MAY 19, 2014 3:31 PM BY DIANA OATES Published By: Culture Map Dallas
The Dallas Country Club was buzzing with excitement as hundreds of charitable guests filled the ballroom for the Wilkinson Center’s second annual Can Do Luncheon.
Luncheon chair Christie Carter and Anne Reeder, the organization’s executive director, welcomed attendees with words of gratitude. Reeder also had the crowd in stitches as she read aloud some letters written by Wilkinson Center kids, who wished her a speedy hip-surgery recovery.
The funniest letter began, “Dear Mrs. Reeder, don’t die.” Kids really do say the darndest things.
When the lunch bell chimed, guest warmed up with bowls of tomato soup before moving onto herbed chicken with fresh vegetable couscous. Desserts included a citrus tart and chocolate financier. As luncheon fare goes, this meal hit the spot.
Once appetites were sated, it was time to get down to business: presenting the Can Do Awards. This year’s honorees were philanthropists Anne and Terry Conner; the Women of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church; and Wilkinson Center Adult Education client Alphonso Brooks, who recently completed his GED at Wilkinson Center and is now attending his first year of college.
The inspiring afternoon concluded with a final song performed by Kristen and Alex Bumpas and the Saint Michael Choir.
The inaugural affair raised $100,000, and although this year’s totals aren’t in yet because donations are still pouring in, organizers predict the tallies will far surpass that. Not surprising, when the Wilkinson Center counts movers and shakers like Lynn McBee, Caren Kline, Robbie Briggs, and Ellen and John McStay among its supporters.
The Wilkinson Center is a leading poverty rescue and prevention agency for the working poor, serving more than 14,000 people annually, mainly in East and Southeast Dallas.