Press Release

Achievement Center of Texas ACT

For Immediate Release

The Achievement Center of Texas (ACT)  21st Annual Spring Gala, An Evening at the Prancing Giraffe

The 21st Annual Spring Gala of the Achievement Center of Texas will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at the Renaissance Dallas/Richardson Hotel, 900 East Lookout Drive, Richardson, Texas 75082

The affair will include dinner, dancing, music by Ken Savage and The Best Kept Secret, a casino, silent and live auction.  We will honor our past Executive Director of 30 years, Marilynne Serie.  Flapper Era or Cocktail Attire.

Achievement Center of Texas is a non-profit learning center for children and adults with disabilities, celebrating their 40th year of service to Dallas and Collin Counties, Texas.  For additional information about the Achievement Center visit

For reservations visit or contact:
Roberta Clark


Andrew Mlcak


Passing the baton in January!

Marilynne Serie plans to retire in January 2017 after 30 years as Director of Achievement Center of Texas.

Marilynne Serie Executive Director, retiring 1/20/17.Marilynne Serie will pass the baton to Andrew Mlcak, her Assistant Director, as she retires from her position as the Executive Director of the Achievement Center of Texas which she has held for the past 30 years.  Starting with ACT  in January of 1987, Marilynne has brought the Achievement Center from a small day care center with 25 students, located in a  church Sunday School building, to its current  “Home of Their Own” through grant writing and public speaking along with Mrs. Irene C. Hostrup.  The center currently serves 135 students daily.  Marilynne holds an Associates Degree in Child Development and received much of her training in the Doman Delecato Program through the Ohio Valley Clinic for Brain Injured Children in Cincinnati.   In 1997 she was awarded the Margaret Cone Award by the Dallas Association for the Education of Young Children.  In 1993, the Achievement Center was awarded the “Best of Texas” award by the Corporate Child Development Fund in Austin. Marilynne will continue her responsibility for the Special Arts Festival and will write grants for ACT.

Andrew Mlcak has been an employee of the Achievement Center for 9 years and has worked Andrew Mlcak, incoming Exceuctive Director at ACTwith Marilynne, side by side, for the past 5 years as her Assistant Director.  Andrew holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and many years experience with special needs.  Prior to coming to ACT Andrew worked as a counselor at Camp Summit, a camp for children and adults with disabilities.  Andrew is the son of Dr. Mark Mlcak, a prominent Garland family practice physician and Mrs. Kim Mlcak, a Science teacher for High School students with learning disabilities at Fairhill School in Dallas.  We look forward to Andrew taking on the position of Executive Director in January.


2016 Gala Press Release

20th Annual Spring Gala – Mardi Gras Madness is a Success!

Garland, Texas, May 9, 2016 – The Achievement Center of Texas (ACT) hosted its 20th Annual Spring Gala on April 30, 2016 at the Renaissance Hotel Richardson/Dallas. The event raised over $30,000 for the students and programs at ACT. Key sponsors included Benchmark Mortgage, Berry Family Services, Inc., Baylor Scott & White in Garland and GBL Ranch.

Benchmark presenting checkBrandon Cottone of Benchmark Mortgage presented ACT with a check for $10,233. Their annual donation to the Benchmark Loving Cup which began in 2008 supports tuition for low income clients of the center when the need arises. One dollar of every mortgage issued by Benchmark during the year goes to fund the Benchmark Loving Cup.

Several donors also contributed to the Linda Rasmussen Outreach Fund which was setup by her sisters in her honor in 2012.  This fund provides money for day to day needs of students and their immediate family when an unexpected crisis strikes

The annual Champions Who Care Award was presented to SMU Political 2016 Champions Who Care, Joe and Janet KobylkaScience Professor, Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Janet Kobylka for their service to the community and ACT.  The Kobylkas are parents of an ACT student and longtime supporters of ACT.

Once again, the music was provided by Ken Savage and the Best Kept Secret, who kept the night rockin’. Dalmatian Rescue operated the casino.  Planning for the 21st Annual Spring Gala is underway.  To learn more about ACT and its programs or to make a donation, please visit their website ( If you would like to learn more about sponsor and volunteer opportunities contact Marilynne Serie or Andrew Mlcak for more information.

Our next fundraiser is the 7th Annual ACTion Walk/Run on October, 22, 2016.

2016 Gold Gala Collage