Many of Dallas’ most influential business and civic leaders recently gathered to support Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep’s inaugural fall fundraiser, Grove to Grove. Last month, Honorary Event Chairs Carolyn and Jere Thompson, Co-Chairs Karen and Mark Carney and additional host committee members attended a private reception at the home of event Co-Chairs Patty and Mark Langdale where school leaders and students shared insights on the positive influence Cristo Rey Dallas is having on its surrounding community of Pleasant Grove and the immeasurable impact the event will have on its students’ future.

Grove to Grove will take place Friday, September 23, 2016 at 3015 Trinity Groves and committee hosts, including Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison, incoming Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella and community volunteer Beth Thoele, have volunteered their time and talent leading up to the highly anticipated event. Funds raised throughout the evening, which will feature live entertainment, a seated dinner and silent auction, will directly benefit the students of Cristo Rey Dallas and provide the financing necessary for the enhancement of on-campus facilities.

“Cristo Rey Dallas is continuously striving to bridge the gap between north and south Dallas — between education and opportunity — and we are so grateful to all of the host committee members who have gathered here tonight and who so strongly believe in the work we’re doing,” said Cristo Rey Dallas President Kelby Woodard. “Grove to Grove is about fostering a relationship between our school community, the Pleasant Grove community, and members of the Dallas business community. But most importantly, the event will further Cristo Rey Dallas’ mission to enable our students to become men and women of purpose and service.”

In addition to Woodard, attendees heard from Cristo Rey Dallas Board Chairman Richard Joyner, Grove to Grove Co-Chairs Karen Carney and Patty Langdale and Cristo Rey Dallas students Lauren and Viviana, who thanked committee members for supporting a school that is helping them pursue their dreams. The high school freshmen also spoke about their experience at CBRE and Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman through the school’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program. The model allows students to gain firsthand work experience at some of the country’s largest and most respected corporations. Through the program, partners like AT&T, Ernst & Young, Hunt Oil Group and KPMG cover 60 percent of students’ tuition costs and provide them with entry-level positions that teach participants invaluable skills and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership.

“It’s our hope that Grove to Grove will serve as a connecting point between our students and individuals in the Dallas business community who would like to be a part of the incredible work happening through this program,” said Cristo Rey Dallas Corporate Work Study Director Gunnar Rawlings. “We see remarkable transformations take place daily in the lives of students who participate in our Corporate Work Study Program. They are excited to learn. They are eager to better themselves. They are passionate about making a difference in their communities and using what they learn in the office and in the classroom to help others. Through Grove to Grove, Cristo Rey Dallas will be able to continue empowering these students to have a tremendous positive impact, not only on our city but on the world.”

For Grove to Grove sponsorship opportunities or additional information, please email Lisa Brunts at or visit

About Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep

Located in Pleasant Grove, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep provides economically disadvantaged students of all faiths with a Catholic college preparatory education enabling them to become men and women of purpose and service. Through a rigorous curriculum, integrated with a hands-on professional work experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep is endorsed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND). To learn more about Cristo Rey Dallas, visit

About The Cristo Rey Network

The Cristo Rey Network is comprised of 30 high schools that provide a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to urban young students who live in communities with limited educational options. Its mission is to transform urban America one student at a time. The schools utilize an innovative Corporate Work Study Program to help make private education affordable to student who might not otherwise have access to a quality education. To learn more about The Cristo Rey Network, visit To learn more about Cristo Rey Dallas, visit  

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