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Methodist Folsom Steve Van Amburgh, Lee Ann Van Amburgh

Jack Lowe, Jr. is not used to surprises, but on October 14 he had an evening filled with them when Methodist Health System Foundation honored him as the 2015 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient at its annual fundraiser. Established in 2005, the award recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the achievements of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom. Because of Lowe’s commitment to education and children, this year’s proceeds of more than $1.3 million net will go to support Methodist’s Centering Pregnancy Program, which has reduced premature rates by more than 50 percent, and to the Centering Parenting program to assist young mothers and their newborns during the first year of life.

 

Each year, the event is personalized to celebrate the honoree, and this year was no exception. Welcoming a record 820 people to the Grand Ballroom was the DISD Drumline Band playing lively tunes. It was special for Lowe as he served as a DISD trustee from 2002 to 2011 and as president from 2005 to 2008.

 

Master of Ceremonies Gary Cogill welcomed guests and played on Lowe’s love of movies, particularly “The Princess Bride.” Cogill said, “This smiling, laughing ‘Princess Bride’ loving gentleman has been known a time or two to embrace the thrill of victory.”

 

Next, Dr. Wright Lassiter, chairman emeritus of the Dallas County Community College District, offered the invocation.

 

Stephen L. Mansfield, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO of Methodist Health System, said, “The need in North Texas is great, and Methodist has swiftly grown to meet it with seven hospitals and 27 health centers and groups. When this year ends, nearly one million North Texans will have been served by Methodist. Thank you for making our mission possible.”

 

Attendees ate a delicious dinner while watching a magic show, something that Lowe loves.

Following dinner, Magician Dal Sanders made April Box, Methodist Health System Foundation president and CEO, magically appear on stage. “Jack, congratulations on being the 11th recipient of the Folsom Award. You are in good company this evening. Past recipients, Nancy Ann Hunt and Bobby Lyle are with us. In addition, Bob Folsom’s children, Diane Frank, Debbie Jarma and Steve Folsom, are here. We acknowledge your unwavering servant leadership style. Thank you for a sell out year. Please welcome CEO of TDIndustries Harold MacDowell to the stage.”

 

MacDowell served as one of the event co-chairs, along with J. Robert “Bob” Ferguson and Louis B. “Ben” Houston. Lowe has worked with Ferguson and Houston for 50 years at TDIndustries. Decked out in construction garb, MacDowell drove into the ballroom on a scissor lift wrapped in Christmas lights. He talked about how the company had partnered with the Hilton Anatole for many years, and it felt like home. Then he introduced the tribute video, which was a clever play on Batman but used “Jackman” to showcase Lowe solving many dilemmas ranging from those in business to those at DISD.

 

Next, Lowe’s grandchildren came on stage to perform a skit to the Batman theme song, much to the surprise of Lowe himself. Afterwards, proud grandfather Lowe joined them on the stage to receive his award and a Jackman cape. Box said, “I am proud to present you, Jackman and the recipient of the 2015 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award, Jack Lowe, Jr.!”

Lowe said he felt lucky and told about the contract with the Hilton Anatole. “We bid for this business (Hilton Anatole), and we received the order on 7/7/77. I think that’s lucky.” He proceeded to talk about Robert S. Folsom. “In addition to serving as the Mayor of Dallas, he served as president of the board of trustees of the Dallas ISD school board. To my knowledge, no one else has served in both positions. I want to share three ways he impacted me.  One, he was the only four sport letterman ever at SMU, and I aspired to play end like him.  Two, early in my career at TDIndustries, he was one of our most important customers.  Three, he opened my eyes and my mind to the idea of volunteering to serve our community by running for political office.” He thanked Methodist for the award and for what the proceeds will do to strengthen families, particularly newborns. He also thanked his family, many of whom came from out of town to honor him.

 

Lowe joins an illustrious list of past recipients: 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), Rev. Mark Craig (2013) and Bobby B. Lyle (2014).

 

For information about supporting the next Folsom Award and Methodist Health System, contact Angela Nash, vice president, at 214.947.4596 or angelanash@mhd.com. More information is available at https://foundation.methodisthealthsystem.org/. Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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