Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Levine’s featured models, artists at annual gala
Levine Academy students Bennett Towbin, 5, and Zachary Goldminz, 10, will be featured models and artists at the Children’s Cancer Fund Annual Gala, a NYC-themed “Broadway Nights and Runway Lights” event — the nonprofit’s 29th annual fundraiser for pediatric oncology research and treatment programs. The gala features live and silent auctions, a children’s fashion show, dinner, drinks and dancing to musical entertainment by DJ Lucy Wrubel. It will be held Friday, April 21, at 6 p.m. (Champagne reception), 7:15 (dinner and program), at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 N. Stemmons Fwy. A fashion show presented by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions will feature children who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Health in Dallas. The children, “models” for the fashion show, will be escorted down the runway by Honorary Event Chairmen Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, along with many other celebrities and sponsors.
Gala Event Chair Pamela Moayedi, will kick off the program with Aikman and Staubach, who will turn it over to CBS11 News Anchor Karen Borta, mistress of ceremonies.
Proceeds from the gala, slated to raise more than $1 million, go to Children’s Cancer Fund to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center. Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated almost $8 million to the cause. The Children’s Cancer Fund spring event is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer, hosting over 1,000 guests from North Texas and across the nation.
Bennett — Bennett Towbin, 5, was diagnosed with pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 2½, and is in pre-K at Levine. He is the son of Laynie and Hal, and has a younger sister and a dog. He loves sports, including soccer and baseball, and he also enjoys playing with his toys and playing games. He would really like to be a team mascot when he grows up. His mom and dad are his heroes because he loves them so much.
“I am excited to wear special clothes and be onstage for everyone,” said Bennett. “I’m also excited about the Gala because everyone there wants to make a difference in kids’ lives.”
Zachary — Zachary Goldminz, 10, was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 8, and is a fourth-grader at Levine. He is the son of Pamela and Jonathan and has a younger sister. He likes reptiles and has a leopard gecko, a crested gecko, two Jackson chameleons and a panther chameleon. His favorite subject in school is science, and he wants to be a professional swimmer and an oncologist when he grows up.
He is a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys as well as European “football” and would love to go to Spain one day to attend a real Madrid soccer game.
“My hero is a 5-year-old Ewing Sarcoma warrior named Claire, who inspired me to fight harder during treatment,” said Zachary. “I’m excited to meet celebrities at the Gala and raise money for cancer research.”
Children’s Cancer Fund brings together local celebrities, dignitaries, philanthropists, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for these young patients modeling in the fashion show. Honorary Event Chairs Aikman and Staubach have been involved for many years: Aikman for 20 and Staubach since the event’s inception 29 years ago. Additional celebrity escorts include current Dallas Cowboys players, cheerleaders, Dallas SWAT, Jane McGarry of WFAA, Miss Texas America and the Pink Heels Firefighters.
“When I was diagnosed with a tumor in 2009 at UT Southwestern, I was terrified about what would happen next. Thankfully my tumor was benign, but my fear was real,” said Gala Chair Pamela Moayedi. “My experience has made me so much more passionate about helping children in that kind of situation. I’m committed to supporting local research that saves lives, especially young kids.”
Individual tickets are $300 or $2,750 for a table of 10. Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com/Gala for reservations and more information.
The finale of the show each year is a special time for all the children, both those currently battling cancer and young cancer survivors. As they join together onstage, they will be introduced by the evening’s special entertainment, DJ Lucy Wrubel.
“You have to see the look on these kids’ faces as they walk down the runway. It’s what inspires us in our work and in everything we do,” said Jennifer Arthur, CCF executive director of development. “They are fighters and survivors every day, but on that night, they’re stars and they’re shining brightly for their families, for the audience and for each other.”
Children’s Cancer Fund has created a special 2017 lookbook for the Gala, featuring the children modeling in the show. The lookbook includes photos as well as original artwork by these young cancer patients.
To purchase copies after the Gala, please call CCF at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com.
Sponsors include: $100,000: Centurion America; $50,000: Texas de Brazil; $25,000: Jennifer Stroud Foundation; Marianne and Roger Staubach, Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center; $15,000: Emergency Physicians at Presbyterian Hospital; $10,000: Troy Aikman; Albertsons — Tom Thumb; $5,000: Belmont Icehouse; Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo, LLP; Fischer; The Kitchell/Leete Family; Fashion Sponsor: Dillard’s; Media Sponsor: CBS11; In-Kind Sponsors: ALBRITTON DAY; American Airlines; Belmont Icehouse; Elle Films; Gene and Jerry Jones Foundation; Gold Crown Valet; Hilton Anatole; Kendra Scott; Nomad Productions; Patty Foppen Photography; Picasso’s Pizza and Grill; RSC Show Productions; Salon Pompeo.
— Submitted by Elizabeth Lenart
Legacy Willow Bend welcomes BBYOers from abroad
The Legacy Willow Bend was honored to welcome student members from BBYO (formerly B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, now BBYO, Inc.) who recently visited the senior living community for a unique intergenerational event, which offered valuable interactions that positively impacted the lives of everyone involved.
Forty-two high-school-aged students arrived at the community, where they divided into groups and spent time with each lifestyle group within the community. The students and residents participated in various activities and projects while getting to know one another. For many of the community’s Jewish residents, this visit was a special opportunity to share traditions and memories that are meaningful to them and learn from others from different countries and backgrounds.
The students participating in the activities at The Legacy Willow Bend were in Dallas for BBYO’s annual International Convention held in Dallas on Feb. 16-20.
— Submitted by Amy Jones