Leaders Show They Care

by: Gail Chandler, LDA Community Day Co-Chair

Each January Leadership Dallas Alumni come together on a Saturday morning to serve the community, and, when these volunteers show they care, great things happen.

Since Community Day began in 2014, more than 850 volunteers have given 3,000+ hours to more than 40 agencies. One section of the city is chosen as the focus each year, and this year’s annual LDA in the Community Day on January 26, 2019 will target needs in Northeast Dallas.

About 150 LD alums and their family members will engage in a variety of activities at eight sites, working alongside the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Dallas Police, the Lake Highlands Exchange Club and other community partners.

Chad Prochaska and I serve as co-chairs and are joined by these enthusiastic site captains from many LD classes who will lead the projects. All volunteers will begin at Sam Tasby Middle School and fan out to other sites after breakfast. Kristine Schwope and Cindy Masters will coordinate all hub site logistics. Work will conclude by noon, so everyone can gather back at Tasby for lunch and reports on the day’s achievements.

For Dallas ISD at Sam Tasby Middle School, Wendy Messman (LD ’17) and William McDaniel (LD ’18) will lead campus improvement projects in teacher lounges and student spaces, while Brian Farragut (LD ’09) and Asheya Warren (LD ’18) will coordinate mentoring with Eagle Scholars (selected high-potential students). At Jack Lowe, Sr. Elementary adjacent to Tasby, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals will complete similar campus improvements, led by Kyle Laney, Danielle Digeralamo and Allison O’Gorman.
At the Dallas Police Department Northeast Substation, Jeff Forbes (LD ’15) and Bruce Rideaux (Affiliate Member) will lead volunteers in repairing and improving the work environment for officers at this site.

Chris Thompson (LD ‘07) and Steve Harris (LD ‘07) will take the lead at Healing Hands Ministry, painting and decorating the behavior health offices and waiting area.

Sara Hollan Chelette (LD ‘13), Jamil N. Alibhai (LD ‘13) and Ana Rodriguez (LD ‘13) are responsible for projects at Heart House, including building raised beds and recycling centers and painting student spaces to promote environmental awareness.
Jennifer Bartkowski (LD ‘16) and Krissy Barker (LD ‘12) will lead activities at Literacy Achieves, organizing supplies, assembling reading packets, as well as painting murals and preparing raised garden beds in outdoor areas.

At Northwest Community Center, John Roppolo (LD ‘76), Sally Rosenberg (LD ‘06) and David Steinfield (LD ‘94) will lead volunteers in compiling and handing out resource packages to approximately 250 refugee families. Volunteers will also organize games with refugee children whose families are waiting.

Pamper Lake Highlands site captains are Jenny King (LD ‘16), Diana Aguirre (LD ‘04) and Whitney Strauss (LD ‘14), who are planning a variety of efforts for volunteers to furnish and equip this new facility and provide resources to clients.
At Richardson ISD’s Thurgood Marshall Elementary Suzanne Massey (LD ‘15) and Prentis Murphy (LD ‘14) will lead volunteers in improving student spaces through painting and décor, including creating a mock college dorm room for collaborating and coaching students and building an outdoor classroom.

Community Day offers so many ways to serve our community while reconnecting with classmates or networking with others, and the one thing we learn in Leadership Dallas class days above all is that leaders show they care. Please commit to community service on this day and year-round.

Please register to participate in Community Day here. Please also consider your financial support and make a donation or watch for an Amazon Wish List for needed supplies (coming soon!).