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Gala Chairs Josey Kennington and Jolie Humphrey; Honorary Chairs David and Kim McDavid.

Jolie Humphrey and Josey Kennington, Chairs | Kim and David McDavid, Jr., Honorary Chairs
Venise Stuart, President, AWARE

The scene was set at the launch party for AWARE Affair Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening at The Statler’s Bourbon & Banter as guests were greeted by a 1946 Lincoln and a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air – a flashback to speakeasy times - at the entrance.
Access to the underground lounge is familiar to those who might recall the location of the old beauty salon at The Statler, down a couple flights of stairs, but new to the location is the addition of a call-in code which guests make from a telephone booth just outside the main door. Then you’re in!

Jolie Humphrey, one of the AWARE Affair chairs, said “Speakeasy chic was the attire listed on the invitation and it has made for a wonderful atmosphere for our party.” Joining Jolie in welcoming the crowd were Josey Kennington, who is chairing AWARE Affair with Jolie and honorary chairs Kim and David McDavid, she in sparkles and sequins and he in dapper pin stripes and a fedora.
More than 75 supporters and members of the host committee gathered in the high-style surroundings and enjoyed a signature cocktail, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Venise Stuart, AWARE’s president thanked everyone and revealed some history about AWARE which began in 1989 when five very involved and powerful Dallas women founded the organization in support of their good friend who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Those five women were the late Ruth Sharp Altshuler, Cyndy Hudgins, Nancy Nelson, Evelyn Ponder, Billie Leigh Rippey and Anita Sampels. At least 100 of their friends stepped up to join the organization, some of whom attended this evening.
In the almost 30 years since AWARE has been in existence, over $12.5 million has been raised.  This money has been given back to the community in the form of support for education, research, and caregiving using a thorough grant review process under the administration of The Dallas Foundation. The process includes financial analysis and on-site visits to applying organizations. Beneficiaries are listed below.

AWARE Affair celebrates two honorees. The first is BvB Dallas: BvB Dallas is a Dallas-based charity organization that hosts a powder-puff football game and other fundraisers as a way of raising money for Alzheimer’s disease research and awareness. Founded locally by a group of young women driven to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, BvB Dallas is a personal way for young professionals across DFW to raise awareness, funds and support to TACKLE ALZHEIMER’S FOREVER. Raising more than $3.5 million and recruiting over 1,000 volunteers for the cause, BvB Dallas has made a huge impact in the Metroplex over the past 10 years.

The second honoree is the Chantilis Family, in honor of their mother, Frances Chantilis. Frances was one of the original charter members of AWARE. Frances was a kind, gentle, woman, who gave to everyone in the community. Unfortunately, Frances lost her own battle of Alzheimer's in 2013.

Her children, Sam Chantilis, M.D. and Stephanie and Bennie Bray, in Frances' memory, continue the mission of AWARE. Stephanie and her husband, Bennie, served as the 2015 AWARE Affair Chairs.
Jolie and Josey thanked media sponsors PaperCity Magazine, The Park Cities News/The Waters Family, MySweetCharity and Downtown Business News, along with in-kind sponsors to date: Matthew Shelley Photography, Glass Vodka, ROXOR Gin, JR Ewing Bourbon, Lakewood Brewing Co. and PRATIKSHA Jewelry, which donated a most beautiful set of a diamond necklace and earrings co-designed by honorary chair, Kim McDavid.  Topping off the sweet evening were chocolates from Chocolate Secrets as favors.
Slated for Friday, April 13, 2018, AWARE Affair Celebrate the Moments – A Modern American Evening will be held at The Statler, the newly-renovated historic hotel. The original Statler Hilton, an iconic building of mid-twentieth century design, was heralded as the first and finest hotel of the modern era and established Dallas as the business and entertainment center of the Southwest. 
AWARE’s new event format is a party scene in tune with the hotel’s new energy, designed to entice party-goers of all ages: a cocktail reception, dancing to favorite tunes spanning the decades, silent auction with select wonderful finds for everyone, and a spirited live auction.  Ron Corning is emcee.
Guests will enjoy a three-course seated dinner showcasing gourmet selections by Director of Culinary Events Justo Blanco.  Justo, the former Executive Chef and Director of Operations at Bolsa Mercado, heads up the culinary team at The Statler.  He has a wealth of knowledge, has been recognized by Dallas Modern Luxury, D Magazine, notables in the culinary world, and he possesses a wealth of culinary and event experience. 
For underwriting and sponsorship opportunities contact Sharon Walker at or 214.369.2459, or visit the website at
          2018 AWARE Grant Recipients are:

  • Baylor Health Care System Foundation – Support for the salary of a Ph.D. Neuropsychology Intern for Baylor AT&T Memory Center.

  • Center for BrainHealth - Discovery Group - Support for the Discovery Group, a program designed to help individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias focus on preserving abilities and tapping strengths to promote meaningful engagement and slow the progression of the disease.

  • Dallas Museum of Art - Memory Moments – Support for teaching honorariums, supplies, and staffing for Memory Moments, a program designed to provide participants with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias ways to engage in art that are revitalizing and gratifying.

  • Jewish Family Service - Support for the salary of a Clinical Social Worker to provide independent living services to adults with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their families/caregivers.

  • Juliette Fowler Communities – Support for group and individual therapy sessions with a Certified Music Therapist for memory care residents, and to help purchase additional instruments and therapeutic tools.

  • NorthPark Presbyterian Church - Casa de Vida – Support the Casa de Vida program, which gives relief to families/caregivers by providing one-on-one care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias at the church for programs involving art, music, games, and lunch one day per week from 9:30 until 1:30.

  • Texas Winds Musical Outreach - Support for two concerts by professional musicians in 87 nursing homes and adult daycare facilities that serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

  • Presbyterian Communities & Services Foundation - Broad Strokes – Support for the Broad Strokes program at Grace Presbyterian Village that provides music and art therapy to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

  • The Senior Source - Senior Companions - Support for the Senior Companion Program matching volunteers with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their families needing assistance with meals, light housekeeping, and companionship.

  • UT Southwestern Medical Center - Support to advance Dr. Roger Rosenberg’s research and clinical trials on a DNA Vaccine to clear amyloid plaques in the brain to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The Myrna D. Schlegel AWARE Scholarship Fund - Recipients are Nora Drutz-Rogney, Baylor University; Lindsay Ross, Texas Christian University.

              The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, is the fiscal sponsor of AWARE. For more information please visit the website at


About AWARE: The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity, is the fiscal sponsor of AWARE. In partnership with the Foundation, AWARE conducts an annual grant application review process resulting in the selection of the most exemplary nonprofit organizations working on the front lines in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in Dallas and the North Texas region. AWARE provides funding and support to these outstanding groups that offer services, programs, education, and resources to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers, and to organizations doing valuable research to find a prevention and cure.  Since its founding in 1989, AWARE has donated over $12,500,000 towards this cause.

About The Statler: The Statler is a modern-day redevelopment of a landmark Dallas hotel which opened in 2017.  Opening its doors for the first time in 16 years, The Statler will feature a luxury boutique hotel and residences, with restaurants, nightlife, boutique retail, meeting spaces and a multi-purpose events and concert venue. Encompassing style, status and sophistication, The Statler features 219 luxury residences and 159 hotel rooms. Originally opening as the Statler Hilton in 1956, the hotel was a destination for the elite, attracting the world’s most distinguished dignitaries and celebrities. The Statler, part of Curio – A Collection by Hilton, is the iconic downtown Dallas experience. Visit the website at

Photos by Matthew Shelley.

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