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New foundation honors legacy of beloved Dallas real estate legend

New foundation honors legacy of beloved Dallas real estate legend

Ebby Halliday Acers, Flora Award
Ebby Halliday Acers said, "Do something for someone every day." Photo by Daniel Driensky

Ebby Halliday Acers was wildly successful in real estate, opening the doors to successful careers for thousands of people. She was also widely admired for her passionate leadership and tireless altruism throughout her life.

This Texas legend is being honored with a namesake foundation that will continue her incredible philanthropic work across North Texas. The Ebby Halliday Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, supports charitable and educational activities that serve women and children in need in the greater North Texas region. Ebby passed away in 2015 at age 104.

“That’s what Ebby did during her lifetime — she helped people and helped organizations [so this foundation will] continue doing that,” said Ron Burgert, chief financial officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies and a founding member of the board of directors of the Ebby Halliday Foundation. “I knew Ebby all my life and she would absolutely be smiling about this and wanting us to carry on after she is gone.”

Among the many tributes to Ebby’s philanthropic legacy in North Texas are Juliette Fowler Communities’ The Ebby House, an innovative transitional community for young women who have experienced foster care or have been abandoned, displaced or abused; the WiNG’s Center at Ebby’s Place, which helps lift economically challenged working women out of poverty; and the Ebby Halliday Library at Happy Hill Farm in Granbury, a 500-acre farm that is home to North Central Texas Academy, an independent college-preparatory day, boarding and international school which seeks out underserved students.

And in 2011, she was honored with the new building and naming of the Ebby Halliday Elementary School in Southeast Dallas.

Ebby founded Ebby Halliday Realtors in 1945. The Dallas-based company, recently acquired by HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, also owns Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas and Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth.

“Each of us who had the good fortune of knowing Ebby was touched by the grace, fortitude and compassion with which she lived her life,” said Mary Frances Burleson, president and chief executive officer of the Ebby Halliday Companies and a founding member of the board of directors of the Ebby Halliday Foundation. “Ebby had a very simple saying that she lived by, ‘Do something for someone every day.’ That small bit of wisdom served Ebby very, very well and has had a tremendous impact on many individuals and organizations in North Texas.”

Throughout her life, Ebby was dedicated to her profession and her fellow man. She was honored with The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans award, which honors the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty, and determination can conquer all obstacles.

“For Ebby, a successful life was about much more than extraordinary sales figures,” said Kay Weeks, a sales associate with Ebby’s Little White House office. “Ebby’s other great passion was service to the community she proudly called home. Ebby’s, and our company’s, philanthropic influence on North Texas cannot be overstated. Ebby did not have children of her own, but she helped educate and support many young people.”

In addition, at Ebby’s Little White House, there is a patio that is being replaced with brick. People can purchase a brick and have it inscribed as they want for $250, with proceeds going back to the foundation. 

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A version of this story originally was published on CandysDirt.com.