shelter in downtown Dallas, which also previously housed the organization’s offices, is now dedicated solely to shelter services. Family Gateway was represented in the transaction by Eliza Solender of Solender/Hall, who negotiated the deal with the two non-profits. The seven-year lease is for approximately 6,300 square feet of space. 

“As commercial real estate continues to increase in value, non-profit organizations are seeing more of their budget go toward rent and real estate related costs, thus they have to become ever more creative in how they fulfill their space requirements,” said Solender. “A transaction like this is so satisfying because it is a win-win for both organizations. We have an understanding landlord who recognizes the unique needs of a non-profit service provider and wants to find opportunities for collaboration. Both organizations will be able to focus more of their scarce resources on critical community services.”

“Simply put, given the high demand in our community, we were running out of room for families at the shelter,” said Ellen Magnis, president and CEO of Family Gateway.  “Now, with distinct spaces for shelter and operations, we can serve more families by adding beds to what was previously office space. We appreciate the financial support of the Harold Simmons Foundation and an anonymous donor who helped make this possible, and for Catholic Charities’ willingness to lease their surplus space as intended to a complementary non-profit. It was the perfect solution, and we look forward to working together to serve more families with our respective services.”

Dave Woodyard, CEO of Catholic Charities Dallas, said, “When we acquired the building in 2017, our intentions always included welcoming a few great non-profits to our campus. This lease provides Catholic Charities an additional income stream to help offset our operating expenses while providing Family Gateway with a below market lease. More importantly, it enables both organizations to serve more people and to provide additional complementary services. Family Gateway is a highly respected organization, and we couldn’t be happier to help them solve their space issue.”

The Simmons Family Gateway Resource Center houses the organization’s high-volume Assessment and Diversion practice, supportive housing case managers, administration, and a vocational/employment case manager. The space was created with trauma-informed design elements, and includes an oversized waiting area, private consultation rooms and a call center. Families with children experiencing or near homelessness will now be assessed at the new space and then triaged to the emergency shelter or to partner shelters as needed. As a result, four additional rooms have been added to its downtown shelter. 

ABOUT FAMILY GATEWAY: As the county-wide point of entry (access point) for families with children experiencing or near homelessness, Family Gateway believes in providing housing first and then using trauma-informed services to help break the cycle of poverty. The mission of Family Gateway is to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness. For more information, visit www.familygateway.org.  

ABOUT CATHOLIC CHARITIES DALLAS: Catholic Charities Dallas (CCD) educates, serves and empowers more than 50,000 clients in need annually across a nine-county region of North Texas, addressing the root causes of poverty and homelessness. A large multi-disciplinary agency, CCD provides services in hunger alleviation through boxed food pantries, client choice pantries and mobile community pantries; early childhood education; low-income elderly supports; permanent supportive housing for homeless elderly; immigration legal resources; pregnancy, parenting and adoption counseling; refugee resettlement; shelter and foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors; financial coaching and career development assistance; disaster preparedness and relief; community relations, advocacy and more. For more information, see www.ccdallas.org/.

ABOUT SOLENDER/HALL: Since 1991, Solender/Hall has been specializing in the representation nonprofit organizations in the North Texas area. Find out more at www.solenderhall.com or by calling 214.265.8200.

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Gary Kelly Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO, will receive the Philanthropic Leadership Award at The Ireland Funds’ Texas Emerald Ball.

The Ireland Funds has named Gary Kelly, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines, as the recipient of its 2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award. In addition, Enda Kenny, former prime minister of Ireland, was named the recipient of the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Both awards will be presented on Saturday, March 7th at the Texas Emerald Ball, which will be held at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas beginning with a reception at 6:30 p.m.   

 

The Philanthropic Leadership Award honors an individual who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to making a positive impact on the community through giving of time, talent and resources. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable efforts over a period of one’s life. 

 

This event raises funds for the support of hundreds of charities and causes across the island of Ireland and around the world. In addition, at Kelly’s request, a portion of the funds raised at this year’s Texas Emerald Ball will benefit Plano’s Emily’s Place, which works to break the cycle of violence faced by many women and their children.

 

The Ireland Funds’ Texas Director Darina Padian said, “We are privileged to recognize two such outstanding individuals in Gary Kelly and Enda Kenny. Gary’s accomplishments in the business world, and Enda’s in the political world, serve as shining examples of what can be accomplished when talented individuals work toward a higher calling in service to others. That they have also made a difference in the philanthropic world aligns well with The Ireland Funds’ aim to achieve ‘Progress through Philanthropy.’” 

 

Gary Kelly said, “Being of Irish descent, I am honored to receive this award from an organization whose mission is to support philanthropic and cultural initiatives in Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.”  

 

Maureen Kelly Cooper, executive director for Cushman & Wakefield, and Kathryn Cassidy, president and COO of Altair Global, are co-chairs for the Texas Emerald Ball.  Entertainment includes Ronan Tynan, an Irish tenor. After the program, guests are invited to stay for dancing with Manhattan Dance Band.

 

Special thanks to the following sponsors:

 

Texas Emerald Ball Sponsor: CFM International

 

Platinum Sponsor: GE Aviation

 

Gold Plus Sponsor: PwC

 

Gold Sponsor: Southwest Airlines, Shelly and Tom Codd, Dolores McCall/ McCall Oil and Gas

 

Silver Sponsor: Airlines for America, Altair Global, Boeing, Kevin Curley/Curley Financial Group, Cushman & Wakefield, GSD&M, H & K International

 

About The Ireland Funds:

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. With chapters in 12 countries, The Ireland Funds has raised over $600 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,200 different organizations. For more information, visit www.irelandfunds.org.

 

For event and sponsorship information for the March 7th event, please contact Judy Curtis, Dallas Event Coordinator, at jcurtis@irelandfunds.org or 469-232-9601.

About Gary Kelly:

Gary Kelly serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines. Under Gary’s leadership, Southwest has grown to become the nation’s largest airline in terms of originating domestic passengers carried and is a mainstay on Fortune magazine’s list of the most admired companies in the world, ranking 11th  in 2020.   

 

Gary is a 34-year Southwest veteran who began his career at Southwest Airlines as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. Gary assumed the roles of Chairman and President in 2008. In January 2017, Gary relinquished the title of President. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1986, Gary was a CPA for Arthur Young & Company in Dallas and Controller for Systems Center, Inc.

 

Southwest Airlines is celebrating 47 years of consecutive profitability—a record unmatched in the commercial aviation industry. Southwest ranked as the highest Low-Cost Carrier for Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Power North American Satisfaction Study for the third year in a row in 2019 and has been named as one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to work for the past ten consecutive years. For 24 of the last 28 years, the nation’s leading low-cost carrier has received the lowest ratio of Customer Complaints to the Department of Transportation (DOT), including the fewest number of DOT complaints in the last five years.

 

Gary’s biggest source of pride is the fact that Southwest Airlines has never had a single layoff in the airline’s 48-year history. Gary has pioneered the airline’s transformation through several major initiatives, including the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the launch of international destinations for the first time in Southwest’s history, the installment of a new reservation system, and the launch of service to Hawaii in 2019 —all while staying true to the Company’s core values and People-centric Culture.       

 

Gary has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including the 2020 Philanthropic Leadership Award by the Ireland Funds; the 2017 Wings Club Distinguished Achievement Award; he is a 2017 Junior Achievement Dallas Business Hall of Fame Laureate inductee; 2016 inductee into the Texas Business Hall of Fame; and he is the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Tony Jannus Award. Gary was twice named D CEO Magazine’s CEO of the Year; he’s been named one of the best CEOs in America by Institutional Investor magazine three times. In 2010, Gary was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2013, Gary was inducted into the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame at the University of Texas at Austin. Gary received the 2013 Father of the Year Award; and Gary was the recipient of the 2013 McLane Leadership in Business Award at Texas A&M University.     

 

Gary is a lifelong Texan and received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. As a proud alumnus, Gary has served the University in a number of capacities, including on the McCombs School Advisory Council. Gary is a Certified Public Accountant and serves on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln National Corporation and Airlines for America, the airline industry advocacy group (serving as Chairman from 2012 - 2014). Gary is on the Board of Regents for the National Air and Space Museum and is a current member of the Business Council and the Southwestern Medical Foundation Board of Trustees.

 

About Enda Kenny:

Enda Kenny was born in Co. Mayo and attended St. Patrick’s College of Education and National University of Ireland, Galway.

 

In 1975 at the age of 24, he was elected to the Dáil and became its youngest member. As the longest serving current member of the Dáil, Enda has been named the “Father” of the Dáil. He is now retired.

 

Throughout his political career, he has held multiple leadership positions in the Irish government including serving as Minister for Education and Tourism and Trade, as well as Vice President of The European People’s Party.

 

In 2002, Enda became Leader of Fine Gael and led the party for 15 years, the longest period of any Fine Gael leader. Under his leadership, Fine Gael became the largest party at local, Dáil and European Parliament level, a result never achieved previously.

He became Taoiseach in March 2011 and again in May 2016, the first Fine Gael Leader to be re-elected Taoiseach in successive elections.

 

As Taoiseach from 2011 to 2017, Ireland became the fastest growing EU country for four successive years, unemployment reduced from 15.2% to less than 5%; interest rates on Irish borrowing fell from 15% to zero, the country’s credit rating was restored and access to financial markets was fully secured.

 

His tenure of office saw Ireland exit a Troika bailout, without condition, which resulted in the restoration of Ireland’s sovereignty and economic independence. He has always credited the Irish people for this outcome.

 

Married to Fionnuala and with three adult children, Enda splits his time between Mayo and Dublin.

 

 

 

 

 

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Co-chairs Dixey Arterburn and Ginger Sager

Dallas residents Dixey Arterburn and Ginger Sager know how to break fundraising and fun-raising goals for great causes.

 

When this dynamic duo met in 2012, they realized they had a lot in common. They attended the same church (St. Michael & All Angels), had some of the same friends and were both Junior League of Dallas sustainers. They became great friends, and now their families, including eight children between them, are friends too.

 

Their hearts for service brought them together, and now Dixey and Ginger often co-chair events together, including this year’s Beacon of Hope luncheon benefiting Grant Halliburton Foundation and presented by the David B. Miller Family Foundation. The event, set for Tuesday, March 10 at the Omni Dallas Hotel, raises funds and awareness to address mental health issues among youth in Dallas. The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy – former U.S. Representative, founder of the Kennedy Forum, co-founder of One Mind and New York Times best-selling author – is the featured speaker.

 

When Ginger was president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League (DSOL) in 2013-2014, she heard that Dixey was interested in chairing the DSOL Symphony Presentation Ball. Ginger said, “Here’s someone who wants to chair it. So, I immediately wanted her to do it because it’s such a monumental undertaking.”

 

Dixey added, “I had a daughter who was a debutante that year. I thought, we have to attend these events and meetings, and it would be so much fun to do something meaningful together. Plus, I knew many of the families, and the honor guard included several of my older daughter’s friends, so it was perfect.”

 

Hailing from New Orleans, Dixey knows how to plan a festive party, so she incorporated her favorite theme, Mardi Gras, along with her favorite color, purple, into the ball. She even wore a purple gown and had the florist incorporate purple and yellow flowers to create an elegant evening. Ginger also brought her leadership and organizational skills to the table as the two planned for more than a year. The white-tie ball for 1,300 guests included Honorary Chairs Gene and Jerry Jones, who also had two granddaughters making their debut.

 

Ginger recalled that at the end of the planning, “Jan Strimple, who was involved in the production of the event, greeted us at one meeting with, ‘It’s Thelma and Louise!,’ and it stuck. To the last ball rehearsal, we wore t-shirts with Thelma and Louise printed on them. We don’t need to wear nametags anymore!”

 

After a successful ball, Ginger’s sister, who was president of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, asked them to co-chair the 2015 Salvation Army Fashion Show & Luncheon with First Lady Laura Bush and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in attendance. Dixey recounted the story: “We were about to introduce Margot Perot, so she could present the Margot Perot Award to Gene Jones and Charlotte Anderson when all the lights went out. We had already started our script to the theme, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, when everything went completely dark. A Salvation Army member handed us a phone with a flashlight, so we were able to continue with our script. When I said, ‘Today is Audrey Hepburn’s birthday,’ the lights magically came back on. It was a Luncheon to Remember!”

 

These ladies have created New Orleans-style parties for the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and the parishioners of St. Michael & All Angels. As Junior League of Dallas sustainers, they’ve co-chaired the AT&T Stadium art tour, as well as an art and wine tour at Ginger’s home. Ginger added, “Thelma and Louise work so well together. It’s a blast because our talents instinctively complement each other.”

 

For the last few years, both have attended the Beacon of Hope luncheon benefiting the Grant Halliburton Foundation, and the timing was right this year for them to be co-chairs. Dixey said, “Vanita [Halliburton] is a remarkable woman and mother who started this organization in memory of her son. We want to spread the word about mental health and how this foundation has educated teens and young adults about this important issue.”

 

Ginger added, “This luncheon is important to me because of my family history with mental illness. It’s one of those causes that really hits close to home because I know what it’s like to go through it.” As the mother of six grown children, Ginger has had children who have had serious mental health issues, been hospitalized and attended treatment programs. It’s a painful story that she shares: “Years ago, we didn't have any resources. If I'd had the Foundation’s Mental Health Navigation Line to call, I would have been able to get more help for my family.”

 

Dixey added, “We want everyone to attend the Beacon of Hope Luncheon to support the important work of Grant Halliburton Foundation. Patrick Kennedy, former U.S. Representative and son of Ted Kennedy, will tell his powerful, personal story of mental illness and how he now uses his experiences to advocate for others.”

 

Tables start at $2,500, and tickets start at $200. They can be purchased online at GrantHalliburton.org/boh.

 

About Grant Halliburton Foundation

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before his suicide death at the age of 19. The Foundation that bears his name works to help families and young people recognize the signs of mental illness through a variety of avenues including education, conferences, collaboration and encouragement. Grant Halliburton Foundation works to strengthen the network of mental health resources for children, teens and young adults; promote better mental health; and help prevent suicide. The Foundation provides mental health education, training and support to more than 49,000 students, educators, parents, and professionals annually.

 

The Foundation also offers two free community tools to help North Texans find mental health and addiction information and resources:

 

  • HereForTexas.com is a website with a searchable database of North Texas providers, designed to help people make informed decisions about mental health care.

 

 

More information can be found at GrantHalliburton.org/.