The Family Place 20th Anniversary Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon Featured Marisa Tomei as Keynote Speaker
Announcements included a $13 million capital campaign titled “The Family Place Legacy Campaign – Building Hope for the Future”
(Photo: Debbie Taylor, Honorary Chair; Jennifer Sampson, CEO, United Way, Advocacy Award honoree; Marissa Tomei, featured speaker; Paige Flink, CEO, The Family Place; Bob Miller, Real Life Hero Award honoree; Michaela Dyer, luncheon co-chair; Nancy A. Nasher, Texas Trailblazer Award honoree; Layne Pitzer, luncheon co-chair. Photo by Dana Driensky.)
(October 20, 2015 – Dallas, TX) The Imperial Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas was site of The Family Place 20th Anniversary Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon chaired by Michaela Dyer and Layne Pitzer along with Honorary Chair Debbie Taylor and featured an intimate interview with keynote speaker, Marisa Tomei.
Clarice Tinsley, Fox 4 News Anchor, longtime supporter and today’s emcee, welcomed 1,000 patrons and guests and introduced a short film highlighting The Family Place and its programs.
Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place, said the organization is the largest provider of proven programs that address emotional and physical abuse and incest in the State of Texas and gave a brief overview of the programs including 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, Outreach, Battering Intervention, Bee Project and more. She recognized elected officials in the crowd, including Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, the Honorable Shequitta Kelly, judge of County Criminal Court # 11; Honorable Rick Magnis, judge of 283rd Judicial District Court and others, all receiving a round of applause for their service.
Rabbi David Stern gave the invocation, which was followed by a luncheon of zucchini and saffron vichysoisse topped with grilled Gulf shrimp; an entrée of crispy chicken breast on a bed of sautéed kale, herb pistou, tricolor marble potatoes, haricot vert and roasted pearl onions with grape tomatoes. Dessert of a selection of different flavored cookies was graciously donated by Hey Sweetie Bakery, LLC.
Taking the stage with a very special announcement, Paige shared that today marked her 24th year with The Family Place. She said she is honored to serve and began the award presentations.
The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, represented by Jennifer Sampson, CEO, was the recipient of the Advocacy Award. This vital organization not only strengthens the mission of The Family Place but for 90 years has been bringing people together to improve lives and create lasting change in North Texas by focusing on education, income, and health—the building blocks for strong families and thriving communities. The United Way galvanizes and connect all sectors of society—individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and government—to create long-term change through investing in solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families. The United Way raises, invests and leverages more than $50 million annually in community-focused solutions serving Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and southern Denton counties. The Family Place has been fortunate to have United Way support for more than 30 years.
Robert “Bob” Miller was honored as the Real-Life Hero for his lifetime of contribution to philanthropic and fundraising news. He spent 64 years at The Dallas Morning News, retiring in June of this year. He started writing obituaries, then was promoted to night city editor, assistant city editor and city editor. He started writing his widely read column in the Business Section in 1984 and it became the place for philanthropic and fundraising news. His column publicized both old and new Dallas charities, giving them the attention that helped create services to help Dallas become an event greater city.
Nancy A. Nasher was honored as the Texas Trailblazer. This award recognizes someone who has accomplished a “first” and opened the doors of opportunity for other people and made significant contributions either in their community, business or profession. No matter what the accomplishments, however, the Trailblazer is someone who has blazed a trail for others to follow.
As co-owner of NorthPark Center along with her husband, David J. Haemisegger, Nancy is a dedicated philanthropist, serving on numerous boards and in cultural and educational leadership positions. She has been a champion of the arts and a leader in making art accessible to the community. Her commitment to improving the quality of life in Dallas through her support of numerous charities has made a tremendous impact and has changed countless lives for the better.
Erin Baptiste and Julissa Figueroa are The Family Place Youth Service Award and Scholarship winners. These students are recognized as outstanding leaders at the Texas Trailblazers Luncheon for their contribution and participation in The Family Place Be Project program, acting as mentors to educate their peers about healthy relationships in an effort to preventing bullying, teen dating violence and sexual assault. Erin will be attending University of Colorado at Boulder and Julissa is going to The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Flink then announced plans for a $13 million capital campaign entitled “The Family Place Legacy Campaign – Building Hope for the Future,” to turn a recently purchased building into a 40,000 square foot Central Dallas Counseling Center. The Moody Foundation has come on board with a donation of $5 million in honor of Ann Moody by Frances Moody-Dahlberg, executive director of the Moody Foundation. That amount is the largest single donation in the history of The Family Place. The Family Place plans to raise the $13 million by December 2016 and start renovations by March 2016.
With the stage set for an informal interview, Clarice introduced Academy Award winning actress, Marisa Tomei, who continues to bridge the gap between rich, dramatic performances and smart, comedic turns. Whether working with large studios or independent houses, Marisa consistently brings her independent spirit to every project with which she is involved. Marisa won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny.
Marisa shared her story about traveling to Ethiopia to direct a short film based on the Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book Half the Sky. The film, which was also her directorial debut, focuses on a thirteen year old girl’s struggle with the institutionalized oppression of women in Ethiopia. “I am thrilled to be a part of the 20th Anniversary Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon as we honor those whose philanthropic efforts have made a long-lasting impact on the Dallas community” Marisa said.
Since its inception 20 years ago, the Texas Trailblazer Award Luncheon has been recognized as a premier event in the Dallas community. For questions, visit the website at www.familyplace.org/events or contact Shivangi Pokharel directly at (214) 443 –7708 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Family Place
In 1978, a group of community volunteers organized The Family Place as one of the first family violence service organizations in the state with a mission to eliminate family violence through intervention and proactive prevention, extensive community education, advocacy and assistance for victims and their families. Today, The Family Place is still a grasswoots organization that provides safety, meals, medical care and counseling to families, women, men and children to escape from domestic violence. And, though women and children represent the majority of victims, men are affected as well—as victims, perpetrators, witnesses and as bystanders. The comprehensive services that prevent violence and fully support women, children and men on their path from fear to safety are FREE.
In 37 years, The Family Place has counseled more than 225,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 22,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 550,000 calls for help. The Family Place has also helped more than 20,000 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior and its youth program, Be Project, reaches approximately 6,000 students each year through our youth education programs. All of our programs are provided in Spanish and in English. www.familyplace.org
Photos by Dana Driensky and Daniel Driensky.
(Press release courtesy The Family Place. Sharon Adams, ACPR, represents The Family Place Texas Trailblazer Awards luncheon.)