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The late Terry Simmons Simmons will be honored posthumously by the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) on Nov. 10 at the 32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon


His family, residents of Lake Highlands, will accept the award on his behalf

Terry Wilson will be honored posthumously with a Special Recognition Award at the32nd  annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, “It’s Our Tomorrow,” on Friday, November 10, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Dallas, Landmark Ballroom. Hosted by The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), this annual event brings together area nonprofits, volunteers, funders, foundations, business and community members to honor many of this city’s finest who give selflessly in support of numerous worthy causes.

Simmons passed away this year at the age of 62. By the time Simmons was in his 20’s, he was already established as a national expert in gift and estate planning. His crowning professional achievement was preserving for charities all across America the gift annuity and other life income plans, through which billions of dollars have been contributed for public good. When these methods of giving were under threat by a massive class-action lawsuit in late 1994, he founded Charitable Accord and worked as lead lobbyist and strategist to protect the interests of charities and nonprofits. He drafted legislation to protect them and camped out in the halls of Congress until legislation was passed – unanimously in both Houses. This legislation included The Charitable Giving Protection Act of 1995 (which amended the Sherman Antitrust Act), The Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, and The Charitable Donations Antitrust Act of 1997. In late 1997, The NonProfit Times named Simmons, “Nonprofit Executive of the Year” in recognition of his work. 

Simmons worked tirelessly to graduate from Baylor undergraduate and Baylor Law School in a total of five years, and obtained an LLM from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1984.  Simmons’ experience working with individuals and charitable organizations associated with the Baptist Foundation of Texas led him to Thompson and Knight, LLP, where he became a senior partner with a practice focused on charitable gift planning, exempt organizations law, and estate planning matters.  He served on numerous boards of directors and advisory councils. He was a member of the Texas, Colorado, and New York state bars as well as the United States Supreme Court in 1996. He was regularly named one of The Best Lawyers in America, the Top 100 Attorneys in America by Worth Magazine, and Texas’ Super Lawyers. Simmons was an active member of Royal Lane Baptist Church and a member of Mensa.  His greatest pride and joy resided in his family – his wife Karen, their three children and their families.

"The Greater Dallas AFP's Special Recognition Award is a fitting tribute to Terry's lifelong pursuit of making his community a better place through philanthropic endeavors. For his years of dedication and service to our clients, community and our Firm, we are most thankful." - The People of Thompson & Knight

The luncheon will feature Jason Lee, JD Esq., interim president and CEO, AFP International as the keynote speaker. Lee represents over 33,000 individuals and organizations that raise more than $115 billion in charitable contributions every year around the world for countless causes. He will speak about the impact of charity and philanthropy.

“With Americans giving nearly $400 billion to charity every year, and charities making up 10 percent of the workforce, the charitable sector is playing a bigger role than ever in our future,” said Jason Lee. “The future belongs to all of us as we come together under the banner of philanthropy to improve our communities, our country and our world.”

Lee previously served as general counsel for AFP, where he increased its public visibility and awareness by developing political initiatives regarding fundraising and philanthropic issues. He also chairs the Charitable Giving Coalition, a Washington, DC-based consortium of nonprofit leaders dedicated to raising awareness on Capitol Hill about the value of the charitable deduction and its impact in supporting essential community services. He has successfully coordinated AFP’s efforts to persuade Congress to pass several important giving incentives, including the IRA Rollover.

“National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside each year to recognize the great work of those who are active in the philanthropic community and make an impact our world,” said Luncheon Chair Meagan Burton.  “We are not only honoring some extraordinary award recipients, but we are also featuring an inspirational keynote speaker, whose presentation will serve as a powerful reminder of how each of us can make a difference.”

South Texas Money Management (STMM), Greater Dallas AFP’s first chapter sponsor, is premier sponsor of the luncheon.

“Dallas citizens are passionate, driven, and generous volunteers and philanthropists, but that’s not enough,” said Jeanie Wyatt, CFA, STMM’s founder and CEO. “We depend on our nonprofits to meet so many of our city’s most basic needs. With over 1,000 nonprofits throughout Dallas, it’s vital that we have a professional organization, like AFP, helping nonprofit fundraising professionals raise more money and do it in effective and ethical ways.”

Additional award recipients to be honored at the luncheon are as follows:

For over 46 years, Outstanding Philanthropists Dr. Henry Estess and Sandra Estess, nominated by Texas Health Resources Foundation, have played an integral role in supporting Texas Health hospitals. Focusing on health and education, the couple has shown exceptional generosity with their time, money, and leadership for the benefit of many others not only through Texas Health, but also Children’s Health, Ronald McDonald House, Educational First Steps, and more.

For more than 110 years, Outstanding Corporation Neiman Marcus, nominated by Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), has been giving back to the community.  Their philanthropic legacy began in 1907 through founder Herbert Marcus’ generosity to SMU and the Dallas Opera. Today, with a strategic focus on youth arts education, Neiman Marcus Group is dedicated to serving worthwhile causes within communities where their stores and distribution and operational facilities are located (over 100 across the U.S.).

Outstanding Foundation The Hersh Foundation, nominated by Southwestern Medical Foundation and the Resource Center of Dallas, Inc., is committed to enriching and improving the quality of life for all people by supporting initiatives in three categories: education and leadership; mental health research and mental illness prevention; and North Texas cultural organizations. Julie and Ken Hersh began the foundation in 1997 as a way to secure long-term financial commitments to nonprofits in their community. In addition to the providing the lead gift for the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UTSW and their support of the Youth First Program at the Resource Center, the foundation also supports local non-profits such as the Dallas Theater Center, the George W. Bush Institute, Dallas Urban Debate, Galaxy Counseling Center, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, KERA and Momentous Institute.  Julie Hersh will receive the TACA Silver Cup Award in March 2018.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Lynn McBee, nominated by The Dallas Opera and Dallas Women’s Foundation, is widely known for committing time, talent and philanthropy to benefit worthy organizations throughout the community. McBee has served a wide array of organizations contributing to the arts, culture, and the overall civic profile of Dallas. She serves on multiple boards, has been the recipient of numerous honors, and is the CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, educating over 4,600 underserved young women in eight schools across the state of Texas.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Pagett Gosslee, CFRE, nominated by John Roppolo, has over 30 years of fundraising experience. She has been the director of development and alumni relations for the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas since 2009. She has also raised funds for Mercy Ships, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, and Hope Cottage Adoption Center, where she was the first development director in 1988. A member of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 1986, she was awarded her CFRE in 1993, chaired the Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon in 1991 and the DFW Philanthropy Conference in 1999, and served as president of the Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP in 2005.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Micah Pinson, 13, nominated by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, has conducted annual toy drives for six years resulting in more than 25,000 toys for children at the hospital. Born missing three fingers on his left hand, Pinson is grateful for the special care he received as a patient and wanted to give back.  He learned that toys were an important part of the hospital’s therapeutic care plan for children and began organizing toy drives and engaging the help of other students, corporations, and volunteers with collection, storage and delivery. He inspires others with his kindness and positive outlook and encourages everyone to celebrate their differences.

"We are excited to present and pay tribute to these outstanding individuals and organizations that have positively impacted our community through their leadership, vision and generosity,” emphasized Burton, Dallas National Philanthropy Day Chair.  “Join us on November 10 for one of the most inspiring luncheons in Dallas!”

The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1981.  Today, over 500 attend the luncheon which includes AFP members and community leaders.  National Philanthropy Day celebrates the great contributions philanthropy, and those who work in the philanthropic process, make to our community. AFP Chapters involve more than 28,000 individuals in celebrating philanthropy each year. 

“STMM is pleased to sponsor the Greater Dallas AFP for the third consecutive year,” said Stan Shipley, President and CEO, STMM’s Family Offices.  “AFP upholds the highest ethical fundraising and, importantly, effective fundraising. We are pleased to support AFP chapters around Texas including Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and the Greater Plains Chapter."

The luncheon will be emceed by longtime supporter Scott Murray. Murray Media, presenting sponsor of the luncheon, produces the luncheon videos featuring the accomplishments of each award recipient. 

Luncheon tickets are $85 ($95 after 11/1), $850 for a table of 10, and $1,250 for a premium table of 10.  For tickets and sponsorships, visit afpdallas.orgorcontactMadeleine Crouch at 972-233-9107, ext. 204,

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