Just when you think you know what to expect during an awards dinner in Dallas, someone goes and brings a live monkey onstage.
Such was the case during Methodist Health System Foundation’s 2014 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award dinner honoring Bobby Lyle. His old pal Mitch Hart, event co-chair along with wife Linda and David Miller, used the monkey to represent an inside joke that dates back more than 20 years, when a monkey fell out of a tree due to Lyle’s golf shot.
As you can imagine, this tickled the crowd of more than 800, who came to the Hilton Anatole to celebrate Lyle, whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the achievements of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.
Every Folsom Award ceremony is personalized to the recipient, and this year’s was no exception. In addition to the monkey business, Lyle’s friend Lt. Colonel William Mockabee of the Salvation Army served as master of ceremonies, and Dr. William Lawrence, dean of SMU Perkins School of Theology and another friend of Lyle’s, gave the invocation.
Following dinner, Mockabee introduced Clifton Forbis, chairman of the voice department at SMU, who provided even more laughs. Because Lyle is a huge supporter of SMU Meadows School of the Arts, Forbis performed a parody of the Beatles song “Let it Be,” titled “Bobby B.”
Then Mockabee and Methodist Health System Foundation president and CEO April Box Chamberlain presented the Folsom Award to Lyle, who graciously accepted.
“I met Bob Folsom when I was a 29-year-old at SMU’s Cox School of Business,” Lyle said. “Bob was a friend, an investor, a role model, so this award is something I will treasure.”
Because of Lyle’s commitment to education, he designated that the $1.5 million in funds raised this year go to support medical education at Methodist, including residency and post-graduate fellowship training for physicians.
Lyle joins an impressive list of past recipients, including Robert S. Folsom (2005), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Troy Aikman (2007), Laura Bush (2008), the late Norman Brinker (2009), Pat and Emmitt Smith (2010), Trevor Rees-Jones (2011), Mike Boone (2012), and the Rev. Mark Craig (2013).