Oak Lawn United Methodist Church to provide Thanksgiving meals to low-income families

The congregation of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church is teaming with Kroger on Cedar Springs Road to provide Thanksgiving meals to 50 local, low-income families. Associate Pastor Gregg Allan Smith reports:

Join us on Nov. 20th at noon as the Kroger trucks pull up in front of the historic church and the Kroger staff troops into the main sanctuary with 50 turkeys with all the fixins. The Oak Lawn congregation will pack the food into gift boxes to be given to the recipient families who will start arriving at around 1 p.m. If you would like more information about the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church “Community Table,” please call the Rev. Gregg Alan Smith at 469-995-6176 or e-mail to gregg.smith@olumc.org. You may also call David Edwards, facilities director, at 214-521-5197 ext. 204 or e-mail to david.edwards@olumc.org.

—  John Wright

Resounding Harmony rehearsal, auditions

Resounding Harmony at a 2010 performance.

Resounding Harmony begins its fourth season of musical philanthropy on Sunday with its first rehearsal. And auditions for new members are set for Monday.

The group said the audition process is quick and painless. Bring a prepared piece to sing. This can be anything out of a hymnal, an opera or a Broadway show. An accompanist will be provided, so bring a copy of the music. The audition takes about five minutes and beyond the prepared music you might be asked to sing scales to determine your vocal placement in the chorus.

Resounding Harmony raises money for other organizations at each of its concerts. This season, Our Heartfelt Season, will benefit two North Texas organizations.

The fall concert on Nov. 22 will benefit the Make-A-Wish® Foundation, and the spring concert on June 19 will benefit the American Heart Association. Past beneficiaries include the North Texas Food Bank, the Fine Arts Chamber Players program to provide violins to underserved schools in DISD, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Palliative Care Unit of Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Rehearsals take place at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church at 3014 Oak Lawn Ave .

For more information or to sign up for an audition please visit the website or email the chorus’s Operations Manager, Robert Huneke.

—  David Taffet

Resounding Harmony gives $25K to Children’s Medical Center, bestows Life Member Awards

Check presentation. (Photo courtesy of Chad Whyrick)

Resounding Harmony awarded the Palliative Care Unit of Children’s Medical Center $25,275 on Monday. The money was raised from the chorus’s June 8 concert at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Each Resounding Harmony concert raises money for a different community organization.

The chorus also gave its first three Life Member Awards — to Timothy Seelig, Sam Caine and John Maloney. Seelig was the founder of the chorus who left Dallas late last year to become the new artistic director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Caine is the owner of Card Payment Systems in Frisco.

“He [Caine] has been a valuable asset to Resounding Harmony and through his company has made sure that the chorus has had reliable low cost credit card processing,” said Board Chair Mark Knight. “He has also been a major contributor to the chorus and its beneficiaries.”

Maloney is the owner of Maloney Strategic Communications in Dallas. He and his staff have provided all of the marketing and PR pieces for Resounding Harmony since its founding. “This includes all of our graphics and the award winning logo that we use today,” said Knight.

The 2012-13 season begins rehearsals on Sunday, Aug. 21 at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church. Auditions for new members will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22 at the church. Resounding Harmony’s fall concert on Tuesday, Nov. 22 will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the spring concert will benefit the American Heart Association.

More information is available at ResoundingHarmony.org.

—  David Taffet

Local Briefs

AIDS Arms moving its offices

Officials with AIDS Arms announced this week that it is moving from its current offices on Sunset Avenue in Oak Cliff to the historic Jefferson Tower, 351 W. Jefferson Ave., effective Monday, Feb. 7.

The offices on Sunset Avenue will close at noon on Feb. 3, and offices will remain closed until re-opening at 9 a.m. the following Monday in Jefferson Tower. The Peabody Health Center’s hours of operation will not be affected by the move.

Executive Director Raeline Nobles said the move is “part of an ambitious campaign” that will include building a new medical facility at the Sunset Avenue location.

“We are excited about our move to Jefferson Tower. It is a beautiful building and will help expand our social service and HIV prevention programs,” Nobles said.

She called the move “the first concrete step toward our vision of creating greater access to quality medical care for underserved individuals in our community.”

She added that the agency’s expansion also “marks significant economic development for Oak Cliff in terms of construction investments, leasing and the employment of clinical professionals.”

Bradshaw presenting workshops in Dallas

Resource Center Dallas and SMU Simmons will present two workshops by John Bradshaw, a personal growth expert and New York Times bestselling author.

Bradshaw will speak on “Reclaiming Your Inner Child” on Thursday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon, focused on exploring the impact of growing up in a dysfunctional family and reclaiming one’s wounded inner children. His topic on Wednesday, March 2, will be “Healing the Shame that Binds Us,” highlighting his theory and therapeutic processes on healing toxic shame.

Registration for both events begins at 8 a.m. Both workshops will be held at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, 3014 Oak Lawn Ave. (The location, originally set for Resource Center Dallas, has changed.)

Mental health professionals can earn continuing education units for attending.

Tickets are $65 for one workshop, or $100 for both. Student price is $25. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go online to RCDallas.org.

Senior pug adoption event set

DFW Pug Rescue will hold a senior pug adoption event Saturday, Jan. 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Creekside Pet Care, 8820 Davis Blvd. in Keller.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Admission fees paid by those approved to adopt a pug will go toward the adoption fee. Other admission fees will be used to pay for vet care for senior pugs.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

—  John Wright

Resounding success

For the third year, Tim Seelig’s choral group sings to feed a real need

Resounding Harmony
SUPPER CLUB | Tim Seelig, center, with members of Resounding Harmony, wants his concert to feed North Texans.

Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St.
Nov. 10. 8 p.m. $30–$50.


Timothy Seelig gets angry when he considers that during the season of Thanksgiving, there are still thousands of North Texans who go hungry. Which is why, for the third year in a row, the new season of his Resounding Harmony choral group begins with a fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank.

“Resounding Harmony is an amazing blend of men [and] women, ages 13 to 77, from absolutely every walk of life, brought together by the music and the larger mission of making a difference in our community,” explains Seelig, the founding artistic director for the chorus.

Now more than 200 voices strong, Resounding Harmony had its genesis in a smaller mixed choral group Seelig helped put together for the March 2008 Voices of Peace celebration to honor Maya Angelou. That group caught the eye of Gregg Smith, a pastor at the Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, who approached Seelig and Hope for Peace & Justice about creating another chorus to help raise money and collect food for the needy. Not long afterwards, Resounding Harmony and its “musical philanthropic mission” were born.

“The North Texas Food Bank shared with us that they had just launched a three-year initiative and we immediately signed on to partner with them,” Seelig says.

The first year, Resounding Harmony raised enough to provide the NTFB with the means to offer 65,000 meals to North Texans unable to feed themselves. Last year, the chorus took an even more ambitious aim: to help provide 100,000 meals — a goal it surpassed by 10,000 meals. This year, Seelig once again wants to exceed the 100,000 mark. The concert takes place Nov. 10 at the Meyerson Symphony Center

“We are working very hard to add to the concert proceeds, income from the virtual food drive, actual food drives, Dinner in Destin Raffle, the Recyclable Grocery Bags and the Fabulous Table Auction,” Seelig says.

While the concert is intended to call attention to the reality of hunger in North Texas, Seelig promises that the show itself will be “[a] perfect balance of humor and seriousness.”

Some songs on the program, like “Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise” and “Jalapeno Chorus”(a distinctly Southwestern play on Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”) are laugh-out-loud funny. Others, like the poignant “Famine Song” and the rousing “Love Can Build a Bridge,” are intended to stir emotions.

Additional concert highlights include Russ Rieger playing the Lay Family Concert Organ and pianist Antoine Spencer performing a medley of Leonard Bernstein pieces.

“Every person attending will enter these holidays with beautiful music in their ears and in their hearts,” Seelig says.

In the three years of its existence, Resounding Harmony has also sung on behalf of other organizations, such as the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts, Lowe Elementary and The Samaritan Inn. With its June 2010 Carnegie Hall “Sing for Cure” performance for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, it has also quickly established itself as a distinguished member of the Dallas arts community

“The philosophy is to use our music as a philanthropic vehicle to raise money and awareness,” explains Seelig. “It is truly an effort to use music as a means to a greater end, rather than an end in and of itself.”

— M.M. Adjarian

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 5, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Oak Lawn's oldest structure is for sale, and Neil Emmons fears it will be demolished

The building that served as the original Oak Lawn United Methodist Church now stands at 3206 Knight St.
The building that served as the original Oak Lawn United Methodist Church now stands at 3206 Knight St.

The oldest structure in Oak Lawn is on the market, and openly gay Dallas Plan Commissioner Neil Emmons fears it may soon be demolished. The building at 3206 Knight St. is nestled in behind the Valero convenience store  and across from Kroger. Emmons said although it’s been added to, the base of the structure served as the original Oak Lawn United Methodist Church at Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn Avenue when it was founded in 1874. According to “The Oak Lawn Vision: A History of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church,” the building was erected in only 15 days. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“The little building served until 1890, when it was replaced by a larger structure. Then it was moved to Cedar Springs and Douglas and served as the Oak Lawn school house. In 1904, Will H. Cullum bought that building and moved it to Hall and Knight Streets, where he converted it into his home. It was later moved to the back of the lot and rebuilt facing Knight Street where it remains today.”

Here’s what the building originally looked like:

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—  John Wright