National Conferences

The Compassionate Friends is pleased to announce that Dallas, Texas, will be the site of the 38th TCF National Conference on July 10-12, 2015. "Hope Shines Bright ... Deep in the Heart" is the theme of this year's event, which promises more of last year's great national Conference experience. The 2015 Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas. We'll keep you updated with details here, on the national website as well as on our TCF/USA Facebook Page and elsewhere as they become available. Plan to come and be a part of this heartwarming experience. 


If you are unable to register online or prefer to mail in your registration form. Please click here to view the registration booklet which includes a registration form that can be printed and mailed to the National Office. 

Questions? Please call the National Office at 877.969.0010.

Conference Pricing is as follows:
Adult registration - $90
Child registration (ages 9-17) - $40
Full-time college student (College ID required at check-in) - $40

Meals:
Friday afternoon Texas BBQ Buffet - $35
Saturday Evening Dinner - $50

Sibling Meals:
Friday Dinner/Magician - $30
Saturday Sibling Lunch - $16

View the Conference Schedule to help plan your time in Dallas.

The Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas, 300 Reunion Blvd., Dallas, TX 75207, is now accepting reservations for TCF's National Conference. To make your reservation, please access the following link, which will take you directly to TCF's reservation portal on the Hyatt's website. Conference attendees are receiving a discounted room rate of $129. We anticipate a large attendance for the conference, so we encourage you to make your reservation as soon as it is convenient for you.

Make your reservation 

Tips to help you have a positive Conference experience

Keynote Speakers

Kay Warren (Opening Ceremony) The cofounder of the mega Saddleback Church in Orange County, California along with her husband, Rick (Purpose Driven Life), Kay is an international speaker, best-selling author and teacher who has a passion for inspiring and motivating other to make a difference with their lives. Additionally, Kay has also written for Christianity Today, Purpose Driven Life, CNN.com, The Washington Post, and has been featured in Newsweek and Reader's Digest. In April of 2013 Kay's son, Matthew died by suicide at the age of 27.

Gary Mendell (Friday Afternoon BBQ) Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national organization committed to protecting our children from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease. Mr. Mendell founded Shatterproof to honor his son, Brian, who lost his battle with addiction in 2011.

Christopher Jones (Saturday Evening Dinner) Chris Jones is the author of Mitchell’s Journey, a popular Facebook blog which has nearly 300,000 followers. Chris began his blog a few years prior to his 10-year-old son’s death from heart failure caused by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. What started out as a place for family and friends to find updates on his son’s condition, has continued on into a personal journey of reflection and discovery about Mitchell’s life, death, the grieving process and the transformative effects it has had on the lives of his family and himself. 

Kris Munsch (Sunday Closing Ceremony) There was never a project too big for Kris until his son, Blake, was killed in a car accident December 23rd of 2005. Kris spiraled out of control, selling his businesses and entering into a world of depression. Soon, he realized that if had the talent to rebuild almost anything, why couldn’t he rebuild his life? That’s what he began doing, and he did it in a high school classroom teaching woodworking. The authenticity of the teens he worked with inspired him to start The Birdhouse Project.


Workshops

Click here for a list of workshops available. Workshops that are highlighted have received a sponsorship.


Sponsorships

A variety of sponsorships are available and can be found here, 2015 National Conference Sponsorship Reply Form.To confirm your sponsorship, please call Lisa Corrao at the National Office, fill out the form and e-mail it to lisa@compassionatefriends.org, or fax it back to us at 630.990.0246.

Questions? Please contact us at 877.969.0010.


Volunteers

Volunteers are always needed for this very special conference. If you would like to volunteer, please access this link, which will take you to volunteerspot.org.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on VolunteerSpot


Siblings

Don't forget to include your shirt size on your registration form to ensure that we have a t-shirt available for you at the Sibling Table. 

Plan to attend the sibling orientation on Friday morning at 8:00 am. 

On Friday night the siblings will be joined at the hotel by master illusionist and comic magician Joseph Réohm for an evening of magic, wonder and laughter. The sibling event will include dinner for all participating siblings, followed by a very special show. Coming all the way from Los Angeles, Joseph Réohm has performed his tricks on national television, at major corporate events around the country and at NBA half-time shows. He’s known for his sleight of hand, humor and affinity for audience participation. Come ready to laugh and be amazed. This event is suitable for siblings of all ages. 6:00 - 10:00 pm, $30.

On Saturday, there is an opportunity for the siblings to get-together for a casual lunch. This is just a special time to be together, catch up during the day, and visit between workshops. 12:00 - 1:30 pm, $16.

Our wonderful Sounds of the Siblings Choir will be rehearsing at various times during the Conference, especially after the Saturday night banquet. Please check in with Tracy Milne at the Sibling Table for the exact schedule. We are looking forward to the choir performing during the Sunday morning closing ceremony.


Special Events

Trail to TreasureThis event is for parents, grandparents and siblings who have experienced the loss of a loved one due to any substance related cause. With the epidemic today of loss due to overdose, related health issues – cirrhosis, heart, blood - suicide, these losses are complicated by social stigma, shame and ignorance. Along the trail of our grief journey, we search for the means to make a difference in honor of our loved one(s). If you are ready to find your treasure on the trail from despair to hope, this is for you. More information.

Nuestros Hijos e Hijas: Por Siempre En Nuestros Corazones - Este es un taller en español diseñado para incluir el proceso de la pena y el duelo luego de la muerte de un hijo o una hija, el aspecto cultural sobre diversidad con la comunidad latina, cómo estos padres y madres en duelo se sienten cuando no tienen a sus familiares a su lado en el momento de la pérdida, la importancia de los hijos e hijas sobrevivientes y su proceso de duelo, el duelo de la pareja y la importancia de la comunicación y comprensión de la individualidad del proceso de duelo. El ambiente de este taller estará lleno de canciones, poesías y fotos. Más información.

Remembering our Children: Hope through our SufferingWe invite any family who has experienced the death of a child, grandchild, or sibling of any age and from any cause to join us for this special time of sharing, reflection and hope. Well-known Dallas civic leader Mrs. Terrie Britt will share her personal story of grief, healing and hope after the death of two of her children. She and husband Rev. Gerald L. Britt, Jr. have been married for 36 years, and are the parents of four children and two grandchildren. Their lives were changed forever in 1986, with the death of their son. In 2007, the unthinkable occurred with the death of their second son. More information.


Sponsor a Shining Star

This year’s Conference Committee will offer a “Shining Star” with your child’s photo featured on a photo button. Each glass star is approximately 6” wide. The minimum donation for each picture submitted is $15.00. If you cannot attend the Conference and would like the star sent to you, than an additional $6.00 donation is requested to cover postage and handling. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks after the Conference for your “Shining Star” to reach you.

The Shining Star can be ordered online or by mailing in an order form

 


Friday Night Fun with Vocal Majority

At the end of a long first conference day, plan to take a time out and relax by enjoying world class Friday Night Fun entertainment from our friends at The Vocal Majority, celebrated by fans as America’s Premier Pops Chorus.

The Vocal Majority Chorus is a Dallas-based men’s chorus of 100+ volunteer musicians who have performed throughout the United States, Canada and the UK. Men of all ages and from all walks of life amplify their passionate love of singing while touching the hearts of thousands of fans world-wide. Their lush, multi-layered harmonies and electrifying choreography make each performance an extraordinary experience. From time-honored Barbershop classics to orchestral pops accompaniment; from traditional patriotic to modern Christmas; from Sacred to Broadway and everything in between…Vocal Majority has something to offer for every music lover!

For a sample of The Vocal Majority’s music, visit their website at: www.vocalmajority.com, click on ONLINE STORE, and then sample some of the over 200 songs in their wildly diverse repertoire! They will have CDs available for purchase outside the Landmark Ballroom on the Friday night before and after their concert.

Worried about dinner plans and being back in time for the concert? No need to leave the hotel! In addition to the Hyatt’s onsite restaurants, we will also be offering a “grab and go” meal/snack between the last workshop of the day and the concert, which starts at 7:30 pm. You won’t want to miss a single minute of this fabulous performance!


Travel to Dallas

Transportation to/from the Hyatt Regency Dallas 

  • DFW International Airport (22 Miles)
    Taxi fare is approximately $45-50 fare.
    Shuttle is approximately $17 per person, one way. Super Shuttle operates 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit www.supershuttle.com. Super Shuttle vans are blue with yellow lettering that states Super Shuttle.
  • Love Field Airport (8 Miles)
    Taxi fare is approximately $20-25 fare. 

Area Attractions

  • The Dallas World Aquarium ~ Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm daily, visit www.dwazoo.com for more information.
  • Bishop Arts District ~ Home to over 60 independent boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and art galleries, making it one of Dallas’ most unique neighborhoods. Visit www.bishopartsdistrict.com for more information.
  • Dallas Arts District ~ Featues the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Klyde Warren Deck Park, Meyerson Symphony Center, and much more. Visit www.thedallasartsdistrict.org for more information. 
  • AT&T Stadium ~ Home of the Dallas Cowboys, visit attstadium.com for more informaiton.
  • GlobeLife Park ~ Home of the Texas Ranger, visit texas.rangers.mlb.com for more information.
  • Mesquite Pro Rodeo ~ Visit www.mesquiterodeo.com for more information.

Get a feel for what to expect at next year's national conference through highlights from the 2011 event in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota! Special thanks for highlights sponsors Amery Regional Medical Center and TCF's Manhattan Chapter.


Comments from Compassionate Friends who attended the 34th National Conference held in Minneapolis:

"This conference was life changing for me--my daughter died last year. Thank you to everyone that made my experience possible."

"The conference was great as usual. It is great to have a place like the National Conference to be ourselves. The unfortunate part is going home and back to the real world."

"Attending the conference was the best thing I could have done for myself. It's a vacation with my son that I will take every year!!!"

"I attended my first conference and it was one of the best things I have ever done. The friends I made were incredible and the feeling throughout the whole weekend was so healing. I never thought I would have to belong to such a club, but am grateful it is there to help. Thank you TCF!"