Some weekends are more jam packed than others and last weekend was a doozy! I left my house that morning at 7:30am heading to The Scuba Ranch in Terrell with the Black Coral Divers for a morning dive and raced back at 3pm to get dry and presentable for the Our Friends Place 2021 Gala, Auction & Casino Night.

Talk about a transformation, wet to dry, day to night!

Helena Day and Night Transformation
Monica Rachel and Helena Banks at Our Friends Place Gala

My dear friend Monica is on the board there and this is my second time coming as her guest, but the first time with Lady Banks Living as an underwriter!

Our Friends Place is an organization that helps young women break generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness through empowering self-reliance and independence. It’s a mission and a message that speaks to my heart. That night the mission lead the way as they raised over $330,000 with a little help of the original #88 and hall of famer Drew Pearson and over 400 guests participating from home, as a volunteer, or in-person.

Danita Lewis and Helena Banks

To further emphasize how fast I was moving, I didn’t realize until the end of the night, that I spent hours on the phone with the president of Our Friends Place, Sue Hesseltine during the last year working on a project with my day job at Dallas College. A connection that Monica made! Guess what? This is my purpose on the planet, to close circles with people and organizations. Now I must slow down long enough to remember what I’ve done.

Find Out How You Can Support Our Friends Place

You can learn about the work Our Friends Place is doing to help homeless and at-risk young women in North Texas and help make a difference at