Celebrating real Pink Magnolia’s among us.

Finding the rare individual who courageously blooms to douse pink positive love over the community is quite a breathtaking discovery. In Dallas, we are honored to experience this natural phenomenon more often than odds allow. There is no formula to produce such flowers. Some blossom quietly in the corner thinking no one will see. Others find the light and bask in it. Regardless, it is our privilege to celebrate the strength it takes to be unique and share their gifts to benefit others.

December 2015 – Local Dog Rescuer, Fran Gaconnier

Fran Gaconnier

Fran Gaconnier is our Local Pink Magnolia for December. Fran helped to establish the Oak Cliff Animal Initiative and Gypsy Dog Ops, a local movement that is working to protect and improve the lives of lost, discarded, abandoned, abused, and unconfined dogs. Not only is Fran passionate about animals, she is truly dedicated to her neighbors, her friends, and her community. We thought of no better way to honor Fran than to share some of the many sentiments we received from her friends and neighbors. Congratulations to Fran — we are proud to call you neighbor and recognize you as our December “Local Pink Magnolia”.

Fran is an incredible person. She’s tough, resourceful, courageous, and one of the kindest people I have ever met.  From helping to catch an injured dog behind my house, to coaching a friend make a giant step toward a satisfying career change, to bringing food and comfort to a neighbor when he was sick, to organizing an outreach event that provided vaccinations to over 600 pets in her neighborhood, Fran is an inspiration to me and all who know her. I feel lucky to have met and had the opportunity to collaborate with Fran, and I feel that our city will become a better city as a direct result of her efforts.
— Deborah Rodriguez, Friend & Volunteer

Fran Gacconier is beloved friend and neighbor who goes out of her way every day to make Winnetka Heights a safer and better place to live whether she is getting stray dogs off the streets, bringing food to an ailing friend or ‘being there’ for her neighbors whenever a need arises.
— Charlie Howell, Oak Cliff Neighbor and Friend

Dynamite comes in small packages so they say. Fran is that. A stanch supporter of Animal rights and a caring friend. I have seen her follow the Mayor of Dallas out to the parking lot talking the whole way about the abuse, neglect and the severity of the animal issues in Dallas. Anytime you need help with an animal related issues she is there. I am so happy she is helping the animals of Dallas and hope she continues.
Kathi Kibbel, Oak Cliff Neighbor & Friend

Fran has an undying dedication to the wellbeing of the animals of Oak Cliff. Whether it be gaining the trust of an injured street dog or educating a fellow neighbor on low cost options for spaying or neutering their pet, Fran’s patience, persistence, and compassion has made her a vital asset to our community and an indispensable voice for those who cannot speak.
Courtney Gustafson, Shelter Manager of the SPCA of Texas 

Fran is a true dog whisperer, who is willing to help in some of the toughest situations.. She works every day to make Oak Cliff a better & safer place to live for all of us & our pets. Her compassion & knowledge of street dog behavior is an invaluable asset. So blessed to have her in our community.
Carlin Seale, Oak Cliff Neighbor, Rescuer and Dog Sitter

Fran is a firecracker of energy, love, respect and caring that spills over into our community in so many ways every day.  She has worked tirelessly to help solve our city and neighborhood issues with loose, feral and aggressive dogs running our streets. She is an inspiration to many, a very dear friend, active volunteer in her community. She helped to establish the Oak Cliff Animal initiative and Gypsy Dog Ops, a grass roots movement that is working to educate our neighbors, provide information and access to resources through the first annual Oak Cliff Blessing of the Animals, and generally making our streets a safer place by helping citizens catch loose dogs weekly. In her spare time, Fran is an active member of her church, a friend to many, and a true joy to be around. I am truly blessed to call her a friend.
— Carla Adkins, Friend & Neighbor

October 2015 – Dallas Police Officer, Sharlet Lewis

Officer LewisJust prior to opening, Pink Magnolia was burglarized and Officer Sharlet Lewis arrived on the scene.  Instead of Officer Lewis just taking the report and going to the next call, she took the time to walk us through vulnerabilities, gave us tips on how to secure our space and promised to keep an eye out for us.  Best of all, after spending time with Officer Lewis, she had us laughing and finding the silver lining in an unfortunate situation.  We are choosing to honor Officer Lewis as our first local Pink Magnolia because she went above and beyond to make us feel safe in our new home and continues to check on us periodically.  She embodies the pink positive spirit in which Pink Magnolia was created.

Here’s more about our friend and neighbor:

Police Officer Sharlet Lewis, #6815 began her career with Dallas Police Department in 1991 and is currently assigned to the Southwest Patrol Division.  Officer Lewis has received forty-six (46) commendations and awards from the citizens and supervisors during her career.

Since joining the department, Officer Lewis has worked her entire career in patrol. Officer Lewis has become a valuable asset to the Dallas Police Department and the community in which she serves. She is known for her sharp investigative skills, mature decision making and her willing spirit to help her fellow officers. Her investigative skills have led to the recovery of stolen property and the arrest of suspects who victimized the community.

Officer Lewis’ loving and giving spirit has also made a profound impact on the people that she meets in the community. Over twenty-five years ago Officer Lewis provided personal assistance to a sexual assault victim by counseling her through the incident.  That little girl is now 25 recently called the station to thank Officer Lewis for her assistance and the huge impact she made on her life. This is truly excellent service which is rarely given to the community. Officer Lewis serves as a positive example of police work, integrity and helping people.