SABJ winner for Small or Midsize Nonprofit: CBCST

San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ) winner for
Small or Midsize Nonprofit:
Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas

The San Antonio Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy and Non-profit Awards honors nonprofits and the corporate citizens supporting our community through philanthropy, volunteerism, board support, and corporate partnerships. The Business Journal’s second annual event presented by The Najim Family Foundation and was held on Thursday, November 16th at the Pearl Stable. The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas was awarded as the premier organization in the Small to Mid-Size Non-profit category.

We are thrilled for the recognition!

Read the full article HERE.



New Collaboration: START Center and Wonders & Worries

How Would You Tell Your Child That You Have Cancer?
Or Explain Why Dad Can’t Give Piggyback Rides Anymore?

Three Texas organizations partner to open San Antonio’s first Wonders & Worries – a therapeutic space where children ages 2-18 whose parent is suffering a serious illness, can receive support to help them cope.

San Antonio, Texas – July 14, 2017 – San Antonio physician Jeff Hallett knows a thing or two about talking to patients about illness. But when his wife, Robin, was diagnosed with breast cancer, they felt at a loss for how to tell their daughter, Rachel, aged 10.

“It doesn’t matter your background or experience,” Jeff Hallett, MD, said. “When you have to tell your child this kind of news, you want to do it the right way. And we didn’t know how. So we called Wonders & Worries.”

Wonders & Worries is an Austin-based nonprofit that teaches parents how to parent and kids how to cope during a parent’s serious illness. It’s the only program of its kind in the US, and first in San Antonio. It is the fifth office for the organization.

For the Halletts, they now have specialized support in their own backyard. “We have found Wonders & Worries to be a tremendous resource for us at a time when help is sorely needed,” said Jeff Hallett, MD. “Robin and I can see that it has helped Rachel to cope with her mother’s illness.”

Since its inception in 2001, Wonders & Worries has served more than 6,500 family members in central Texas, and expects to reach about 100 San Antonio families in its first year. Services are offered free of charge and available in English and Spanish.

“The partnership between the START Center for Cancer Care, the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, and Wonders & Worries meets a growing need,” said Pam Sparks, director of physician integration at the START Center. “Nearly 3 million children in the US are living with a parent who is battling or has survived cancer.”

Executive director of Wonders & Worries, Alex Gabbi, agreed. “Austin doesn’t have a monopoly on sick parents.” Gabbi is not only the executive director, but also received services from Wonders & Worries when his late wife, Heather, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I look at my three kids and know that our program works. My children are well-adjusted and thriving because of what they learned from Wonders & Worries.”

Rounding out this innovative venture is the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas. “We are honored to partner with two premier organizations that have a vision of healing and understand the impact that it has on children,” said Marian Sokol, PhD, executive director for the Center.

Wonders & Worries co-founder, Meredith Cooper, praised the initiative for executing the vision she’s had for the organization from the beginning. “This is another step towards all children and teenagers being able to reach their full potential despite a parent’s illness,” Cooper said.

Counseling and support groups are offered at the START Cancer Center location in the San Antonio Medical Center area. Referrals are welcome from physicians and families facing cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, MS and other serious diagnoses. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 210-736-4847, ext. 247.

For more information:

About Wonders & Worries
Wonders & Worries is a nonprofit that ensures children and teens can reach their full potential despite a parent’s serious illness. Since 2001, Wonders & Worries has provided professional support to more than 6,5000 family members during a parent’s illness. Programs are offered at no cost to families in English and Spanish. Wonders & Worries is the only organization of its kind in the US. For more information, contact Penney Berryman at [email protected] or 512-329-5757, ext. 202.

About Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
Established in 1997, the mission of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas is to foster healing for grieving children and youth, their families, and the community. The Center annually serves over 1,600 children and caregivers, and delivers more than 15,000 mental health service hours at no cost. For more information, contact Leslie Wood at [email protected] or 210-736-4847, ext. 247.

About the START Center for Cancer Care
The START Center for Cancer Care provides the highest-quality care for people with cancer, and helps accelerate the development of new treatments to improve patients’ quality of life and give real hope against cancer. The START Center has one of the world’s largest and most active Phase I clinical trial programs, and has helped bring 19 promising anticancer drugs to market. For more information, contact Kelly Morris at [email protected] or 210-843-9900.



IMG_0330.JPGApril 18, 2016 – The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, who helped the team finish with the NBA’s top defense this season, is the recipient of the 2015-16 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today.  Leonard, a 6-7 forward, becomes the first non-center to earn the honor in back-to-back seasons since Dennis Rodman in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Leonard received 84 first-place votes and 547 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.  He edged the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who tallied 44 first-place votes and 421 points to finish as runner-up for the second season in a row.  The Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside was third with 83 points (two first-place votes).  Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

A first-time NBA All-Star this season, Leonard contributed to a San Antonio defense that led the NBA in points allowed (92.9 ppg) and defensive rating (96.6 points per 100 possessions).  The Spurs, a franchise-record 67-15 this season, were even stingier on defense with Leonard in the game: According to, they had a defensive rating of 94.9 when the five-year veteran was on the court and 99.2 when he wasn’t – a difference of 4.3 points per 100 possessions.  Leonard also averaged 1.78 steals (12th in the NBA), 5.5 defensive rebounds and a career-high 0.99 blocks to go with career highs on offense of 21.2 points and 2.6 assists.

As part of its support of the Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, Kia Motors America (KMA) will donate a brand new Sorento CUV to Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas
– which has provided grief-support programs for area children since 1997 – on Leonard’s behalf.  Kia will present a 2016 Sorento to the charity of choice of each of five 2015-16 year-end award winners as part of the Kia NBA Performance Awards.  Following this season, Kia will have donated a total of 43 new vehicles to charitable organizations since its support of the NBA’s prestigious honors began in 2008.

The 2015-16 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award is part of a series of on-court performance awards called the Kia NBA Performance Awards.  The series, currently in its ninth season, is part of a multiyear marketing partnership between Kia Motors and the NBA, and includes five of the league’s most prestigious year-end honors: Kia Most Valuable Player, Kia Defensive Player of the Year, Kia Sixth Man, Kia Most Improved Player and Kia Rookie of the Year.  The series also includes the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month and the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month during the regular season.  Kia Motors is the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA and the Kia Optima is the league’s Official Vehicle.  For more information, please visit
For the third year in a row, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award will be posted on after the announcement of each winner.

Below are the balloting results for the 2015-16 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.  The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.

  PLAYER                              TEAM                           1st Place (5 Pts)                    2nd Place (3 Pts)            3rd Place (1 pt)            Total Points
Kawhi Leonard                  San Antonio                             84                                       41                                    4                              547
 Draymond Green               Golden State                            44                                       62                                    15                            421
Hassan Whiteside             Miami                                      2                                         12                                    37                            83
DeAndre Jordan                 Los Angeles Clippers                –                                         7                                      29                            50
Paul Millsap                      Atlanta                                     –                                         3                                      12                            21
Avery Bradley                    Boston                                      –                                         1                                      11                            14
Rudy Gobert                      Utah                                         –                                         1                                      10                            13
Tony Allen                         Memphis                                  –                                         1                                      2                              5
Anthony Davis                   New Orleans                            –                                         1                                      1                              4
Andre Drummond             Detroit                                      –                                         1                                      –                               3
Jimmy Butler                     Chicago                                    –                                         –                                       2                              2
LeBron James                    Cleveland                                 –                                         –                                       2                              2
 Trevor Ariza                       Houston                                   –                                         –                                       1                              1
Jae Crowder                      Boston                                      –                                         –                                       1                              1
 Al Horford                         Atlanta                                     –                                         –                                       1                              1
Kyle Lowry                         Toronto                                    –                                         –                                      1                              1
 Chris Paul                          Los Angeles Clippers                –                                         –                                       1                              1

Below is the list of all-time winners:


Season         Winner, Team
1982-83        Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee
1983-84        Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee
1984-85        Mark Eaton, Utah
1985-86        Alvin Robertson, San Antonio
1986-87        Michael Cooper, L.A. Lakers
1987-88        Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988-89        Mark Eaton, Utah
1989-90        Dennis Rodman, Detroit
1990-91        Dennis Rodman, Detroit
1991-92        David Robinson, San Antonio
1992-93        Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1993-94        Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
1994-95        Dikembe Mutombo, Denver
1995-96        Gary Payton, Seattle
1996-97        Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta
1997-98        Dikembe Mutombo, Atlanta
1998-99        Alonzo Mourning, Miami
1999-00        Alonzo Mourning, Miami
2000-01        Dikembe Mutombo, Philadelphia
2001-02        Ben Wallace, Detroit
2002-03        Ben Wallace, Detroit
2003-04        Ron Artest, Indiana
2004-05        Ben Wallace, Detroit
2005-06        Ben Wallace, Detroit
2006-07        Marcus Camby, Denver
2007-08        Kevin Garnett, Boston
2008-09        Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009-10        Dwight Howard, Orlando
2010-11        Dwight Howard, Orlando
2011-12        Tyson Chandler, New York
2012-13        Marc Gasol, Memphis
2013-14        Joakim Noah, Chicago
2014-15        Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
2015-16        Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio



Suicide Among the Young — Searching for Answers

Suicide among the young — searching for answers

Jordan Harris’ suicide spurred her mother to create a foundation.

Jordan Harris’ suicide spurred her mother to create a foundation.

More than 50 experts meet to seek solutions
By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje; January 25, 2015

Last spring, a member of the Child Fatality Review Team, which examines child deaths in Bexar County, approached Marian Sokol and asked a concerning question: What might be fueling a spike in the number of youth suicides?

In 2014, nine children under the age of 18 took that most drastic and irreversible of steps — ending their young lives. That was more than twice the number of any given year in recent times, and approached a high point of 12, set in the early ’90s.

Sokol, head of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, called two longtime child advocates in San Antonio, asking, “Who is the local leading authority on youth suicide?” They didn’t know. She called her friend Helen Loring Dear, vice president of Porter Loring Mortuaries, and asked the same question.

Dear didn’t know either, but spoke of the emotional pain she’d witnessed in families who’d had to bury young ones lost to suicide.

Together, the two set out to find out the main repository of knowledge about youth suicide in San Antonio, and came to a startling conclusion: There was none. In its place was a hodgepodge of local and state agencies and nonprofits, all working on the problem of youth suicide in their separate silos, usually not communicating across lines, often duplicating efforts.

On Friday, Sokol, Dear and more than 50 representatives from a host of entities — mental health groups, state agencies, school districts, advocate organizations and more — came together to confront youth suicide with one voice and perhaps come up with a coordinated solution.

“I want to see something happen sooner rather than later,” Sokol told those gathered for the first roundtable, which convened in a large conference room at Valero. “Our children can’t wait.”

After a nearly five-hour meeting, the group arrived at a host of possible goals, including reducing the stigma around mental illness and suicide among youth, fostering collaboration between the various groups, and improving access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for families.

Sokol said the wealth of information would be analyzed and summarized, after which the new coalition — headed by the bereavement center, Clarity Child Guidance Center and Voices for Children of San Antonio — would reconvene to plan a course of action.

Dr. Anil T. Mangla, assistant director at Metro Health, peppered the group with alarming statistics from the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which drove home the urgency of their discussion.

The survey, based on the self-reports of high school students across the U.S. every two years, shows that students in Bexar County are in line with national percentages when it comes to being at risk for considering and attempting suicide.

For example, almost 30 percent of high school students in the county said they struggled with feelings of sadness and hopelessness in the past year, one of the major markers for suicide risk, Mangla said.

“That is dangerous,” he said. “Kids who felt hopeless were seven times more likely to attempt suicide compared to other kids.”

When it came time to talk about solutions, Victoria M. Bustos with the Region 20 Education Service Center suggested taking the survey data to state legislators. School counselors already are overloaded with cases, she said, and plans to saddle them with even more academic-related work will further strain their ability to help troubled students.

“The data will talk,” she said.

The conference began on a personal note when Ellen Harris of North Richland Hills, a suburb of Fort Worth, whose daughter, Jordan, killed herself in 2012 after enduring six months of depression, urged those assembled to battle the shame that surrounds suicide.

“Our most important mission is to bring this conversation to light,” said Harris, co-founder of the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, a nonprofit that supports research and education on depression and suicide prevention. “People don’t want to talk about this, but most have some sort of personal story about how mental illness or suicide touched their lives.”

[email protected]

Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje

social services reporter | San Antonio Express-News

More information

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Visit for local, state and national resources.


Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio heals hearts this Holiday Season.

BHFSABaptist Health Foundation of San Antonio heals hearts of grieving children through their charitable giving. SAN ANTONIO (December 2014)  – The Children’s Bereavement Center is thrilled to announce a generous gift of $120,000 from the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio. This gift will support the Center’s Beyond Sudden Death peer support group which helps children who have lost a parent due to sudden death. Children are able to meet others who have experienced a similar loss and engage in therapeutic activities that incorporate art, writing, music and movement, dance and dramatic play to help process feelings of grief. Peer support groups are open-ended, meet twice a month and are offered at no cost to families. CONTACT: Denise Rizzo 210-736-4847 [email protected]

My SA: Grief support groups offer help during the holidays

Recently Morgan Fenoglio, Program & Education Coordinator, was mentioned in a My SA news article highlighting grief support groups in the San Antonio area. With the holidays right around the corner, it can bring back a lot of memories and stir up a lot of unresolved grief for a person. San Antonio has a lot to offer in terms of bereavement resources and no one should have to go through this alone. If you or anyone you know, is having a hard time this holiday season, please contact the CBCST at (210) 736-4847 for more information.
Read more:

CBCST benefits from RR Auction of Alamo papers

Rare documents tied to the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, including receipts signed by William Barret Travis for lumber, gunpowder and other supplies, are on display in the state shrine this weekend.

The papers, from the estate of a Waco collector, will be sold by RR Auction after online bidding Thursday through Nov. 17. A portion of sales proceeds will benefit the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas.

In 2004, a receipt Travis signed for cattle to feed his men sold for $147,000.

Alamo visitors can view the documents free of charge today and Sunday only. The Alamo, open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., also will have 1830s period demonstrations as part of its monthly “First Saturday” program.

Bereavement Center expands EAP services

The San Antonio Business Journal covered our partnership with Zachry in a recent article:


Local nonprofit The Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas recently inked a partnership agreement with Zachry Corp. to provide its employees with bereavement counseling services as part of the company’s employee assistance program (or EAP).

Terms of the nonprofit’s contract with Zachry, a locally based construction and materials company, were not disclosed.

EAPs are employee benefit programs offered by employers that are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might impact their health and work performance. They generally take the form of assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their family members.

The partnership is an important step in the nonprofit’s evolution, officials with the organization say. It’s the first time the center has contracted directly with a company as an EAP provider, and the relationship is part of a broader plan to extend services to more local companies, providing the nonprofit with a new revenue stream.

Read more on the Business Journal site.