Getting in the middle

Famous TV mom nurtures Dallas audience at family-focused benefit

Famous TV mom nurtures Dallas audience at family-focused benefit

Sherla Tovar, Patricia Heaton, John Tovar
Sherla Tovar, Patricia Heaton, John Tovar Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Molly Dorset, Candice Burgess, Annie Fernandez, Cassie Bohannon
Molly Dorset, Candice Burgess, Annie Fernandez, Cassie Bohannon Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Dr. Albert Reyes, Belinda Reyes, Patricia Heaton
Albert Reyes, Belinda Reyes, Patricia Heaton Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Keana Meyer, Haley March, Ramsey March
Keana Meyer, Haley March, Ramsey March Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Kelsey Mildren, Paul Gittemeier, Luke Mildren
Kelsey Mildren, Paul Gittemeier, Luke Mildren Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Patricia Heaton, Cynthia Izaguirre
Cynthia Izaguirre interviews Patricia Heaton on stage. Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Jennifer Knox, Jim Knox, Kate Bryant
Jennifer Knox, Jim Knox, Kate Bryant Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Cristy McCullough, Patricia Heaton, Blair McCullough
Cristy McCullough, Patricia Heaton, Blair McCullough Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Leigh Johnson, Carrie Smith, Ryan Smith
Leigh Johnson, Carrie Smith, Ryan Smith Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Albert Reyes
Albert Reyes addresses the crowd. Photo courtesy of Buckner International
Sherla Tovar, Patricia Heaton, John Tovar
Molly Dorset, Candice Burgess, Annie Fernandez, Cassie Bohannon
Dr. Albert Reyes, Belinda Reyes, Patricia Heaton
Keana Meyer, Haley March, Ramsey March
Kelsey Mildren, Paul Gittemeier, Luke Mildren
Patricia Heaton, Cynthia Izaguirre
Jennifer Knox, Jim Knox, Kate Bryant
Cristy McCullough, Patricia Heaton, Blair McCullough
Leigh Johnson, Carrie Smith, Ryan Smith
Albert Reyes

What: Buckner International Hope for Children fundraiser

Where: Renaissance Dallas Hotel

The 411: Buckner International's May 7 benefit featured an evening with Emmy Award-winning actress Patricia Heaton, famous for her roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle.

Attendees dined on a three-course dinner of salmon and ribeye while listening to a Q&A with Heaton moderated by WFAA’s evening anchor Cynthia Izaguirre.

Although Heaton is best known for her hilarious roles on TV sitcoms, she is also a bestselling author of the book “Motherhood and Hollywood — How to Get A Job Like Mine” and a cookbook called “Patricia Heaton’s Food for Family and Friends,” which published last year.

Never shy to share her faith, she also works to highlight the efforts of nonprofits around the country. “One of the reasons I love doing events like this is that I get to go around the country and see all the good that’s being done by people," Heaton told the audience.

Heaton said that earlier in the day, she got to have lunch with foster mothers served by Buckner International, and the experience moved her.

“It was pretty moving just to be in the room knowing that each one of the women there had fostered and sometimes adopted children," she said. "Knowing how difficult that is was humbling to be a part of and hear some of the stories and see the dedication in what can be trying and difficult circumstances. It was really moving.”

She urged the crowd to get involved in nonprofits in tangible, hands-on ways if they really want to feel connected.

“In order to sustain a commitment to an organization, it helps if you can be hands-on and see results in real time,” Heaton said. “I always recommend that if someone is looking to share their gifts with a charitable organization to start in your own community. There’s no shortage of organizations that could use great volunteers, and it’s a great way to meet people and feel really connected to the place you live.”

During his keynote address, Buckner International President and CEO Albert Reyes spoke on the importance of volunteers and friends of the organization who are helping vulnerable children in foster care.

“There are 443,000 children in the United States living in foster care,” Reyes said. “Where will they go? Who will be there for them? We must ask ourselves that question, because the answer has eternal consequences for boys and girls."

Buckner North Texas is an extension of Buckner International, a faith-based organization founded in 1879 in Dallas that today serves people internationally through a variety of programs, including foster care and adoption, family transition programs, community-based family preservation programs, and retirement services for senior adults.

Who: Sherla Tovar, John TovarMolly Dorset, Candice Burgess, Annie Fernandez, Cassie BohannonBelinda ReyesKeana Meyer, Haley March, Ramsey March, Kelsey Mildren, Paul Gittemeier, Luke MildrenJennifer Knox, Jim Knox, Kate BryantCristy McCullough, Patricia Heaton, Blair McCulloughLeigh Johnson, Carrie Smith, and Ryan Smith.