Remembering the Astrodome
I read an article posted on Facebook by the Texas Historical Commission about the Astrodome in Houston this week. It brought back fond memories.
Our family moved to the Houston area in 1967, and we attended several events as the Astrodome when I was in junior high and high school, from livestock/rodeo and boat shows, to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
Although my sister and I were more inclined toward Ozzie Osborne, Led Zeppelin, and Jethro Tull, we accompanied our parents to the Astrodome to see Elvis Presley perform. I will never forget Elvis in his legendary white suit - he was an electrifying performer.
The “Domed Stadium” postcard above appeared in a 2011 article in Sportales, “Remembering The Astrodome.” To quote:
“The Domed Stadium opened April 12, 1965 and cost $35 million to build. It was the first ballpark to have a roof over the playing field and was referred to as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’ Who played in the opening game?” [Answer: Yankees and Astros]
Pat Hernandez has written, “Is The Dome A Historical Landmark?” in HUHF-FM News.
“One Houstonian favors saving the Astrodome as a historical landmark. That may bring in funding, but what strings come with a historic designation?”
Dan Rather Reports ~ Buzzkill
This video contains two stories. The one focusing on bees comes first, and it lasts 37 minutes.
“This year marks the highest losses of honey bee populations in the U.S. Some of the country’s biggest beekeepers have lost over 60%. Some say they won’t be able to rebuild their numbers with such high losses and if these kinds of losses continue, the industry may only be able to sustain itself a few more years at most. With one in three bites of food we eat dependent on bees for pollination, will there be enough bees to pollinate the crops this year? The almond orchards in California are the first test where 85% of the world’s almonds come from. Enter a fascinating world of the largest mass pollination event on earth. Producer/Editor - Laura Minnear”
There are different opinions about what is causing the bees to die off. Here are a few additional articles for your consideration. Clearly, whatever is causing this disaster, immediate research and repair is in order.
As I was writing this post, I received one of my daily e-mails from Whole Foods, with a link to this brief but insightful video, “Share the Buzz.” Thanks, Whole Foods!
Watch this brief Vimeo about CausePub, a community of storytellers working together to create best-selling books that directly impact specific causes.
I submitted a story about a video I made for the South Texas Council, Boy Scouts of America a few years ago, Video Saves the Day for the BSA. It discusses creating video for special event presentations when the honoree - or special guest - is too frail to give a public speech. If you are so inclined, I would appreciate your vote!
CausePub also maintains a blog, and I am pleased to have provided an article, “Predictions for the Future of Non-profit Fundraising” (June 6, 2013).
I was driving back to San Antonio from Dallas, when I spied several large fields of sunflowers. This particular field, located just to the north of Hillsboro and south of Carl’s Corner, was particularly glorious. Several cars had pulled off the road, in order to photograph it.
Here is a brief Viddy taken of the field with my iPhone.
Maricela Sanchez ~ Bespoke Designer Pet Gates & Crates
After speaking at a conference at the Irving Convention Center, I stopped by the Dallas Pet Expo on my way back to San Antonio to see a good friend exhibiting her new line of artistic pet gates and crates. Click here to see: Bespoke: Contemporary Pet Gates and Crates for Modern Living, Design & Comfort.
Shown above is Marcy with her display, then below (left to right), adoptable dogs at the Dallas Pet Expo, Marcy showing a pet owner how comfortable pets are in her lovely custom-made crates, and some sleepy pets ready for adoption by the Red River SPCA.
I met Marcy while doing the fundraising for the Legorreta+Legorreta designed wing of the Art Museum of South Texas. Click on the link to read about one aspect of that fundraising campaign from my blog on WordPress.
Oak Hills Country Club ~ San Antonio (and trees in Chicago)
This stately oak tree is one of many in a forest surrounding, and lovingly cared for by the staff of Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas. Oak Hills is one of the oldest country clubs in the nation, and one of the most advanced in terms of its management.
Click to read about its recycled water plant. Even in the intense heat of summer, the club grounds look lush and green.
While not a member myself, I attend meetings of an ancestry association here on a regular basis. Those visits are always a pleasure (this Instagram was taken June 1, 2013).
Speaking of trees … via the micro-volunteering platform Raise5, I donated fundraising advice to a new Chicago-based nonprofit, AddATree. I notice in the news recently that Chicago has its share of urban challenges. According to AddATree, keeping the city environment healthy and well-stocked with trees is also an issue.
It would be great to see this “start-up” nonprofit gain a firm footing. Please consider making a donation. I understand the organization hopes to secure funding to launch the office ~ a great deal has already been done by volunteers, but more help is needed and welcome.
I mentioned a few years ago (via NTEN, then when I transferred this discussion to my WordPress blog), how I became acquainted with the charity lottery system in the United Kingdom, Sweden and The Netherlands. These lotteries have an entirely different cast than most in the United States.
In “Charity Lotteries ~ A European Success Story” I discuss the Texas Lottery, and I suggest the idea of trying a new, classier lottery similar to the European model, one that might attract a broader audience.
Given a recent attempt to “shake-up” the popular Texas Lottery, I wonder if we might embark upon a new concept.
As a fundraising professional for nonprofit organizations, I see increasing needs for charitable support, yet reduced capacity via traditional sources. Crowdfunding has burst upon the scene to provide a broad-based way for many individuals to solicit and raise significant funding for worthy projects. A new lottery system could serve a similar function.
Food for thought!
Downtown San Antonio ~ San Pedro Creek
A long neglected creek in downtown San Antonio will come to life again through the efforts of the San Antonio River Authority and its partners. Click to see renderings of the project, posted by Texas Public Radio.
I took this Instagram after touring the Spanish Governor’s Palace earlier this year with fellow members of The Daughters of the American Revolution. With news of the restoration, I could not resist posting it on Tumblr.
Not far from this photo is Casa Navarro State Historic Site. A docent at Casa Navarro told me a few years ago about the importance of the creek to old “Laredito,” an historically Tejano neighborhood in the heart of old San Antonio.
From the restoration team:
“Sort of like a little sister to the San Antonio River, San Pedro Creek will offer walking paths, recreational areas, and chances to pause at historic sites along the four-mile waterway.
The cost estimate on the project is $175 million.
‘We’ll need partners to help us on right-of-way, some city help, some help from SARA, but it’s doable and it would completely change the nature of this creek much like we changed the nature of the San Antonio River,’ said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff .”
Give Us The Money
Why Poverty? uses film to get people talking about poverty.
From the website:
“We commissioned eight documentaries from award-winning film makers and 30 shorts from new and emerging talents. The films are moving, subtle and thought-provoking stories, but they also tackle big issues and pose difficult questions.
The films were shown around the world in November 2012 on more than 70 national broadcasters. The documentaries are now all free to view online.”
~ On a personal note, during the 2008 AFP International Philanthropy Conference in San Diego, California, I was enthralled by Bob Geldof’s plenary speech (given to some 3,000 fundraising professionals, of which I was one). I had signed-up to attend the conference because he was speaking, and I was well rewarded. Bob’s presentation was quite simply one of the best, most compelling presentations ever. Coming from Texas, I was also surprised, but pleased by the kind words Bob gave to President George W. Bush (for example, see the 2008 article in The Sun, “Africa … Bush’s secret triumph”).
This beautiful vintage postcard comes from The Graphics Fairy.
I have written a few Tumblrs about veterans I have been blessed to know. I share links to those articles below. This Tumblr is my tribute to soldiers everywhere, and an expression of my thanks for their service to our nation.
Engage Online Ambassadors
Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from engaging online ambassadors from among their board members, donors, and volunteers.
I wrote Engage Online Ambassadors to provide “back-up” suggestions regarding the concept from a variety of sources.
A platform that helps support the concept of online ambassadorship is Great Nonprofits. In brief, you create a profile with basic information, then you search the GuideStar database to find the nonprofit’s specific listing. Your review is then “linked” to that specific GuideStar profile.
A helpful feature is that social media links are provided once your review is published. You can then share the review(s) online.
Great Nonprofits is a terrific way to support your favorite nonprofits and share their good work and success stories with your colleagues and followers online.
Volunteering and Charitable Giving
I was delighted when a company I admire greatly - WealthEngine - wanted to re-post one of my articles on its own blog, WealthWorks. Click on the link to read the post, which contains both helpful information as well as a personal story underscoring the link between volunteering and giving.
I have been blessed to meet and work with volunteers of all walks of life during my career in the nonprofit sector. The people who inspire me most are donors who not only contribute financially, but who also take the time to work with me side-by-side in the “trenches.”
The article discusses just a few of those wonderful human beings. Be sure to follow the link provided to the original article on my WordPress blog for additional details.
Last but not least, thanks to WealthEngine for its valued partnership on several prior projects! It is a company of great integrity, and truly, a campaign “life saver.”
San Antonio ~ Wanderings
I look forward to seeing the movie, which is coming out this May.
“Plimpton! tells the story of writer, editor, amateur sportsman and friend to many, George Plimpton. Using Plimpton’s own narration – along with thoughts and stories from friends, family and contemporaries – the film is a joyful celebration of a life lived fully, richly, strangely, and, at times, a life that is hard to believe was actually lived by just one man.”
Click on the title of this post to reach a movie trailer, and follow this link to reach the movie website.
I was fortunate to meet George Plimpton in Texas in the mid-1990s. I had engaged friend Mike Hicks of HIXO to design several invitations and tandem pieces for the early Corporate Conservation Leadership Luncheons, which were created for The Nature Conservancy of Texas under the leadership of a colleague and friend to this day, Ronald W. Kessler. The designs for these pieces were world-class and set a very high tone for the events. The first luncheon occurred in Austin, the next ones (that I implemented) took place in Dallas.
A colleague of Mike’s, Rob Miller, was overseeing design and marketing work for The Macallan at the time. Rob thanked The Nature Conservancy for its patronage by arranging a private reception featuring George Plimpton speaking about “baseball and birding.”
Not many are aware that George was an avid birder and friend of leading Texas birding tour leader and Nature Conservancy supporter, Victor Emanuel. The addition of The Macallan scotch to the reception - served in a variety of vintages - and salmon smoked over Macallan scotch cask chips, bring fond memories to mind.
Thanks go to Deedie and Rusty Rose of Dallas again for hosting the event in their then-new home in Highland Park (designed by Antoine Predock). Deedie and Rusty are among several generous couples that have signed-on to the Giving Pledge (click on their names above to read more).
Back when I lived in Austin in the mid-1980s, I acquired a small work by renowned glass artist, Judy Jensen. I have enjoyed having it in my home all these years.
While in Austin on April 27 for another meeting, I took time to visit Judy’s studio before returning home to San Antonio. I brought with me her small early work, which Judy had not seen since those days. It is shown lying on the table closest to the viewer.
We have both come a long way since then. Judy and I reconnected on Facebook, and it was through Facebook that I learned about her Kickstarter, “Sacred Glass: The Wat Chong Klang Project.”
The project involves replacing glass paintings destroyed in an earthquake in a 19th century Buddhist temple in northwestern Thailand. At the time of this writing, she is two-thirds toward her goal of raising $15,000. Investors at all levels are welcome! The video posted on Kickstarter provides an excellent overview.
Today, Judy’s art is found in numerous public and private collections, among them the Royal Ontario Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, McDonald’s Corporate Art Collection, and the Washington Art Consortium. For the past eight years, she has worked almost exclusively on commissions.
Judy had her studio open on April 27 as part of the West Austin Studio Tour. It was a perfect time to stop by and say hello (and yes, I am one of her Kickstarter “backers”).
A quick but delightful day in Austin!
Thanks to everyone who supported Judy’s Kickstarter project. Since last weekend, it has been fully funded, and then some!