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PHOTO L-R: Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Operation Blue Shield Founder Toni Brinker Pickens, Former NYC Police Detective and Fox News Commenter Bo Dietl, and Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye pause for a moment after a meeting at Operation Blue Shield Headquarters in The Preston Commons Towers.

Operation Blue Shield Settles Into New Offices, Opens Lines of Communication Among Local Police Departments

Operation Blue Shield has moved into new office space located at The Preston Commons Towers off Preston Road. The registered 501(C)(3), has been operating for 15 months, and last week began a new chapter in the non-profit’s push to make the city of Dallas a safer place for both first responders and citizens alike.

Toni Brinker Pickens is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit dedicated to supporting first responders. OBS is committed to creating, promoting  and funding programs designed to bring about trust, unity and progressive change in the Dallas community—and ultimately, the nation.

The goal of OBS is to unify diverse groups in a shared commitment to public safety. A safer city leads to an increase in small business, improved education and economic development, and an increased accessibility to homeownership. OBS believes a safer city is a better city, which results, simply, in more jobs created.

OBS has several Outreach programs which are used to connect, educate and empower community stakeholders: citizens, local businesses, public officials, non-profits, schools, churches, first-responders and law enforcement. The common goal is to make positive, forward-thinking social infrastructure changes to benefit all.  

Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye are committed to Operation Blue Shield’s goal of making the metroplex a safer place to live and work.

Operation Blue Shield promotes these meetings of different groups and agencies to help them to work better, together, to make all Texas cities safer. This fall OBS will begin a program in local schools to teach students how to respond to a police officer without fear.

For more information, or to donate, see: or e-mail: or follow @OpBlueShield

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L-R: Altrusa Club members Debby Weber and Dr. Lynne Auerbach were celebrated at the first meeting of the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas' new service year which began June 1. The two were lauded at the Tuesday, June 7, 2016, business meeting for their fund raising skills in 2015-16. The women worked together to raise money for the club's foundation to support local charities that help women and children in crisis and literacy programs in the Dallas area.

Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas honors Service and Fund Raising Superstars, Initiate a New Member

Donna Gavin was honored as the Community Service Superstar for 2015-16 at the first meeting of the new year for the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Gavin joined the service club in June of 2014 and in the past year completed over 100 service hours in the Dallas area. Gavin’s daughter, architect Julie Gavin, joined the club in September of 2010 and encouraged her mother to become an Altrusan.

Debby Weber was recognized as the fund raising superstar for her organization of five Monday night Altrusa Happy Hour events held at Savor Gastropub downtown in February. Weber shared her award with Dr. Lynne Auerbach who assisted her with the five weeks of events, including silent auctions on site, which helped to raise money for the Altrusa Foundation. The Foundation awards grants to local non-profits that support literacy efforts, and women and children in crisis.

Rachel Willoughby, an attorney who works in child welfare, was initiated as the club’s newest member at the meeting, with club members Monika Urbaniak and Christina Coultas her sponsors.

Altrusa is a service organization for civic-minded women and men who strive to create better communities worldwide. The club’s focus is on helping women and children in the Dallas Metroplex by performing service projects to fulfill the mission of “Educating Families for a Better Future.” The downtown Dallas club is affiliated with Altrusa International, Inc. an international organization with over 300 clubs worldwide with a strong history of literacy education.

Since the club’s founding in 1982, there have been numerous successful fundraising projects to support many areas of service, with more than $1,000,000 for community grants disbursed through the Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas Foundation and more than 90,000 hours of service performed by club members for the benefit of the community. Altrusa raises money to support local community organizations through donations and through a semi-annual fundraising gala called Dessert First.

This month Altrusa of Downtown Dallas club members will once again be helping with Bar None, JUNE 15 – 18, by ushering and selling T-shirts at the performances of “Straight Outta Uptown.” Bar None is a song and dance comedy review with a cast and band made up of attorneys, judges and legal eagles whom perform together to raise funds for the Sarah T Hughes Diversity Scholarships at several Dallas area Law Schools. Tickets for the annual, often sold-out show, are available at:

Guests are invited to attend an Altrusa Program Meeting. The club’s Program meetings are on the third Tuesday of each month from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the City Club in downtown Dallas in the Bank of America Building. The address of the City Club is 901 Main Street, Suite # 6900, Dallas, TX 75202, phone 214-748-9525. Parking is available in the Texas Club parking garage (red brick building) across the street allowing for an easy underground walk over to City Place. Altrusa validates parking at the meeting for that parking garage.

Guests are permitted by invitation only. If you would like to attend a program meeting or learn more about Altrusa, see


Altrusa’s Annual President’s Happy Hour is on Tuesday June 21. The public is invited to meet current and future Altrusans at The Library Bar at the Melrose Hotel for drinks and fun, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 For more information contact Altrusa Communications Chair Judy Porter at

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Karla Trevino and Eric Sebastian Galindo won the first “Oak Cliff’s Got Talent” Extravaganza talent show sponsored by the Oak Cliff Lions Club and held in the Bishop Dunne auditorium The two danced to “Jarabe Niyarit” and their Ballet Folklorico wowed the crowd.

Oak Cliff Teens Prove They Have Lots of Talent!

A duo of dancers dazzled the crowd with their Ballet Folklorico and won the $500 top prize

Eric Sebastian Galindo and Karla Trevino won the first “Oak Cliff’s Got Talent” Extravaganza talent show sponsored by the Oak Cliff Lions Club and held in the Bishop Dunne auditorium on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

The two danced to “Jarabe Niyarit” and their Ballet Folklorico wowed the crowd.

Second place went to singer/songwriter/guitarist Emma Kitto who sang her original song, “Little Whispers.” Her strong vocals and excellent guitar playing earned her the $250 second prize.

A dance troupe from W.E. Greiner Middle School, Dance Company 1, directed by Susan Savarese, came in third with their rousing rendition of the Latin Fusion song, “Let’s get Loud,” by Jennifer Lopez.

Other acts included classical pianist Claire Braddick, playing Rachmaninoff Prelude, Justus Clark reciting an original poem title, “Click Clack Pow,” and two Bishop Dunne students, Rubin Leos and Heath Kuykendall, singing a duet made famous by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., “Me and My Shadow.” Kaci Mills and Valery Tinajero also sang solos for the appreciative crowd made up of Oak Cliff Lions Club members, students from a dozen Oak Cliff area schools, and parents and friends of the talented performers on stage.

The Extravaganza included a raffle drawing for a $2,500 VISA card. Second prize was a weekend at a lake house and third prize in the raffle was a $200 gift certificate to the Dallas Grilled Cheese Company in Bishop Arts.

Celebrity judges volunteering their time for the first-of-its kind event were Michael A. Jenkins, past president of Dallas Summer Musicals, and president of Oak Cliff-based Leisure and Recreation Concepts Inc., or LARC, Michelle Metzger, former Miss Texas and a current Public Relations executive and Talent Scout James Casaerez.

Funds raised from the evening will go to support local charities and International Lions Club charities.

The Oak Cliff Lions Club meets weekly at noon in Weiss Auditorium except for the “Zoo Day” once a year on the first Wednesday of June.

The club also hosts a monthly Farmer's Market in Oak Cliff. See the Farmer's Market Facebook page for more information or contact Sara Kitto:

Carol Donovan John P. McCall for more information.

To attend a luncheon and for more information see: www.oakcliff.lions





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Local southern Dallas school students will be competing for a $500 prize on Thursday evening, May 26, 2016, at Bishop Dunne Catholic School in the auditorium. Tickets are available on line for $10. Raffle tickets for a $2,500 VISA gift card are also available.

Students from Sunset, Harry Stone MS, Greiner, Bishop Dunne Among Talent

Join the Oak Cliff Lions Club for the First Annual "Oak Cliff's Got Talent" Extravaganza Event May 26, 2016. Funds raised will provide college scholarships to local students, and support a dozen local and international Lions Club charities.

This will be a live talent show featuring Oak Cliff High School students and all of the wonderful talent they have to offer. Celebrity Judges will be on hand to select the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Top prize is $500. A variety of talent will be presented from the students of nearly a dozen southern Dallas schools: poetry, dance, piano, guitar, solo singers and duets are all in the program.

SHOW Tickets are $10 each and available at

A drawing will also be held this evening for a $2,500 gift card GRAND PRIZE, a weekend getaway beach house and a $200 gift card to Dallas Grilled Cheese Company. These tickets are available to purchase directly from a member of the Oak Cliff Lions Club for $10 each.

All proceeds directly benefit charitable organizations in our community and Lions International charities. The Oak Cliff Lions are known for their work with the visually impaired and blind; providing college scholarships to local students; and supporting non-profits in the Oak Cliff area. The club’s motto is: “We serve.”


"Oak Cliff's Got Talent" Extravaganza on Thursday, May 24, 2016

Bishop Dunne Auditorium - 3900 Rugged Drive, Dallas, 75224

For more information call: 972-880-5571 or see

For more information on Bishop Dunne Catholic School see:



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A $500 prize will go to the winner of the first ever "Oak Cliff's Got Talent" show to be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Bishop Dunne Catholic School Auditorium located at 3900 Rugged Drive, Dallas. Students from southern Dallas will be performing to an audience which includes celebrity judges.

Local Teen Talent from southern Dallas Schools to Shine in Show Thursday, May 26, 2016: Friends, Family, Teachers invited!

This year's Lions Club Extravaganza is stacking up to be a WOWZER event! Bishop Arts Theater Owner and Director Lion Teresa Wash is the 2016 Extravaganza Chair.

Students from the five southern Dallas High Schools will be performing on:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

In the newly renovated Bishop Dunne Auditorium at 3900 Rugged Drive, Dallas 75224

Beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This year's entertainment will be an "Oak Cliff's Got Talent" show like the popular “America’s Got Talent” television show.

Celebrity judges are lined up to decide which of the outstanding acts will be awarded with cash prizes. Top prize for first place is $500. Second place receives $250 with third taking $100.

A raffle for a chance to win a $2,500 VISA GIFT CARD is also available. Other prizes include a weekend getaway to a private beach house in Galveston or a $200 gift card to the Grilled Cheese Company in the Bishop Arts area.

Anyone who purchases 10 raffle tickets gets an entry to the show. Purchasers of twenty tickets will get you two entries to the show. Addition show tickets can be purchased for $10 each at the door if the show is not sold out.

Tickets are available on line at Search for Oak Cliff’s Got Talent.

For more information contact: Sara Kitto at

Or Teresa Coleman Wash at

Lions Club President Carol Donovan at

Upcoming Programs Include:

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez

May 25, 2016 12:00 PM (CDT) • Methodist Hospital Dallas, Weiss Auditorium, Education Building

Oak Cliff Lions Day at the Dallas Zoo

June 01, 2016 12:00 PM (CDT) • Dallas Zoo - 650 S R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75203

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PHOTO: L-R Altrusa member Kim Abmeyer with new initiate Fay Hamden; Member Kathaleen Bauer with her initiate Pam King; and Belinda Berg with her sponsor Altrusan Susan Melnick on April 19, 2016 at the Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Club meeting held at the 69th floor of the Bank of America building downtown.

More members means more service to the downtown Dallas community

The Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Club initiated three new members at its April 19, 2016 program meeting. Belinda Berg, Fay Hamden and Pam King have helped make the club 83 members strong, the most members in the club’s 34 year history.

Hamden is a Cabi representative, King works with the Arboretum and Berg works with the city of Cedar Hill.

Altrusa International is a service club made up of women and men who want to make a difference in their communities. The Downtown Dallas club was formed in 1982 with 30 charter members, two of which are still active in the club. Since 1982 the club members have performed over 94,000 hours of community service and raised over a million dollars to give to local non-profits.

Over the past three decades the Downtown Dallas club has supported dozens of local non-profits including the Association for Independent Living, Attitudes & Attire, Dallas CASA, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Kids U, Family Gateway, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Hope Cottage, and Literacy Instruction for Texas.

This year the club members have already served over 2,000 philanthropy hours.

Club members also support DISD’s Irma J. Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School near Fair Park by volunteering on Career Day and creating a new ASTRA club, a service club for young adults, on campus. In addition, Altrusa Club members have donated toward college scholarships which are presented annually to graduating seniors. The scholarships are named for a beloved past president, Reagan Lorenzen, who died of breast cancer.

The Downtown Dallas club is part of District Nine, which encompasses the state of Texas. This weekend the Altrusa clubs from across the state will meet in Fort Worth for the annual District Conference.

For more information on the club see it’s website:

Donations can be sent to: Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Foundation, PO Box 600218 Dallas, TX 75360.

The club meets twice a month on the 69th floor of the Bank of America Building downtown on the corner of Main and Elm streets to plan future service projects.

For more information contact Nina Cox who can be reached at: 817-996-6586



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Initiating three new members Ann Alongi (on left) with her sponsor Kathaleen Bauer, and Venus Jones (middle) with her sponsor Gazel Woods, and returning Altrusan Beverly Miles (second from right) with her sponsor Altrusa Club President Niki Payne on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, at the City Club, making the Downtown Dallas club 80 members strong.

The Altrusa Club of Downtown Dallas Inc. initiated three new members on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at the club's monthly noon business meeting held at the City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America building in downtown.

New members are Ann Alongi, Venus Jones, and returning Altrusan Beverly Miles.

Alongi works for DxContinuum and is new to Dallas. In her acceptance speech after initiation she spoke of how much the club already means to her, to have friends in a new city where, when she moved here, she knew no-one.

Ms. Jones spoke about her commitment to volunteering and her hopes to expand her ability to serve others in the city through the club's outreach to the community.

Miles had been a member for years and is returning after a hiatus full of work and family obligations. She is a mortgage loan officer and enjoys serving others when she's not helping her customers with their loan applications.

Altrusa is a service organization for civic-minded people who strive to create better communities worldwide.  The club’s focus is on helping women and children in the Dallas Metroplex by performing service projects to fulfill the mission of “Educating Families for a Better Future”. The Downtown Dallas club is affiliated with Altrusa International, Inc. an international organization with over 300 clubs worldwide with a strong history of literacy education.

Since the club’s founding in 1982, it has raised more than $1,000,000 for community grants disbursed through The Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas Foundation and club members have contributed over 90,000 hours of service to benefit the Dallas community including tutoring children after school, helping women to dress for successful job interviews though Attitudes and Attire, delivering Meals on Wheels, and a number of other projects.

Altrusa raises money to support local community organizations through donations and through its gala, Dessert First.

The downtown club’s membership is a who’s who of business women and men who work throughout the community as attorneys, CPAs, business owners and entrepreneurs.

The club has an open meeting once a month to invite prospective members. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

For more information contact the club’s VP of membership Monica Urbaniak at or see the club’s website at

President Niki Payne;

Vice President of Service Nichole LeBoeuf


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"Firefest" Committee Members: L-right, at the Dallas Fire Museum downtown: 38 year veteran (retired) Jerry “Zip” Crawford, Tom Wattenbarger, Station 11 Captain Rett Blankenship, Mike Otto. The event is Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. throughout the evening.

Second Annual “Firefest 2016!” Saturday, June 4, 2016 in Downtown Dallas will be a Fun Family Event

Rett Blankenship knew he wanted to be a firefighter even before he graduated from high school.

Born in Methodist Hospital just south of downtown Dallas, he grew up mostly in Dallas, in a house off Forest and Greenville Avenue.  By the age of 14 he joined his best friend, Stuart Grant, in the Fire Department Explorers program, and then followed Grant into night classes in at El Centro College in fire safety before the two had even graduated from Lake Highlands High School.

The college classes helped them to get a jump start in the Firefighter program and each quickly became a rookie—Stuart at 19, Rett at 20—and both have worked for the department ever since. Stuart is now a Chief for the Grapevine Fire Department, and Rett is Captain at Station 11 in Cedar Springs, a station that went through an extensive renovation a few years ago.

Rett followed his friend in one other area: both have been board members of the Fire Museum in the Exposition Fair Park area. Rett became President of the board last year when Stuart moved out to the Grapevine Fire Station.

Originally built in 1907 as the fire station for downtown Dallas, the fire station portion of the building was closed in 1975, and it has become a museum filled with memories, photos and mementoes of a century of firefighting in Dallas, replete with old-time engines and hoses, hats and equipment used to fight fires and save lives for a century.

Rett met his wife, Donna, while working as a paramedic, when he was taking a patient upstairs at Dallas Medical City. She was a new nurse then, and the two have been married since 1994—22 years this April.

A Firefighter since January 31, 1979, Rett is retiring April 29, 2016, after 37 years, and he will also be turning over the reins of the Museum to Trixie Lohrke. She’ll be the first female Firefighter Museum Board President.

After decades of a fire fighter’s shift of 24 hours on, 48 hours off, Rett looks forward to travelling, cooking and spending more time with his wife. Rett’s known for his delicious home beer brewing and pretty extensive cooking skills.  In 2007 he won Tabasco’s Hottest Firehouse Cook Contest in New York when he cooked at the American Culinary Institute in a competition against nine other firefighters. New York Chef Mario Batali, owner of 25 restaurants and author of 10 Cookbooks, was one of the judges.

Some scoop from the nearly-four decade firefighter: Rett says rainy days are often busy for firefighters as they respond to multiple car wrecks. Elevators snafu’s—as older buildings’ elevators get stuck, or new ones malfunction, which sets off automatic alarms--–also send firefighters to the rescue, but about nine out of 10 times these alarms are false. In fact, statistically speaking, less than 1% of calls turn out to be true fire alarms—the rest are false and result in zero property damage. And, as more people move to the DFW area, there are more car wrecks; those crashes are nearly equal in number to fire alarms today.

Today’s firefighters are trained first to be an EMT/paramedic.

He says the typically shift--24 hours on, then 48 off – can be tough, but when he became Captain, he got his own bedroom, which meant more sleep because he didn’t hear his co-workers snoring.

It’s a career he’s loved. He says it’s so competitive now, “I encourage potential applicants to try to get on with multiple fire departments.” He elaborates, “We get lots of guys from California and other states and they take tests all over the country.  It’s an exciting career, and lots of military guys, veterans getting back from their tours, are often interested in becoming firefighters. We’ve had WWII vets, then Korean, Vietnam and now Afghanistan and Iran war veterans because they are used to that excitement level.”

After the 2008 economic crash, Rett said, there was a new influx of firefighters: “Guys that were coming from high paying jobs, well educated – pretty sharp people--were applying to be Firefighters.”

Calls for action in the station come from an electronic woman’s voice that Rett says “was fun to listen to for about the first 24 hours I worked there,” and now drives him nuts.  The house also has a bell system: if there’s one ring the ambulance responds; two rings alert the engine and three rings are for the truck. If one, then two, then three rings are heard, everyone heads out.

He also wishes Dallas drivers would follow the rule about hearing fire sirens: pull over to the right and stop, and let the emergency vehicles have the right of way. Ambulances, fire engines and ladder trucks need a clear path to the emergency, which can be difficult in city traffic.

As for Chicago Fire, the popular TV show, Rett has never seen it. He says few fire-fighting movies are realistic and the closest was the show “Rescue Me,’ about the trauma firefighters went through after 9/11.

Rett hopes this year’s Second Annual “Firefest 2016” is twice as big as last year’s inaugural event. The museum’s board looks forward to a fun, family-friendly event that can help raise funds toward the goal of a $5.6 million to fully refurbish the museum for years to come. The ultimate goal of the museum is to teach fire safety to all: children, teens, adults.

Rett says he knows Dallas has generous people living in the city and he’d love to find “a guy who was really big into being a fireman when he was a little kid – like the late Arthur Fielder of the Boston Pops, who was a famous fire buff—who could write a big check to cover a lot of the Museum’s renovations.”

Rett could even let that donor climb onto a real fire truck. But there will be no sliding down the pole. That’s been relegated to the history books, along with the horse-drawn fire engines.


Firefest information will be available this weekend at the Deep Ellum Art Festival: look for the fire truck to get the event flyer!

Firefest 2016 is June 4, 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in downtown Dallas, on Exposition Boulevard near Fair Park. The Children’s “Bucket Brigade” races begin at 11:00 a.m. It is free.

Music will be ongoing and the Fireman’s pipe and drum corps will play at noon to kick off the Cart Races.

Teams of five adults for the Cart Races can register for $20 per person or $100 per team.

T-shirts and Fire Museum souvenirs will be available for sale at the Museum. Food Trucks will be available.

The party continues at Pizza Lounge in the evening for food and beer and more socializing.

If you would like to learn more about the capital campaign to expand educational outreach and renovate the Museum, please call 214-821-1500. Volunteers for Firefest can also call. Check the event’s Facebook page.

See more at:

Rett Blankenship is the current Firefighter Museum President--Captain, Station 11

See more at:

Or contact any Firefest Committee member at the Dallas Fire Museum downtown: Jerry “Zip” Crawford, Tom Wattenbarger, Station 11 Captain Rett Blankenship, Mike Otto.


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Blue skies and warm weather brought out the neighbors to the Oak Cliff Lions Club Farmer's Market on March 5, 2016 at Cliff Temple Baptist on Sunset Avenue. The market is a new venture for the Lions and is making a big splash with local vendors and customers.

Lions and Taffy and Fresh Produce -- OH MY!


The Oak Cliff Lions Club and Cliff Temple Baptist Church is working together to bring fresh produce and locally-made crafts and products to the neighborhood. Profits from the booth rental space go to support local non-profits such as The Well Community, which helps people with mental illness, and national and international charities, many of which support the visually impaired.

The new Oak Cliff Farmer’s Market kicked off in February and will continue on the first Saturday of each month. More vendors and customers attended the 2nd Market on March 5, 2015. Over a dozen vendors had a great response to the market in February that they were sold out of product by 10 a.m. Those vendors came back with additional product this past weekend to delighted customers.

The Cliff Temple Baptist Church parking lot is divided up into booth space which can be rented for $45 for the four hour market. Market hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

Local farmers with produce, bake goods, spices, meats, coffee beans, crafts, etc. are encouraged to contact John McCall at or (214) 676-7999.

The Oak Cliff Lions meet every Wednesday at noon for a luncheon and speaker at Weiss Auditorium at the Methodist Medical Complex on Colorado Boulevard.

To attend a lunch meeting contact Sara Kitto:

or President Carol Donovan:

Upcoming Events include:

Wednesday, 12:00 noon

Date: March 9, 2016

Speakers:      Dr. Joe May - Chancellor of Dallas County Community College District


Selected as the seventh chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, Dr. Joe May assumed his duties at DCCCD in late February 2014. Throughout his career, May has expanded opportunities for students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree by starting at a community college. At the same time, he brings a strong commitment to improve the Dallas economy by helping to grow middle-class jobs. He is known both nationally and internationally as a result of his relentless advocacy for the role of community colleges in solving today’s most challenging social issues. 

As the first member of his family to attend college, the chancellor realized the profound impact that higher education had not only on his life but also on society in general. This background inspired May to help start and then to become the founding president of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), a national consortium of community colleges that is dedicated to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to pursue the “American dream.” 

As a community leader and educator, he strongly believes in achieving academic excellence and has worked closely with public school districts, sponsored charter schools, career academies and early college programs.



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Champagne was lined up to toast new Altrusa of Downtown Club President Niki Payne at Savor last summer, and will flow again on Mondays in February as Altrusa holds five consecutive Monday Networking Hours at Savor. Profits from the 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday events will benefit non-profits in the downtown area that support increasing literacy, and help women and children in crisis.

The Altrusa service club of Downtown Dallas is kicking off 2016 by partnering with Savor Gastropub, located at 2000 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, in its “Charitable Mondays” program to benefit the downtown Dallas community. The Altrusa DTD Foundation will receive a percentage of the proceeds of the restaurant from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. for every Monday in February.  The percentage increases with the number of people who say they are there because of Altrusa.   

Altrusa is a service organization for civic-minded business men and women who strive to create better communities worldwide.  The downtown club’s major focus is on helping women and children in the Dallas Metroplex by performing service projects to fulfill the mission of “Educating Families for a Better Future.”The downtown club is affiliated with Altrusa International, Inc. an international organization with over 300 clubs worldwide with a strong history of literacy education.

Since the club’s founding in 1982, the members have raised more than a million dollars for community grants disbursed through its Downtown Dallas Foundation and has contributed over 90,000 hours of service for the benefit of the Dallas community. Altrusa raises money to support local community organizations through donations and through a fundraising gala called Dessert First. The club is 100% run by volunteers so 100% of funds raised for charitable purposes goes to local charities and non-profits, and college scholarships for local high school graduates.

Friends, colleagues and prospective members of Altrusa are invited to come after 3:00 p.m. for a great time of networking, food and drinks. The dates are Mondays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29.   

Kids-U was the primary beneficiary of the most recent Dessert First. Other organizations supported by the club over the past three decades include: the Association 
for Independent Living, Attitudes & Attire, Dallas CASA, Dallas Children’s Advocacy 
Center, Dallas Community Lighthouse, Family Gateway, Friends of Wednesday's Child, 
Genesis Women’s Shelter, Hope Cottage, Literacy Instruction for Texas and the United Through Reading Program at the USO. 

For info on Savor see: or contact Debby Weber at

To find out more about the Altrusa club see: or contact Membership Chair Monica Urbaniak at to attend a noon meeting at the City Club downtown.

A PROSPECTIVE MEMBER LUNCHEON is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16 at 11:45 a.m.  Guests interested in learning more contact Monica at


February 16

11:45  The City Club,

 Bank of America Building downtown

2015—2016 Altrusa Board Members Include:

Niki Payne, President

Nina Cox, President Elect

Kim Schonwald, Immediate Past President

Monica Urbaniak, VP Membership

Nicole LeBouef, VP Service

Scottie Kennedy, Treasurer

Marsha Reynolds, VP Communications

Amy Gavigan, Secretary

Lori Blair, VP Fundraising

Carol Kilman, Parliamentarian