Classic Tees Off to Benefit GRACE

golfIn the spirit of sport and charity, hundreds of men and women braved the brisk weather earlier Monday to participate in the 3rd Annual Classic Golf Tournament.

The Classic Chevrolet Golf Tournament took place at the esteemed world-class Cowboys Golf Course, designed by the best in the industry and boasting 159 immaculate acres of forest, natural waterways and even wildlife habitats. Players competed in a Florida scramble with 2 putt maximum.

GRACE is one of seven charities to receive proceeds from the Classic Employee Charity Fund, with a matching dollar for dollar gift from Classic owners Tom and Susan Durant.  GRACE is blessed to have the long-standing support of Classic Chevrolet and the Thompson Group who add value to the community by generously giving back.

It was an honor for GRACE to be included once again as a recipient of proceeds from this golf tournament, and a particular honor to participate in this year’s tournament commemorating Steve Thompson’s life.

GRACE was represented on the green by Board members John Elieson, Kevin Chase, Don Johnston, and Mike Mills.  GRACE volunteers passed out refreshments to players and thanked them for participating in a golf tournament that also provides food for the hungry, clothes for the poor, shelter for the wanderer, and medical care for the sick through partner charities like GRACE.

Many thanks to Classic Chevrolet and all who participated in the 2014 Steve Thompson Classic!

golfBy: Jennifer Jayroe

 

 

Gala Raises the Roof as Another Roof Crumbles

treeThe falling tree incident took place late Friday night at the Transitional Housing complex on the eve of the Gala. The damaging winds and rain caused the large trunk to nearly uproot, and the sheer weight made the tree crash into the carport just outside of the homes of our GRACE clients.

Had the tree fallen to a slight degree from the carport, it would have crashed through the home where our clients were sleeping. Clients removed their vehicles as the carport began to dilapidate.

Often what draws many clients to GRACE is the pursuit of safety and protection that a stable home environment provides. This hazard not only carried the potential for physical harm, but the emotional trauma would have had a lasting negative impact on our transitional housing clients.

For this very reason, we believe God protected our GRACE clients. The tree has since been removed by GRACE, and the carport is in the process of being repaired. A special thanks to Rusty Thigpen, our Food Pantry Manager, Transitional Housing and GRACE Staff who took swift action to ensure the safety of our residents.

If you have a heart for Transitional Housing, and would like to donate goods or time for Transitional Housing’s upcoming Fall Festival on October 23, you can donate bags of candy to GRACE Main on 610 Shady Brook Dr. in Grapevine, or contact LaDondra Wilson at lwilson@GRACEGrapevine.org.

 

By: Heather Ortner

GRACE Clinic Honors Volunteer Physicians

cookStaff at the GRACE Clinic are amazed every day with the high quality of care that our GRACE volunteers display to our clients. Recently, a provider was detained and unable to come to the clinic. The waiting room was filled with patients needing personalized attention. Dr. Charles Cook, a physician who partners with GRACE, was contacted on very short notice to cover the volunteer shift.

When Dr. Cook learned of the dilemma, he immediately stated that he would be there within 20 minutes.  His concern and caring attitude for our clients was fully evident.

Despite having other obligations and duties at their own workplaces, we are continually grateful for the level of service our volunteers at the GRACE Clinic are willing to provide.

Dr. Margaret Nguyen is another provider whose dedication and support to our clinic on a weekly basis is greatly appreciated.  She recently volunteered to supervise additional open evening clinic shifts.  Her faithful service to our clinic is much appreciated by the GRACE clients, staff and volunteers.

We have many volunteer shining stars at GRACE.  The quality of their care, compassion and dedication touches our clients and staff every day.  It is truly a medical home at GRACE Clinic, and the clients feel our concern and care for their well-being on a daily basis.

By: Shirley Roberts, RN, BAS, CCM                                                                                             GRACE Community Clinic Nurse Manager

 

 

 

Gala 2014 a Glowing Success!

gala2014

Facebook, the “Twitter-verse” and all of social media were abuzz Saturday night with images and descriptions of the GRACE Gala. This year’s edition—the 11th annual—took on a decidedly high-tech atmosphere with Mobile Bidding, post-industrial décor,  linked message boards in the front and back of the hall and a spontaneous real-time gauge of the guests’ generosity.

But it all began with the lilting sound of a lone saxophone slowly playing “Amazing Grace” and dancers swirling about the Grand Ballroom at the Irving Convention Center. Evan Knight, the saxophonist from the evening’s dance band Limelight, and dancers from The Living Art Dance Company combined for the beautiful welcome to guests as they entered the Ballroom.

The Grand Ballroom was bedecked in the colors of Tiffany Blue and White—a theme that harkened to the gifts members of the community give to provide the GRACE Mission to those in need.

Creations by Alford Media Services, including a massive white ribbon forming the stage backdrop and a GRACE Angel suspended above the stage and overseeing the night’s activities, served to further drive the theme.

Stacey and Chris Archer, 2014 Gala Chairs, presided over the evening’s festivities that included gourmet offerings, fine wines, an entertaining live auction, and dancing. NBC 5’s Meredith Land emceed the proceeding; Rev. Todd Renner from White’s Chapel United Methodist Church offered a stirring invocation; Mike Jones banged the Live Auction gavel; and GRACE Executive Director Shonda Schaefer kept the night moving in a joyful direction.

Steve Alford and Alford Media Services received the annual “Angel of GRACE” award for years of service to GRACE that dates back to the very first GRACE Gala in 2004. GRACE Board President John Elieson praised Steve and the folks at Alford Media Services for setting the high standards for the Gala.

“Our friends at Alford,” said John, “have made this event their own—and GRACE, their cause.”

Ken Thompson from the Thompson Group at Classic Chevrolet took the GRACE Gala stage for the seventh year in a row to award the winner of the Gala Raffle.

The highlight of the evening was a call for gifts to the GRACE Mission by Stacey and Kevin Chase, chairs of next year’s GRACE Gala. The couple offered several inspirational examples of GRACE’s work in the community and asked Gala guests to open their hearts and their pocketbooks. A gauge was projected onto all four screens in the Ballroom and slowly it began to climb towards its goal.

As testimonials were offered and encouraging words provided from the podium, the gauge well-eclipsed the goal and climbed to a record-setting level. It was the true culmination to an evening centered on gifts and gift-giving.

Meredith Land characterized the evening in this way: “The room is filled with the colors and shapes of meaningful gifts. Each of your gifts to GRACE is special, meaningful and so needed to support our mission.”

GRACE wishes to thanks everyone who worked so hard and gave so generously to made the 2014 GRACE Gala a magical and beneficial night! Many blessings!

By: Mark Woolverton

Gala Offers Express Check-In!

mobilebiddingTomorrow’s GRACE Gala guests will enjoy high-tech amenities that will get them back to the important things—like eating, dancing, and bidding!

Upon arrival, those who registered through the Express Check-in will bypass the lines and head straight to all the action. Guests can go here to pre-register within five minutes. Within four to six hours guests will receive a text from our new Mobile Bidding site allowing them to view and even bid on the hundreds of coveted items on Big Board and Silent Auction that will be offered at tomorrow’s Gala!

The mobile bids occur in real-time and guests can check the status of their bid at anytime, anywhere—even on the dance floor! The site will also send a message to those who have been outbid. Bidders can set maximum bids, eBay-style, that will enter incremental bids automatically until the maximum amount has been reached.

Countdowns will let guests know when time is running out to make their final bids, and winning bidders will know immediately that they have won their prize!  Bidders can also follow their progress on a “My Bids” sreen. Many auction items will also have a “Buy It Now” option that will give guests a chance to get first dibs on a sought-after item!

Not tech savvy? “Bid Buddies” will be stationed strategically in the Grand Ballroom and on the Silent Auction floor to help guests place bids, or to answer any questions about the mobile bidding process.

You can watch tips with this short video: How Mobile Bidding Works on your Phone in 3 Easy Steps.

Pre-Registration will be open until noon on Saturday, October 11. We’ll see you tomorrow at the 11th Annual GRACE Gala!

By: Heather Ortner

Transitional Housing Class Graduates

THgradNothing brings the GRACE mission statement to life quite like a Transitional Housing Graduation.  GRACE volunteers and staff came together last Thursday evening to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of 9 ladies who have worked diligently in pursuit of their goals and dreams over the last two years.

The graduates took turns sharing about the circumstances that led them to the Transitional Housing Program, about the strong support of their caseworkers as they worked towards their goals, and about all of the lessons they will take with them.  As one client said “I came into Transitional Housing with baggage, but I am leaving with luggage…with tools, and strengths and assets for the journey ahead.”

One of the graduates was scheduled to work during the commencement, but asked that a letter be read in her absence.  At the end of the letter she left a beautiful challenge to those still in the program:

I wanted to say a few words to the current GRACE residents.  You may be scared, unsure, mad or sad about your current circumstances.  Just know that you are incredibly blessed to be chosen to be in this program.  You have been given another chance to improve your life in many different areas.  No, you will NOT be perfect when you finish the program, you may not even be out of debt completely, you may lose a job while here, you may experience the death of a loved one, finalize your divorce, go through a custody battle, or hate having someone tell you what to do.  But listen, take these two years and work hard on your financial struggles, your emotional battles, your relational issues, and let your caseworker help you help yourself.  Two years is not a long time, it goes by fast, and when you leave, you will have new struggles, but that is just life.  Being at GRACE is truly a gift, and should not be taken for granted and the time must be used to improve yourself and your family.  There are several things I would have done differently while in the program, mostly it would have been to save money and not eat out so much and follow my heart much sooner so I could experience the happiness that I feel now.   I understand life can be complicated and we make excuses for so many things, but making smart decisions with your money and using this time strategically will help you succeed now and when you move forward after GRACE.  Time flies by.  Do not stand still!  Do what you need to do, do what you want to do, but most importantly….do what is right!  Follow the rules, be honest with your caseworker, and be honest with yourself and be thankful!  No one in life is going to care more about you than you!  And, if you do not care about yourself, it will be hard for others to care about you! Good luck and best wishes to each and every one of you including current GRACE graduates and future GRACE graduates!  As my case manager would always tell me, “You got this!” and “I believe in you!”

These graduates understand that the road to self-sufficiency is not easy, but it is worth 100% of the work it takes to learn more about themselves and their strengths, achieve their goals, and move forward with hope for the future.  It is only through the support of our community that GRACE is able to offer this truly life-altering program for people in need of assistance.  Thank you for playing a role in our graduates’ bright futures!

By: Jennifer Jayroe

GRACE Participates in Oktoberfest

OktoberfestFor the last 13 years, Southlake Chamber of Commerce has hosted a three day extravaganza during the month of October appropriately titled Oktoberfest.  The event draws close to 50,000 visitors with the lure of food, beverages, games, children’s events, arts and gifts booths, and the infamous wiener dog race!  Admission to the event is free and is held in the beautiful Southlake square.

This year on October 3-5, thanks to the generous support of Sabre, GRACE was part of the festivities.  Sabre purchased a booth for Oktoberfest and then donated it to GRACE.  Oktoberfest was a perfect venue to make contact with individuals and families from Southlake and surrounding communities.  Balloons and discount coupons for GRACEful Buys and Style & GRACE were distributed to Oktoberfest visitors.

The best part of the weekend included building or strengthening relationships with both people who were new to GRACE but also people who have supported GRACE in one way or another for many years.  Many visitors signed up to learn more about volunteer opportunities at GRACE.

The weather was beautiful, the atmosphere was fun, and the opportunity to connect was priceless.

Thank you to Sabre for making it possible!

By: Stacy Pacholick