Death • 12.09.11

Deaths

Leon Bidez Catlett III, 40, of Little Rock, Ark., died Nov. 29 at Harris Methodist Hospital in Dallas.

A friend to many and a dedicated volunteer to numerous organizations, Catlett devoted the last four years of his life to the service of others. Known for the ever-present smile on his face, he treasured his immediate family and the countless friends that made up his extended family.

He will be remembered for his passion and unconditional commitment to non-profit organizations. During the last years of his life, he held several leadership positions, serving as vice chair and board member of Legacy Counseling Center and Legacy Founders Cottage; volunteering at Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network and Kidscape Foundation, and serving on the Ryan White Planning Council.

Catlett is survived by his parents, Leon B. Catlett II and wife, Roxanne of Little Rock, and Carol B. Furo Fisher and husband, Kenneth of Plano; his brothers, C. Cori Catlett and wife, Christy, and Aaron Fisher, both of Little Rock; sisters, Kasey Fisher of Dallas and Marcia Catlett Goodloe of Little Rock; grandmother, Betty Butler and husband, Houston, of Searcy, Ark.; grandfather, Sammy Furo and wife, Kay, of Hot Springs, Ark.; grandfather, Bobby Dean Hughes of Jacksonville, Ark.; aunts and uncles, Alix Matthews and husband James P., Betty Pullam and husband Joe, Dorsey De Salvo and husband Mark, Amy Furo Horner and husband Chris, Tricia Furo Leovich and her son Parker D. Leovich, Renee Nolen and husband Ronald, Rhonda Turner and husband Andrew, Sam Furo and Adam Furo; cousins, Liz New and husband Chris, Jay Pullam, Catherine Curran, Joe Matthews, James Matthews, Helen Matthews, Nicholas De Salvo, Alix Matteson and husband George, Sara Smith and husband Will, Ben Bond, Walter Catlett and wife Suzanne, Michael Catlett and Robert Catlett; and niece Bryce Holland Goodloe and nephew Tosh Chiles Goodloe, in addition to numerous close friends including Gretchen Kelly, Steven Weir, Tony Key, Don Gaiser David Andrews.

Catlett was interred at Brearley Cemetery in Dardanelle, Ark., on Dec. 5.

A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. at eM — The Venue, Suite C, 1500 Dragon Street in Dallas.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Resource Center Dallas Hot Meals Program/Food Pantry and Legacy Founders Cottage.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Two gay men among One Man Dallas semifinalists

Joseph Hernandez, left, and Steven Weir

Because women volunteer at a greater rate, group formed to encourage men to give their time

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

Two gay men are among the 20 Dallas men who have been nominated for the title of One Man Dallas, presented by an organization that honors men who volunteer. Because women volunteer at a rate five times that of men, One Man was created to encourage and honor men who volunteer.

The project began in 2009 with One Man Minneapolis. Last year the group added Chicago and this year Dallas.

From hundreds of applications, the field was narrowed to 20 semifinalists. Nominees had to be men between ages 24 and 44 who are affiliated with a local charity and live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The 20 semifinalists are competing to become One Man Dallas, which will be awarded on May 19. Among them are Joseph Hernandez who volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, and Steven Weir who is a board member of Legacy Counseling Center.

Hernandez has been a Habitat volunteer for about 11 years.

“One thing I do is serve as their banker and I work on homebuilding projects,” Hernandez said.

Each year, Habitat provides about 100 homes for low-income people in Dallas.

Habitat is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Dallas this year. Since 1986, it has helped 850 low-income families. They have invested $95 million in Dallas in more than 20 neighborhoods and have increased the tax base by $2 million annually.

When constructing new homes, Hernandez said that volunteers do everything that doesn’t require a licensed contractor. He said there’s a spot on a construction site for anyone.

“They take people based on expertise and put them in the right place,” he said. “There’s something that everybody can do.”

For the more experienced that includes nailing framework and installing sheetrock, but for less experienced volunteers there’s planting landscaping, painting and cleanup.

And as their banker, Hernandez works with each of the applicants for a Habitat home to ensure their success in the program.

Steve Weir has been the board chair for Legacy Counseling Center for several years. Legacy provides counseling services for people with HIV and a substance abuse program in Oak Lawn and operates Legacy Founders Cottage, a 24-hour supervised special care facility in Oak Cliff.

Legacy’s executive director, Melissa Grove, called Weir an amazing volunteer who works throughout the community.

In addition to his work with Legacy, Weir has done fundraising for Lambda Legal, Legal Hospice of Texas and Home for the Holidays, been a team captain for LifeWalk and collected silent auction items for Genesis Women’s Shelter.

Grove said, “I’d be tickled if a gay man won” the One Man title.

She credited the LGBT community with volunteering at a much higher rate than the general population and said that should be highlighted for the community. She was surprised more gay men weren’t among the finalists.

Voting takes place on the OneManDallas.com site. Anyone can sign in and vote once a day.

Two additional happy hours will take place before the final event. On May 4, all of the finalists will be at Board Room Salon in Highland Park Village and on May 12 at Aloft Hotel in Downtown Dallas from 6 to 8 p.m.

The final show will be on May 19 at Gables Park 17, a new high rise on McKinney Avenue at Akard Street, at 7:30 p.m. Five finalists will be announced. Those five will participate in a live competition involving fashion, pop culture trivia and interviews. Denise Lee will be among the entertainment.

The winner will split $5,000 with his charity and win a wardrobe from J Hilburn.

More information on Dallas Habitat for Humanity at DallasAreaHabitat.org, about Legacy Counseling at LegacyCounseling.org and on One Man Dallas at OneManDallas.com.

—  John Wright

Former City Council candidate Joseph Hernandez also on One Man Dallas semi-finalist roster

Joseph Hernandez

On Tuesday I told you about Steven Weir being chosen as one of 20 semi-finalists in the One Man Dallas competition. Today, I want to add Joseph Hernandez to the list of openly gay men who made the semi-finalist cut in the competition, which aims to honor men who “represent the best in Dallas” in terms of community involvement, intelligence, personality and fitness.

Hernandez, who works in community development banking for Northern Trust Compnay, ran for Dallas City Council in 2007, when he narrowly lost a runoff against Dave Neumann in District 3. Hernandez has chosen Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity Inc. as his charitable organization. If he wins, he will split the $5,000 cash prize with Habitat.

According to the One Man Dallas website: “Because women volunteer at a rate five times that of men, the mission of One Man Dallas is to encourage more men to volunteer with charitable organizations and engage in community projects that make our communities a better place to live and work.”

Well, I am willing to bet that women AND men in the LGBT community volunteer for charitable and civic events and organizations at a much higher rate than in the general population, because our community learned a long time ago that if we didn’t take care of each other, nobody else would.

So here’s wishing both Hernandez and Weir the best of luck in the competition. Watch Dallas Voice’s print edition in the coming weeks for a story about Steven and Joseph and the One Man Dallas competition, and check the One Man Dallas website for a schedule of meet-and-greet events to introduce the contestants to the public, and for more information about the big final show on May 19.

—  admin

Steven Weir (and Legacy Counseling) make the One Man Dallas cut as a semi-finalist

I just got a call from Melissa Grove, executive director of Legacy Counseling Center/Legacy Founders Cottage, letting me know that Legacy’s board chair, Steven Weir, has been chosen as one of 20 semi-finalists in the One Man Dallas competition, giving him the chance to win $5,000 to share with Legacy.

“We are the only AIDS organization and the gayest organization” to be chosen by a One Man Dallas semi-finalist, Grove said.

One Man Dallas, according to its website, is “a fun, social, and professional event that identifies the one man in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area who represents the best of Dallas from the perspectives of community involvement, personality, intelligence and fitness. One Man Dallas not only puts the spotlight on 20 guys doing great work in the community, but highlights 20 great community organizations.”

Each finalist is profiled on the website, and you can vote once a day each day through May 15 for your favorite. Online voting results will account for 25 percent of each finalist’s total score.

There will also be a series of happy hour “meet-and-greet” events to give the public a chance to meet each semi-finalist. The first will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at Park Place Mercedes Benz, 6113 Lemmon Ave. Other times and locations are listed on the website.

The big finale is set for May 19, 7:30 p.m. at Gables Park 17, 1700 Cedar Springs Road in Uptown. That’s when the five finalists will be announced and then participate in a live competition involving fashion, pop culture trivia, informational interviews and more. The winner will be chosen by a panel of community leaders.

—  admin