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Rev. Mark Craig, April Box Chamberlain, President

Event raised $1.5 million to benefit new Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower

Music from the Dave Tanner Band welcomed more than 900 guests attending the 2013 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on September 24. Musical selections from Mama Mia and Jersey Boys were played in honor of this year’s recipient, community advocate and retired Senior Minister of Highland Park United Methodist Church Rev. Mark Craig. 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.

Each year, the event is personalized to honor the recipient, and this year was no exception. Dean Fearing, celebrity chef and friend of Rev. Craig, welcomed everyone as the Master of Ceremonies. “Tonight is all about Mark Craig and his favorite things. We want to say one thing you don’t hear nearly enough—‘thank you.’ That is our toast to you, Mark.” Rev. Steven Matthew, retired executive minister of Highland Park United Methodist Church, gave the invocation.

President and CEO of Methodist Health System Stephen L. Mansfield, PhD, FACHE, greeted guests and said that this is Methodist’s largest fundraiser. Last year, Methodist provided more than $125 million in uncompensated charity care, and this event plays an important role. “I believe that faith and healing, are inextricably linked. So it is a special honor for us to acknowledge Mark tonight on behalf of the thousands of patients who will be touched by your gift and your presence here tonight.”

Lana and Barry Andrews and Natalie and Mike McGuire served as event co-chairs.  Barry Andrews said, “I want to recognize and thank the Folsom family in attendance, Sharon and Steve Folsom, Debbie Folsom Jarma and Don Jarma. I also want to thank the three past Folsom recipients in attendance including Nancy Ann Hunt, Troy Aikman and Mike Boone. And our sincere thanks to Jason and Brill Garrett who hosted a fantastic patron party in their home for our major donors. It’s been such an honor for Lana, Natalie, Mike and me to serve as this year’s Robert S. Folsom leadership award co-chairs and be part of Highland Park United Methodist Church. Thanks to everyone here tonight, we have raised a record setting total of $1.5 million.”

Rev. Paul Rasmussen, HPUMC minister, served as the narrator of a “Masterpiece Theater”-themed tribute video highlighting rare books, one of Rev. Craig’s passions. Highlights comparing Craig to a “rare” individual came from Rev. Craig’s 95-year-old mother Louise Craig, his wife, Sandra, his sons Will and Sayre, his daughter Ali, SMU President Gerald Turner, Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett, Harlan Crow, Jim Francis, Randy Golden, Gail Hansard, Bill Shields, HPUMC Ministers Tova Sido and Dr. Susan Robb, Custer Road UMC Rev. Tim Morrison, and St. Paul UMC Rev. Elzie Odom, Jr .

Following dinner, dramatic sounds of sirens and helicopters filled the ballroom as lights flashed and Methodist Health System Foundation President and CEO April Box Chamberlain told the story of how more than 200 people may work together to save the life of one person who has an emergency. At the same time, Methodist employees lined up behind Chamberlain to show the level of support it takes to save a life. “You may not know that Methodist is one of only three adult trauma centers in Dallas, and 60,000 were served at Methodist Dallas emergency alone.  Recognizing this critical resource for our city, Mark Craig has chosen to designate your gifts—more than $1.5 million from this event—to building the new Charles A. Sammons Critical Care Tower at Methodist Dallas.” Scheduled for completion in summer 2014, the one-of-a-kind new trauma and critical care center will expand the hospital’s emergency department ten-fold. The capital campaign is happening now for those interested in donating.  

“We purposely chose 9/11 to break ground on this new critical care tower as a remembrance to those heroes who run toward the disasters,” Chamberlain added. “Tonight we honor Mark, another hero. But I think we can all agree that we can use another special responder who helped heal, strengthen and inspire our entire nation after 9/11, President George W. Bush.”

After the attendees gave him a standing ovation, President Bush said, “When Jim Francis first informed me that this year’s Folsom Award recipient was Mark Craig, I was pleased to accept the invitation to surprise and honor my good friend…and my preacher.” Rev. Craig has served as the Bush’s pastor and most recently gave the dedication prayer at the opening of the President George W. Bush Presidential Center in April. President Bush then shared the story of how one of Rev. Craig’s sermons provided inspiration for him to run for President of the United States.

Rev. Craig thanked President Bush and everyone in attendance. “First I’m humbled and honored to receive the award with Bob Folsom’s name on it. He is a great man, great family, he’s a great leader to Dallas and this community. He’s a great friend to many and most of you here today. This award isn’t about me; this is about a great hospital. Your support of Sammons Trauma Critical Care Tower is fantastic and all the money that you have given is wonderful. It’s the largest capital investment in southern Dallas in many, many years. That’s fabulous. Methodist Hospital is special. It’s special because it looks south and it has never left the south. That’s where the pain, that’s where the suffering is. It’s always been there to help people less fortunate than most of us.”

Past Folsom Leadership Award recipients include 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), and Mike Boone (2012).

Methodist Health System is a nonprofit organization. For those interested in supporting the Robert S. Folsom Award or other vital health care and community programs, please contact Methodist Health System Foundation Vice President of Development Joy Duncan at 214-947-4555 or joyduncan@mhd.com. More information is available at Foundation.MethodistHealthSystem.org/Folsom.

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