Happy Anniversary

The Partners Card turns 20 — and the Family Place hopes to raise $1.5 million

The Partners Card turns 20 — and the Family Place hopes to raise $1.5 million

2012 Partners Card co-chairs Gay Donnell, Kathryn Henry and Dawn Spalding
2012 Partners Card co-chairs Gay Donnell, Kathryn Henry and Dawn Spalding. Photo courtesy of Family Place

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Partners Card. If you’ve already purchased yours, then you know that it’s more than a card that gets you a 20 percent discount at your favorite Dallas stores; all proceeds go to The Family Place, our city’s largest agency committed to ending domestic violence.

How did it all start?

Melissa Sherill, development director of the Family Place, credits executive director Paige Flink. The idea of shopping for a cause was not new, but Flink saw a concept similar to what is now Partners Card on a trip to Chicago. 

But the real catalysts were the first Partners Card chairs Sally Hoglund and Sally Johnson, as well as a group of dedicated Family Place volunteers. Together they launched the first program in 1993.

When the charitable event began, there were 175 participating retailers in Dallas. “Stanley Korshak was instrumental in helping get other stores involved,” Sherrill says. She also named Circa 2000 and All Vac — the small vacuum shop on Lovers Lane.

That first year, the card cost $50 and the Family Place raised $90,000. Now at $70 and with 750 participating retailers (restaurants, stores and spas), this year's co-chairs — Gay Donnell, Kathryn Henry and Dawn Spalding — hope to reach their $1.5 million goal. Last year the Partners Card raised $1 million. 

“It’s like the perfect storm,” Sherrill says. “[Partners Card] provides something for the shopper, the retailer and the charity — everyone feels good about giving back to the community.” 

Buy your card online or at participating stores, and shop till you drop October 26 to November 4.