It's not easy to stun a crowd of the city's most generous donors. But Diane and Hal Brierley managed to do it at the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society Second Tuesday Luncheon, where the couple gifted the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas with $5 million.
It's the largest donation the United Way has ever received from a couple, and it's the philanthropic pair's largest donation to a single service organization. Known for their service to the Dallas community, they have been United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Tocqueville Society members for more than two decades.
Formed in 1984, the Tocqueville Society was launched by Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. At this sell-out luncheon, Staubach and Aikman stand-in Babe Laufenberg joined Ruth Altshuler, Tocqueville Society co-chair and Cowboys vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas president and CEO Jennifer Sampson to welcome members to AT&T's global headquarters downtown.
The Brierleys received a 55-second standing ovation. "It's one of the most significant gifts in our history, the Brierleys' largest to a social service organization, and one that sets a bar for the strategy of endowing Tocqueville gifts in the future," said Sampson. "Most important, it comes from two people who do not engage their energy by halves.
"When the Brierleys are in, they're all in."
Other Tocqueville Society members in attendance include Randy Tomlin, Debra von Storch, Laura and Jason Downing, Carol and Don Glendenning, Pat Faubion, Cyndy Malone, Sara and Gary Ahr, Manny Fernandez, and Michele Stephens. Special guests included Michelle Staubach Grimes, Meredith Land, Gina Betts, and Sonny Garcia.
Now more than 900 members strong, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Tocqueville Society aims to change lives through philanthropic leadership focused on the building blocks for a better life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health.