The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD) lured 700 guests to the inaugural Great Futures Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. Organizers knew they’d have to set a high standard to make this event a must-attend for the distinguished Dallas lunch crowd, and they nailed it with featured speaker Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
Luncheon co-chairs Michele Wheeler and George S. Watson welcomed the former secretary of state, who also was there to formally launch the Center for a New Generation (CNG) program, which was co-founded by Rice herself. This is the first CNG initiative in Texas and only the fourth in the country.
CNG is an innovative academic and enrichment after-school and summer program that allows the BGCD to integrate schools represented in the Dallas Independent School District Feeder Pattern and Uplift. The program is up and running at Dunbar Elementary to facilitate a more familiar and productive learning environment.
Prior to the Rice’s taking the stage, guests — including Lisa and Gregg Ballew, Carole and Scott Murray, Karen and Mark Carney, Michele and Jeff Wheeler, Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts, Stan Barth, and Micki and Mayor Mike Rawlings — enjoyed lunch and musical performances from the Dunbar Elementary choir, James Madison High School concert choir and Bianca McClure. The latter is a BGCD alumna who impressed the audience with her violin skills.
During her speech, Rice stressed how critical it is that every child has a chance. “It does not matter where you come from; it matters where you are going,” she said.
Rice also talked about the importance of developing children’s minds and how Center for a New Generation can do that by providing a world of art and culture. The crowd, taken by her words and grateful for her time, thanked her with a standing ovation.
The luncheon served as the kickoff for the Great Futures Campaign, with a goal of raising $1.5 million to fund the CNG initiative and other BGCD programs. For 50 years, the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas has been to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.