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Co-chairs: Victoria Brown, Nicolette Lamont and Flauren Bender

Hundreds of Planned Parenthood supporters gathered at The Winspear for a conversation with acclaimed actress, Connie Britton and Cynt Marshall, Dallas Mavericks CEO. The real star of the show was a million dollar gift from the Eugene McDermott Foundation.

Co-chairs of the Planned Parenthood 33rd Annual Dallas Awards, Flauren Bender, Victoria Brown and Nicolette Lamont, promised a special morning for guests and they delivered on Wednesday. December 6th.  Ken Lambrecht, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas President and CEO, announced that $2.261 million which includes $1 million from the Eugene McDermott Foundation was raised to promote, support and improve sexual and reproductive health and education.

The night before the event, VIP guests were treated to sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the newly reopened Mirador Restaurant atop downtown Forty Five Ten.  The VIP reception was generously underwritten by Headington Companies and Forty Five Ten.

Guests at the Winspear listened to actress Connie Britton and Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall in a lively discussion, and Averie Bishop, first Asian American woman to win the title of Miss Texas, made a special appearance to stress the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the fight for reproductive healthcare.  The mission driven event was highlighted by a performance from the Voices of Light Gospel Choir who opened the morning for an enthusiastic, up on their feet audience.

The Gertrude Shelburne Humanitarian Award was presented to honoree Jolie Newman, a dedicated community volunteer, fundraiser, and advocate for women's health and educational initiatives who has long supported Planned Parenthood for over thirty years.

For more information, go to


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Abigail Kauffman (Abbie), CEO of Network of Community Ministries

Abigail Kauffman recently joined Network of Community Ministries as the CEO and President and has since been working hard to assist the Richardson-based nonprofit in completing and expanding the mission of caring, coaching and empowering neighbors in need.

Abbie, husband Cade and their young daughter are proud to call Richardson their home. She is excited and energized to be working in her own community and says smiling, “working so close to home and to our daughter’s school is certainly a benefit”. Beyond the convenience factor, Abbie lives and works in Network’s service area where she recognizes needs and issues, and brings first-hand knowledge to her recent position.

Abbie brings more than a decade of diverse experience in nonprofit and higher education to Network. She began her fulltime career as a Development Officer in the University of Texas system in Odessa, Texas, and found her passion in social services as Development Director for Centers for Children and Families in Midland/Odessa. Abbie returned home to Dallas in 2015, where she joined the staff of Jewish Family Services of Greater Dallas as Director of Communications, and later Director of Development. She went on to serve as CitySquare’s Senior Director of Strategy where she worked across the organization focusing on program sustainability, metrics alignment, and collaborative partnerships. Most recently Abbie held the position of Director of Special Projects & Information Services at Catholic Charities Dallas.

“Abbie has a passion for our mission and will bring the energy to sustain the momentum for Network’s future. She has experience in creating and diversifying partnerships and programs, as well as empowering high performing teams,” said Network Board Chair Monica Scott.

Network of Community Ministries has a large service area that includes all 14 zip codes in RISD including parts of the zip codes that may fall into other school districts. Founded in 1985, Network began during an economic downturn when several churches and community organizations came together to form an alliance to assist families in need. Network is a non-denominational, community-based organization with current programming that includes basic needs assistance, a mobile food pantry, seniors’ net as well as all-important stabilization programs.

With a strong board and 60 partner/stakeholders, Network serves over 26,000 individuals annually. Some 85 volunteers a day, many of whom are seniors, spend time with neighbors in need. The food pantry is always bustling. There is a large and well-stocked clothing “store”. The on-site food pantry, clothing store and mobile food pantry are all designed as shopping experiences so that neighbors actually select what best meets their needs and, as Abbie says, “It is a positive, dignity- preserving experience.” She goes on to explain that every service is delivered with the same care and praises her team for their unwavering loyalty to their neighbors in need.

“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as CEO alongside the staff, volunteers, and stakeholder partners at the Network of Community Ministries,” said Kauffman. “As a Richardson resident, Network’s mission is deeply personal. I look forward to continuing to empower our neighbors as they turn to Network seeking an improved quality of life.”

Network of Community Ministries hosts two fundraisers in the fall: Network’s Food Pantry Fork-Off in October and an annual Golf Outing in September. For more information, go to

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Dallas Stars Foundation President Marty Turco and CitySquare President and CEO John Siburt

On Monday, April 18th, CitySquare held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Day event at the CitySquare Opportunity Center on Malcolm X Blvd. CitySquare relies heavily on individuals, organizations and businesses to fulfill its volunteer needs for numerous programs designed to lift neighbors out of poverty and to alter the trajectory of lives in distress.

“Everyone can be a poverty fighter, and our loyal volunteers are some of the best,” said CitySquare President and CEO John Siburt. “They help provide necessities and ease the stress and uncertainty for people living in poverty. We are incredibly grateful for our volunteers, the talents they bring, and their generosity of time and spirit.

CitySquare is built on four pillars: Hunger, Health, Housing and Hope and has programs that support all four. Volunteers are essential in their success. The following were honored for their dedication and loyalty to CitySquare's mission and work:

Housing: National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Greater Dallas  

These ladies have been laser-focused on helping those in need. Caring, efficient, diligent, resourceful, and generous are just a few words that come to mind. Moving into a new home is exciting and stressful all in one particularly for the youth that CitySquare helps. Most have never lived on their own. NCJW helps provide a “first home” kit to make sure they have what they need. From a laundry basket to a broom and everything in between, CitySquare’s youth are more prepared and supported thanks to these phenomenal women.

Hunger: Lewise Crockett

Longtime volunteer, Lewise Crockett always comes to CitySquare with a smile, and almost always brings friends to help out and to learn about CitySquare. She has a kind word for everyone she meets. Lewise is constantly thinking about ways to improve CitySquare’s food pantry, paying attention to the smallest details. She is always willing to pitch in and help, and never fails to treat neighbors with dignity and respect. Lewise is an important and appreciated addition to the CitySquare family.

Health: Park Cities Young Men’s Service League (YMSL)

After the intense weather and a global pandemic, the community garden at the CitySquare Community Clinic was in need of assistance. Park Cities YMSL along with some incredible Eagle Scouts made it their mission to put in the time, work, energy, love, commitment, and money it took to get it back up and growing. They even included CitySquare neighbors by offering sandwiches and drinks during the work process and engaging with them about the purpose of the garden.

Hope: Highland Park Highschool CitySquare Club

Kennedy Foy and Lawler Carpenter are two young ladies who have taken their passion for serving others and made it fun and cool for their peers to join in. From cleaning out dusty and dirty storage units to creating Easter, Valentine’s, and Christmas goodies for CitySquare neighbors, the two have created and led the HPHS CS Club and engaged students who might not have otherwise known about CitySquare’s mission and neighbors. The Club has been a great asset and vehicle for introducing young people to CitySquare.

Advocacy: TC Alexander

The Advocacy award honors one of CitySquare’s incredible board members and recognizes continued commitment to CitySquare and the community. This year’s award went to a newer board member. Being new, has not prevented TC Alexander in extending his time and skills. From serving on CitySquare’s finance committee to volunteering in the food pantry, he has already invested many hours to CitySquare’s poverty fighting mission. Additionally, TC works for Bank of America that has been a community partner for many years through philanthropy and volunteerism.

Service: Frito-Lay Women’s Inclusion Network

The CitySquare Service award honors an individual or group with a genuine heart for serving neighbors. 

During the pandemic, the service and hospitality industry took a real hit and the workforce struggled. CitySquare has had to rethink and find creative ways to help people find jobs and new opportunities. PepsiCo stepped up. In partnership with PepsiCo and Dallas Community Colleges, new pathways for employment and opportunities for our neighbors in Dallas were created to change their career trajectories. PepsiCo-Frito-Lay never does anything halfway. In addition to helping CitySquare create the Women's Workforce Readiness Initiative, a new program for women reentering the workforce, PepsiCo wanted to provide additional support through volunteerism and mentorship. CitySquare had the honor to get to know and work with a special group of women at PepsiCo who are passionate about making a difference. Hours went into designing and implementing a brand new mentorship program. CitySquare is celebrating matching 37 mentors with 37 mentees in the first cohort. Even more so, lasting friendships were created through this mentorship program. CitySquare proudly honored the Frito-Lay Inclusion Network for this amazing effort

Friendship: Dallas Stars Foundation

The CitySquare Friendship Award is dedicated to honor a community partner. This year’s honoree has been a longtime partner in the fight against poverty. In addition to supporting CitySquare’s work through volunteering, the Dallas Stars Foundation always finds other ways to spread awareness about CitySquare’s work through their network, encouraging others to donate and volunteer. They can  always be relied upon to show up and help whenever and with whatever is needed. The Dallas Stars Foundation is a beloved and trusted group of volunteers for CitySquare’s annual Turkey giveaway, bringing with them lots of energy and smiles.

Rising Star: Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet

These amazing young men and ladies have become a big part of CitySquare’s daily function in the food pantry. For the past 2 years, JBS Law Magnet students have endured the heat, freezing cold, the pouring rain, and the pandemic to make sure all neighbors have been served. They have been a driving force behind CitySquare’s pantry staying open during these hard times, and helping to see that the pantry has been fully stocked. These students chose CitySquare when they saw the opportunity to complete an unpaid internship by giving back to the community. 

President’s Award : Patty Raggio                     

Patty is amazing. She is a volunteer who can be trusted to do special roles that require more training or where it’s essential that a volunteer is a good fit. Patty always comes to CitySquare with a smile on her face. She loves all of CitySquare’s neighbors, and it is most apparent when she is in the food pantry. CitySquare partners her with new volunteers because she doesn’t just show them the volunteer role, she exemplifies the CitySquare way and how everyone is treated when they come to the CitySquare campus. Patty doesn’t stop working when she’s away from the Food Pantry. She has engaged her church, First Unitarian of Dallas, to become involved at CitySquare, as well. For the past two years they have donated thousands of boxes of stuffing for the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway, and continue to donate grocery bags for our daily pantry distributions. Following the pandemic and once volunteer opportunities re-opened fully, Patty was one of the first people to bring friends back to volunteer with her.  She is a great asset and a true friend.

To learn more about CitySquare, go to:


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DeMarcus and the CitySquare anime inspired cleats designed by Crunchyroll

DeMarcus came roaring back in New Orleans after a foot injury had kept him on the sidelines. His contributions to the Dallas Cowboys are unquestioned but he is also contributing to his community. This year, for the 2021 My Cause, My Cleats NFL campaign that gives players an opportunity to use their platform to share their passion and raise funds for a cause, he selected the poverty fighting organization, CitySquare.

On December 12th in Washington, DeMarcus will be wearing anime-inspired cleats specially designed by Crunchyroll, the leading anime streaming service that has partnered with him to support CitySquare. The hope is to bring recognition to the growing problem of poverty and homelessness and to encourage others to become involved in helping those in need.

To raise funds for CitySquare, DeMarcus is offering 4 suite level seats in his box at AT&T Stadium for the January 2nd game against the Arizona Cardinals as well as a meet and greet following the game, and the chance to take home the specially anime-inspired and autographed cleats.

Using proven methods, CitySquare offers individuals and families a pathway out of poverty and homelessness by providing a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope, CitySquare impacts the lives of over 62,000 people per year.

Find out how to enter the drawing to win the package by going to NFL My Cause My Cleats - Campaign ( and join DeMarcus in the fight against poverty! The opportunity for the drawing will close at midnight on December 16th with the winner to be announced on December 17th.

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Saturday Night Block Party Fever

Susan Salka, CEO of AMN Healthcare chaired the first annual CitySquare Block Party and a big financial win for CitySquare’s programs that provide food, housing, healthcare and, most importantly hope for our city’s folks in need. A fun evening with great food and libations, music by Manhattan and a successful auction raised the $500k.

AMN Healthcare and Anita Rednick were Champion Sponsors of the Block Party, each donating $50k. Patron Sponsors who gave $25k included Karen and Tom Falk, Kimberly-Clark and the Anthony Family. Loyal CitySquare supporters and new friends contributed to more than exceed the event goals. NBC5 signed on as media sponsor for their tenth year of supporting CitySquare’s annual major fundraising event.

The indoor/outdoor event was held on Saturday night, November 6th at The Empire Room in the Dallas Design District exhibiting banners of individuals that have benefited from CitySquare’s work. The evening began with a cocktail hour and sumptuous food stations followed by a high-energy paddle auction that brought in over $200k for the organization.

Following the auction and the evening’s comments from Susan Salka and CitySquare CEO JohnSiburt, the party continued on with dancing under the stars to the music of Manhattan where party goers celebrated what had already been a winning night for CitySquare.

To learn more about the event and to see the list of those who contributed to the Block Party’s success, go to .

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Every year, CitySquare provides neighbors in need with Thanksgiving dinners. On Saturday November 20th,thanks to the generosity of Highland Park United Methodist Church, DART, Kroger and Select Commercial Services, CitySquare distributed 1,200 turkeys and side dishes (far more than ever before) primarily to neighbors from the South Dallas/ Fair Park area. Sides were provided by 1st Unitarian Church, St. Marks School, and YMSL (Young Men Service Leadership) .


Cars began lining up early for blocks and at 9 a,m. CitySquare volunteers and staff began distributing the turkeys and sides in the annual drive-thru event. Volunteers from the Dallas Stars Foundation and mothers and daughters from the National Charity League worked throughout the morning to see that the lines moved smoothly and that every family was assisted.


CitySquare leadership says that with the rising cost of food and more folks struggling to make ends meet,  they are grateful to be able to provide so many families with a Happy Thanksgiving.thanks to generous donors and volunteers,


For more information on CitySquare's work in the community and how you might help, go to

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Cecile Richards with event co-chairs Katherine Perot Reeves and Anne Clayton Vroom

The tally is in! In a year that continues to challenge women’s health in Texas, supporters rallied to the cause and raised a record breaking 3.3 million dollars for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas at the annual fundraising event.

On Thursday, September 23rd, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas hosted the 31st Annual Dallas Awards in unique style co-chaired by Katherine Perot Reeves and Anne Clayton Vroom. Rather than the usual luncheon, the event was held in the morning at the Winspear Opera House. Guests were seated to hear a conversation with women’s rights icon, Cecile Richards, moderated by Matrice Ellis Kirk.

Sponsors and loyal supporters gathered on Wednesday evening in the home of Anne Clayton and Bunky Vroom at a VIP reception where Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas CEO, Ken Lambrecht, presented Sally Dunning with the 2021 Gertrude Shelburne Humanitarian Award for her impact on the lives of Texans through her tireless efforts in advancing the mission of Planned Parenthood.

The following morning’s event was both in-person and virtual with overall attendance adding up to the annual attendance average but with an unexpected outcome garnering the record-breaking sum.

In a clever addition to the day’s happenings, several Dallas restaurants donated a percentage of post event brunch revenue to Planned Parenthood.

Funds raised will be used to help provide essential healthcare and health education services to women, men, and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, No. Matter. What.

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Planned Parenthood 31st Annual Dallas Awards Co-chairs, Anne Clayton Vroom and Katherine Perot Reeves

Powerhouse women will take the stage at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House for the Planned Parenthood ofGreater Texas 31st Annual Dallas Awards at 10:30 am on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

The morning will feature a motivating conversation with Cecile Richards moderated by Matrice Ellis-Kirk. Richards is a national leader for women's rights, and social and economic justice. She is the co-founder of Supermajority, former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York Times bestselling author of Make Trouble, and a lifelong organizer.

As a respected leader in both the corporate and civic worlds, Ellis- Kirk is an influential advocate for women and families. A devoted supporter of the arts, she has served on numerous boards and also on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Women’s Empowerment.

Paxton Smith, who gained national attention and support for her recent commencement speech as valedictorian at Lake Highlands High School, will be making a special appearance.

Dallasite Sally Dunning, will be honored with the 2021 Gertrude Shelburne Humanitarian Award for her impact on the lives of Texans through her tireless efforts in advancing the mission of Planned Parenthood.

“We are excited to celebrate the morning with an amazing group of women with strong Texas ties. Cecile Richards and Matrice Ellis-Kirk are champions for equal access to quality equitable healthcare, and Paxton Smith is a rising women’s advocate. Women and families have long benefited from our honoree Sally Dunning’s support,” say the co-chairs and best friends, Anne Clayton Vroom and Katherine Perot Reeves, “As two proud Texas women and mothers, we hope to see our fellow Texans turn out to support women and families, and Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.”

Funds raised will be used to help provide essential healthcare and health education services to women, men, and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, No. Matter. What.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas is committed to hosting a safe, in-person event and will be following all CDC guidelines. All guests will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccine status, and temperature checks will be required before entering the venue. There will also be a virtual option.

For event information, go to: For sponsorship information, email or call 214-302-8382.


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CitySquare and Friends Provide Thanksgiving Groceries

Thanks to a generous community outpouring, CitySquare’s Food Pantry provided more than 600 families with groceries for Thanksgiving dinner. This Saturday, November 21, CitySquare staff and volunteers spent the morning distributing turkeys and trimmings in drive through and walk-up food distribution at the CitySquare Opportunity Center in South Dallas.

The distribution was made possible by organizations like Highland Park United Methodist Church & North Texas Food Bank, First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Prestoncrest Church of Christ, Young Mens Service League (Lake Highlands), University Park United Methodist Church, The Hockaday School, St. Marks School of Texas, C3 Trinity Dallas, Skillman Church of Christ, Virgin Hotels Dallas, McKinsey & Company, Aga Khan Council, I-CERV, National Charity League (Park Cities), and many individual volunteers.

CitySquare is committed to equality, inclusiveness, and recognition that fighting poverty involves bringing together the entire community in the heart of our city. For information on how you can join CitySquare in its fight against poverty, go to .

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Oric Walker, John Siburt and Dale Petroskey

The Leadership Dallas Class of 2020 chose poverty fighting organization CitySquare as the beneficiary of its 2020 class project. Founded in 1975 by the Dallas Regional Chamber, Leadership Dallas annually brings together a diverse group of individuals based on proven leadership potential within their organizations and in the community to help create positive change.

CitySquare requested a total renovation of the Food Pantry located at the CitySquare Opportunity Center with a goal of creating a welcoming space and increased capacity to serve its South Dallas/Fair Park neighbors. The COVID19 pandemic made the request even more urgent and timely.

On Thursday, October 29th, a small group of stakeholders gathered at the CitySquare Opportunity Center to celebrate the completion of the CitySquare Food Pantry renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Gillea Allison, President of D Magazine Partners and member of the 2020 Leadership Dallas class, was emcee for the afternoon. Oric Walker, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs and Leadership Dallas Class 2020 member, spoke on behalf of Atmos Energy, presenting sponsor of the project. Guests at the socially distanced event also heard from Dale Petroskey, President and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber, and John Siburt, CitySquare President and COO.

“Hunger affects children in every community we serve, and over the past six months more families have found themselves struggling with finances and confronting food insecurity,” said Oric Walker,“No child should go to bed hungry, and we are grateful to CitySquare for helping us ensure that children have regular access to healthy snacks, fresh produce and hearty balanced meals. Through our Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities program, Atmos Energy is proud to be a part of this project that will have such a significant impact on kids and families in the Dallas community.”

“While we can’t reopen the Food Pantry at this time because of COVID19, we will continue the drive-through and walk-up operation until it’s safe for all of our neighbors, staff and volunteers. We look forward to introducing them to the beautiful new space in the near future,” said John Siburt. “The efforts and generosity of our friends at Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber and Atmos Energy far exceeded our hopes for the renovation of the pantry.”