This is a photo of the 2019 COC banner

Champion of Children Award Dinner

November 14, 2019

HONOREES – Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki

HONORARY CHAIRS – Mrs. Nakita Johnson and The Hon. Eric Johnson

GUEST SPEAKER – Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

EVENT CO-CHAIRS – Janice and Richard Davis, Hannah and Greg May, Virginia and Edward Schaefer

Dallas CASA honored Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award for their ongoing commitment to making the lives of children better. Click here to view our tribute to this year’s honorees. Since the very beginning of Dirk Nowitzki’s long and storied Dallas Mavericks career, his Dirk Nowitzki Foundation has awarded millions to help disadvantaged children. Since his retirement earlier this year, Dirk and his wife have continued their involvement and investment in the community’s children.

The Champion of Children Award dinner raises funds for Dallas CASA. All proceeds are used to support the volunteer advocates who help abused children find safe, permanent and loving homes. The award is named in honor of Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders, the revered United States District Court judge for the Northern District of Texas, a past award recipient and a steadfast supporter of children.

Guest speaker for the evening was Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the Michigan circuit court judge who allowed more than 150 abuse survivors to testify in court against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Aquilina gained national attention for providing time and space for victims to speak publicly prior to Nassar’s sentencing as well as her tough talk to Nassar in the courtroom. “Your decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulated, devious and despicable,” she said from the bench. “And I want you to know, as much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again.”

To learn more about the 2020 Champion of Children Award Dinner or underwriting opportunities, please contact Michelle Mai, 469-547-9456 or email.

To view our 2019 Champion of Children Award Dinner patron party photo gallery click here.

To view our 2019 Champion of Children Award Dinner photo gallery click here.

We are grateful to our 2019 Champion of Children Award Dinner underwriters: 

Exxon Mobil Corporation
Pioneer Natural Resources
Bill Smith
Jim Thompson

Jana and Mike Brosin
Crest Cadillac / Crest Infiniti / Crest Volvo
Linda and Rob Swartz

The Baldridge Foundation
Fran and Mark S. Berg
Sandy Capps
Dallas Mavericks Foundation
The Hirsch Family Foundation
The Hoglund Foundation
J.P. Morgan
Locke Lord LLP
Cynt and Kenneth Marshall
The Rosewood Corporation
Kay and Bob Schleckser

Suzanne McCarron and Robert Andrews / Ricki and Randy Ebner / Margaret and Jaime Spellings
Priscilla and Corey Anthony

Comerica Bank
Janice & Richard Davis / Morgan, Lewis
& Bockius LLP
Deborah Ackerman and John Lozier
Hannah and Greg May
Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki
Wilemia Shaw
Thompson & Knight Foundation
The Yotides Family

Christine and Jonathan Bassham
Suzanne Bryan
CB Choi Family Foundation
Margaret, Barbara and Ben Cervin
Children’s Health
Bela and Chase Cooley / Megan and Tom Sterquell
Meredith Davis
Pam and Craig Fletcher
Suzanne and John Gibson
Retta A. Miller / Jackson Walker L.L.P.
Stacey and Bud Moore
Karen and Randy O’Hare
Paula and Scott Orr
Stephen B.L. Penrose
Gina and Randall Porter
Helen and Frank Risch
Jan Sanders
SAP America, Inc.
Virginia and Edward Schaefer
Lauren and Tyler Scimeca
Shirley & William S. McIntyre Foundation
Texas Instruments
The Wales Family Foundation

Champion of Children past honorees:


2018 The Meadows Foundation 2008 The Hoglund Foundation
2017 Junior League of Dallas 2006 Archon Group, L.P.
2016 NorthPark Center 2005 Todd Wagner
2015 AT&T and its employees 2004 The Hon. Thomas R. Phillips
2014 Pioneer Natural Resources and its employees 2003 The Hon. Harold Barefoot Sanders
2013 Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones 2002 J. McDonald “Don” Williams
2012 ExxonMobil and its employees and retirees 2001 Tom Luce
2011 Southwest Airlines 2000 Paul Coggins
2010 Nancy A. Nasher 1999 The Hon. Florence Shapiro
2009 The Hon. Harriet O’Neill  1998 The Hon. Lee F. Jackson


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