November-December 2011

Founding Fellows of the Texas Prosecutors Society

Jennifer Vitera

TDCAF Development Director in Austin

The foundation is kicking off its campaign to establish a select group of supporters we’re calling the Founding Fellows. Our Fellows will be part of our new membership group called the Texas Prosecutors Society. We have hand-selected 106 prosecutors and alumni from across the state whom we want to honor by including as a founding member. (The number 106 signifies the number of years TDCAA has been in existence.) We will be sending invitations out within the next month. Once we establish our 106 Founding Fellows, every year we will invite another class of members to join the Texas Prosecutors Society.

     We are asking the Founding Fellows to commit $250 a year for 10 years or a one-time gift of $2,500. Of course we accept larger pledges; one of our generous board members pledged $10,000. The purpose of the Founding Fellows program is to gather proceeds to establish a permanent endowment for the foundation.

    Our Founding Fellows will be recognized at the board dinner at the Annual Criminal & Civil Law Update next September, and we plan to host a special cocktail reception annually to recognize new members.

Golf tournament and silent auction at the Annual

The 2011 Annual Golf Tournament hosted by the Texas District and County Attorneys Foundation grossed over $14,000 in donations. Thank you to our generous sponsors, donors, and participants—we appreciate your support!  Special thanks to Nelson Barnes and Mike Waldman, assistant DAs in Bell County, for their invaluable  help with the tournament. Proceeds from this annual event will benefit the 2011 Annual Campaign.

    We want to thank all of our silent auction donors and committee volunteers for their support this year. We raised over $3,000 in donations in this year’s silent auction. Thanks, too, to all of our TDCAF Board and Advisory Committee members who attended the foundation meeting in Corpus Christi; we appreciate your continued support. We had a great meeting thanks to your input and leadership—we had a lot of great ideas come out of the meeting, and we will be in touch soon to follow up on these over the next few months.

Why do I give?

There are many reasons to give, and we’re making it easy by including a giving envelope in this issue. Please consider filling it out and returning it with a donation. For additional reasons you should consider supporting your foundation or to take a look at the brochure, visit

    “Training for prosecutors and investigators must be unique and job-specific. The only organization that understands our situation and our needs is TDCAA, and the foundation is what enables TDCAA to meet our needs. TDCAA’s outstanding training, personnel, and services cannot survive these hard economic times without the foundation. Now is the time, and your support is the difference!” —Melissa Hightower, County Attorney’s Investigator in Williamson County

Annual Campaign needs your support!

The foundation is committed to continuing and improving the excellence TDCAA provides in educating and training Texas prosecutors, law enforcement, and key personnel. This year featured our second Annual Campaign membership fundraising challenge, and it looks like our investigators are in the lead again this year. But there is still time to contribute, so please give!

    Three of our membership groups (investigators, key personnel, and victim assistance coordinators) have stepped up to challenge each other in their fundraising efforts. We will track the results based on dollars raised compared to percentage of membership in each of these groups. Congratulations to the Investigator Section for winning the 2010 Annual Campaign challenge. Board members Charlie Vela and Terry Vogel, pictured below, picked up the award at September’s Annual conference.

    From elected prosecutors, we are asking for 100-percent support from all 333 electeds across the state, either through a personal unrestricted gift or a restricted gift to the Annual Campaign. You can make a pledge that can be paid out through December 31, 2011. Please take a look at the brochure we mailed you for more information.

PowerPoint for the Courtroom

Here’s your chance to polish your courtroom presentation skills while supporting the foundation! This CD walks through almost every element of PowerPoint, from creating slides to importing and editing video clips. It’s a must-have for every office, and it’s only $25! Please visit our website,, for details.

Leadership Texas Update

I had the privilege of meeting with my Leadership Texas group in Austin last month to hear an update on the State of Education in Texas. We toured the capitol and had the privilege of hearing an update on what the Legislature has done for and to public education from Florence Shapiro, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, and Alma Allen, committee member.