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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 More information is available at

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Texas Parks & Wildlife Young Professionals, a 40 and under group who are interested and passionate about Texas conservation efforts, hosted a membership event called “Four Corners & Flies” on September 25 at Four Corners Brewing Company. The group added 11 new members.

Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company showcased different rods and reels, and then helped attendees with their fly fishing techniques. Tailwaters judged a casting competition in which winners were chosen for accuracy and awarded various merchandise. Four Corners Brewing Company provided complimentary local craft brews, while guests visited and listened to live musician Michael Donner.

Tim Birdsong, chief of Ecosystem and Habitat Assessment at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, gave a presentation on conservation issues affecting local rivers and streams, and talked about what the Young Professionals could do to help.

Mac Macfarlan, chair of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Young Professionals, said, "We are excited about our growing membership and were really happy with the turnout for the Four Corners & Flies event.  More than 70 young professionals attended and experienced an awesome venue at Four Corners Brewery in the new Trinity Groves development in West Dallas. Several new members who signed up that night won great door prizes from some of our sponsors.”

Launched in June 2013, Texas Parks and Wildlife Young Professionals Group connects professionals 40 and under who are driven by a common vision to raise awareness of the land and wildlife conservation issues facing this generation; preserve hunting, fishing, and outdoor heritage; lead and serve in their communities; and establish meaningful relationships among like‐minded individuals. Benefits of membership include invitations to special events and service opportunities, an annual subscription to Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, and multiple outreach activities. Membership dues are $75, and for more information, visit

Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation

Founded in 1991, Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation raises private funds to help Texas Parks and Wildlife Department manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas for present and future generations. For information, visit online at

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. For more information, visit online at



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Donna Gerard Providence Latin teacher Donna Gerard, a Lake Highlands resident, received the prestigious Merita Award.

Providence Latin teacher Donna Gerard has devoted forty-four years to her students and profession and to teaching other teachers. Beloved by her fellow teachers and students alike, it comes then as no surprise that she recently received The American Classical League’s highest award, the highly coveted and venerated Merita Award. This annual, prestigious award is bestowed by peers and given to a teaching professional who demonstrates sustained and distinguished service to the Classics profession and the American Classical League.


Having taught for more than thirty years, in 2004 Gerard intended to retire from her career in the Richardson school district. She did not, however, want to leave teaching entirely. Through the years, she had tutored Providence students in Latin and was impressed by them. She interviewed at Providence, began teaching in the 2004/2005 school year, and has enjoyed every minute of teaching Latin at Providence since then. Gerard said, “I like the fact that [at Providence] I really get to teach. It’s not about testing; it’s not about gimmicks; it’s about learning and what’s good for the students. And I like the fact that we’re building character at the same time.”


Gerard did not know she had been nominated for the Merita Award until she learned she had received it. Her daughter, also a Latin teacher, submitted her mother’s curriculum vitae upon receiving an email at her mother’s home congratulating Donna on her nomination. Her daughter chose to keep the nomination a secret from her mother, so Gerard was greatly surprised to learn she had received the award.  


This summer, Gerard’s entire family traveled with her to Memphis where she received the award at the American Classical League’s annual conference. She said, “Latin has been my life work, so it is incredibly rewarding and very nice to hear your accolade read publicly.” At the conference, one young woman whom Gerard had taught working with the Texas Junior Classical League, approached her after she received the award and said, “I just want you to know you were always my inspiration. I wanted to be like you.”


Besides this recent honor, Gerard has had many accolades. In 2004, she was chosen as the Texas State Teacher of the Year in Latin, and the Most Influential Teacher at Richardson High School in 1989-1997, 1999, 2001, and 2004. Since 1990, she has been active as a consultant for the Advanced Placement Program in the teaching of AP Latin teachers as well as providing training for the grading of the AP exams. She is a consultant for the popular Cambridge Latin program and is a sought after conference speaker and seminar leader. She is also very involved with Cambridge University and their team of British professionals shaping their Latin course.


Dr. Tony Jeffrey, Providence headmaster, said, “In every way, she has made an enormous difference in our profession and the lives of our students. We are honored to have a Latin teacher as committed to the field and the students as Donna is.”


About the Merita Award

As a means of recognizing and celebrating excellent classicists, The American Classical League presents the Merita Award annually in recognition of classicists sustained and distinguished service to ACL and the profession at large. Recipients are nominated and then selected by a committee of peers for outstanding work in teaching, publication, and/or service to the classical profession.


About Providence Christian School of Texas

Since 1989, Providence Christian School of Texas has provided academically able students from preschool to 8th grade with a challenging educational experience designed to help them know, love, and practice that which is true, good, and excellent, and to prepare them to live purposefully and intelligently in the service of God and man. Providence’s core values are faith, family, intellect, counterculturalism, and stewardship. More information about the School can be found by calling 214-302-2800 or by visiting