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You never, ever know who is going to see the front of your house, how they will experience it. For the most part, we treat the front of our homes, the famous “drive-up appeal”, with incredible care, especially if the home is being marketed for sale. Some homeowners always take pride in their home’s outside face.

Most homeowners prefer to keep grass and hedges neat and tidy, the home painted and pristine, eschewing art or decorative yard objects. Others enjoy a garden of sculpture, which can be mixed amongst plantings and readily seen by thousands if the home is on a busy street.

The folks who planted the bronze elephant at 5322 West Mockingbird Lane nearly 25 years ago had no idea the statue would inspire a nine-year-old girl from Sherman, Texas, to get better. Ironically they bought it, says listing agent Bonnie Bauer, as a symbol of good luck and good health.

I know you have seen it countless times while stuck in traffic on Mockingbird Lane just east of Inwood Road. The house is one of those Greenway Park charmers –a fully updated three bedroom brick ranch cottage, circa 1979, .18 acres with a darling backyard and pool. The home is 2,320 square feet, smaller than its cousins heading east on Mockingbird towards the heart of the Park Cities. It is listed for $639,000.

But did you know that elephant, the bronze statue right in front of the house and very visible to the street, so inspired one precious little girl that she named the elephant “Hope” and sent the homeowners a letter complete with a portrait?

Erica R., age nine at the time, wrote the homeowners to tell them her favorite animal in the world is an elephant. And the elephant they had placed in front of this home helped get this little girl through some tough treatments at Children’s Medical Center.

Five years ago, in March of 2013,  Erica was sent to Children’s Medical Center with serious medical issues. She was only nine years old at the time. Imagine, a nine year old from Sherman, Texas, home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, already fighting for her life!

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15TFP006 Announcement Poster Hirez

The first week of November is my favorite shopping week of the year, and I always call the credit card companies to warn them ahead that my plastic will be heavy metal this month. This is Partners Card week, a beautiful tradition that started in 1993, which I clearly remember. Over the past 22 years, Partners Card has become the largest fundraiser for The Family Place and is one of the most celebrated shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex.  But even better than naked consumption, this event helps provide a soothing shelter to those who don’t have it — something we who enjoy the most beautiful homes in Dallas can forget.

In one split second, a life can be changed, which often affects the innocent angels left behind. And not everyone enjoys in-town family who can help them bridge the gap. In 2014, Partners Card celebrated its 22nd anniversary with more than 750 participating retailers and restaurants selling over 16,000 cards and proving over 16,000 nights of shelter to women, men and children.  In its history, the community has helped raise more than $14 million through the Partners Card program.

The 2015 Partners Card allows customers to save 20% at participating shops from October 30 through November 8. The card only costs $70 and 100% of the proceeds go directly to The Family Place to support survivors of family violence. You can also purchase a Partners Card at participating card-selling retailers and neighborhood Tom Thumb locations. Do what I do: buy major purchases (furniture, decor, luggage or clothes) and get an early start on holiday shopping, too. I‘m heading down to Bernadette Schaeffler’s newly-stocked showroom in the Design District in a few minutes to get going… will update you on what I find there, too. Up north, check out IBB Design Fine Furnishings of course (I’ll be there later in the week) and the great folks at Sunnyland Furniture. No better time to buy next summer’s patio furniture than NOW! (And everything up there is on sale !)

Just be careful in the parking lots this week, speaking from experience!

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Rhonda Sargent Chambers

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Melissa Boler, Debbie Munir & Ashlee Weidner

partner card logoBy the way, we salute 2015 Partner’s Card 2015 Honorary Chair Rhonda Sargent Chambers and Debbie Munir, wife of home-builder extraordinaire Michael Munir, is co-chair, along with Melissa Boler & Ashlee Weidner.