Philanthropy Notes

Dallas mayors lead 60th anniversary celebration for Communities Foundation of Texas

Dallas mayors lead 60th anniversary fete for Communities Foundation

Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller Photo by Kim Leeson
Brent Christopher, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Brent Christopher Photo by Kim Leeson
Ron Kirk, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ron Kirk Photo by Kim Leeson
Wes Wise, Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller, Brent Christopher, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Wes Wise, Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller, Brent Christopher Photo by Kim Leeson
Mike Rawlings, Pam Gerber, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Mike Rawlings, Pam Gerber Photo by Kim Leeson
CFT, Generations of Generosity
Dallas philanthropic leaders filled Communities Foundation of Texas for the organization's 60th anniversary.  Photo by Kim Leeson
Ginger Reeder, Lisa Nelson, Rachel Buxkamper, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ginger Reeder, Lisa Nelson, Rachel Buxkamper Photo by Kim Leeson
Melina Marcus, A.C. Gonzalez, Sarah Cotton Nelson, Suzanne Smith, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Melina Marcus, A.C. Gonzalez, Sarah Cotton Nelson, Suzanne Smith Photo by Kim Leeson
Carol Greene, Suzanne Smith, Brent Christopher, Aimee Sheahan, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Carol Greene, Suzanne Smith, Brent Christopher, Aimee Sheahan Photo by Kim Leeson
Laura Miller, Carol Goglia, CFT, Generations of Generation
Laura Miller, Carol Goglia Photo by Kim Leeson
Brian Owens, Wendy Mitchell, Allen Mitchell, CFT, Generations of Generation
Brian Owens, Wendy Mitchell, Allen Mitchell Photo by Kim Leeson
Monica Stansberry, Angela Howell, Catherine Cuellar, John Howell, Jeremy Strick, CFT, Generations of Generation
Monica Stansberry, Angela Howell, Catherine Cuellar, John Howell, Jeremy Strick Photo by Kim Leeson
Grank Santoni, Todd Healy, Patte Lee, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Frank Santoni, Todd Healy, Patte Lee Photo by Kim Leeson
Wes Wise, Adlene Harrison, Mary Suhm, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Wes Wise, Adlene Harris, Mary Suhm, Mary Poss Photo by Kim Leeson
Ruth Altshuler, Mary Poss, Sally Sharp Harris, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ruth Altshuler, Mary Poss, Judy Gibbs Photo by Kim Leeson
Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Brent Christopher, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ron Kirk, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Wes Wise, Ron Kirk, Mike Rawlings, Tom Leppert, Laura Miller, Brent Christopher, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Mike Rawlings, Pam Gerber, CFT, Generations of Generosity
CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ginger Reeder, Lisa Nelson, Rachel Buxkamper, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Melina Marcus, A.C. Gonzalez, Sarah Cotton Nelson, Suzanne Smith, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Carol Greene, Suzanne Smith, Brent Christopher, Aimee Sheahan, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Laura Miller, Carol Goglia, CFT, Generations of Generation
Brian Owens, Wendy Mitchell, Allen Mitchell, CFT, Generations of Generation
Monica Stansberry, Angela Howell, Catherine Cuellar, John Howell, Jeremy Strick, CFT, Generations of Generation
Grank Santoni, Todd Healy, Patte Lee, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Wes Wise, Adlene Harrison, Mary Suhm, CFT, Generations of Generosity
Ruth Altshuler, Mary Poss, Sally Sharp Harris, CFT, Generations of Generosity

At the Communities Foundation of Texas’ 60th anniversary celebration themed “Generations of Generosity,” CFT president and CEO Brent Christopher said it best: “If there’s ever been a VIP house here at CFT, this is that room this afternoon.”

The space was packed with many distinguished guests, from civic leaders and philanthropists to nonprofit leaders and businessmen. Wes Wise, Adlene Harrison, Mary Poss, Mike Miles, Mary Suhm and Ruth Altshuler were among those gathered to hear Mayor Mike Rawlings and former mayors Laura Miller, Ron Kirk and Tom Leppert discuss philanthropy in Dallas.

Before the main event, Christopher talked about the state’s and Dallas’ high rankings on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of 50 generous cities in America. Dallas-Fort Worth was ninth on the list, which is based off total contributions given; DFW has contributed $3.7 billion.

After brief introductions, Rawlings followed Kirk, Leppert and Miller on stage, where cozy chairs set the scene for a comfortable living-room environment.

Kirk told the audience about the moment he realized that he had to do something about the Trinity River, when he was showing the city to a group of visiting lawyers.

“[One of the guys] asked, ‘What is that ditch?’ I said, as Mark Twain once described, it’s a moist ditch. He turned to me and said, ‘It may as well be your Berlin Wall.’

“That’s what exhibited to me the power of experience when someone says something for what it is. It fueled my fire that it was unacceptable.”

When talking about the definition of philanthropy, Miller said, “Every single thing that I was involved with as mayor in city council always involved philanthropy, people giving their time to their city and their effort.”

About the regular citizens who make big changes happen, Leppert said, “My experience during my four years wasn’t all big donations; it was relentless little people doing the little things behind the stage.”

“We asked people, what do you find different about Dallas — compared to New York or wherever they were from — and time and time again people thought giving was part of the civic responsibility,” said Kirk, on what makes Dallas unique.

Leppert added, “There is no reason Dallas should be here. It’s not a port city, it’s not on the ocean, it wasn’t the crossing of trade routes. So I think of entrepreneuralism; I also think it’s an area that allows the individual to succeed, more than other places.”

Rawling chimed in on the subject of faith. “I’m amazed by the breadth and depth of the faith community in Dallas. … Everyone preaches giving all the time. Somehow I think faith has something to do with this as well.”

When the conversation drew to a close, Rawlings congratulated Suhm on a great job as city manager and reminded guests to participate in the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. Immediately following, Christopher thanked the mayors and philanthropists for setting the example, and guests continued the anniversary celebration at a wine-filled reception.