Celebrating its 11th anniversary concert, the Eric Nadel Birthday Benefit, presented by Bell Nunnally, raised more than $110,000 for Grant Halliburton Foundation. Held on Thursday, May 18at the Kessler Theater, the event featured a VIP party for sponsors with delicious bites donated by Eddie's Tex-Mex Cocina, live and silent auctions and music acts.
Eric Nadel welcomed everyone to his 71st birthday party. He introduced Daphne Willis, one of the co-founders of the Birthday Benefit and a Kessler Theater favorite, who opened and is best known for her song “Somebody’s Someone.” Willis is also a speaker for mental health and addiction recovery organizations.
“The work of Grant Halliburton Foundation is more important than it’s ever been,” Nadel said. “They work hard every day to erase the stigma around mental health issues and encourage people to reach out for help. I want to extend my gratitude to Bell Nunnally for being the Presenting Sponsor, KXT 91.7 FM for its support as Media Sponsor, and all our other generous sponsors."
Kevin Hall, Grant Halliburton Foundation president, spoke about the Foundation and its mission to help families and young people recognize the signs of mental illness and prevent suicide.
"Thank you to National Baseball Hall of Famer Eric Nadel for choosing us as the recipient of your birthday party for the third consecutive year," Hall said. "The proceeds from tonight's event will go toward supporting the Foundation's mental health and suicide prevention programming for children, teens and young adults in North Texas.”
The event also featured a live auction that included dinner with Nadel, Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald cruise, celebrity dining, and Texas Rangers experiences. Wendy Lambert served as auctioneer.
Finally, the talented headliner Danielle Ponder, performed. NPR included Ponder on Slingshot’s 2023 list of Artists to Watch, and partner station KXT 91.7 noted, “The power behind her music could sway any jury of her peers into immediately becoming an instant fan.” In 2020, NPR described her music as “anthemic while compassionate; soulful, while bold and strong. She reverberates with a goosebump-inducing passion.”
Guests also enjoyed Texas Rangers-themed snack vendors, like you might see at a baseball game, handing out baseball-themed treats including sunflowers seeds, Cracker Jacks, Big League Chew bubble gum, and Baby Ruth candy bars.
VIPs spotted in attendance included Eric Nadel, Voice of the Texas Rangers; Daphne Willis (opener and Birthday Benefit co-founder); Danielle Ponder (headliner); Bell Nunnally team (presenting sponsor); Brad Sham, Voice of the Dallas Cowboys; Jared Sandler, Host for the Texas Rangers Radio Network; Mike Bacsik, The Fan Radio Host, Chef John Kleifgen with Nick & Sam’s; Sam Gannon, FOX 4 News Sports Reporter; Vanita Halliburton, Amy McCloskey and Alan Halliburton, Grant Halliburton Foundation co-founders.
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. Since 2006, the Foundation has provided mental health education, training, and support to more than 300,000 students, educators, parents, and professionals. The Foundation also offers Here For Texas, which includes HereForTexas.com and the Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line. These free community tools aim to offer easy access for North Texans seeking mental health and addiction information and resources. More information can be found at GrantHalliburton.org/.