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Honorary chairs Robert Hyer Thomas and Gail Thomas, PhD

2016 Awards for Excellence in Community Service co-chairs Veletta Forsythe Lill and Mary Suhm, along with honorary chairs Gail Thomas, PhD and Robert Hyer Thomas, welcomed over 65 sponsors, award recipients and Dallas Historical Society board members to a cocktail reception held in their honor on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Hosted by Libby and David Hunt, Sharon and Mike McCullough and Patricia Meadows, attendees arrived and mingled as they enjoyed cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres.  Midway through the reception, Bill Helmbrecht, chairman of the Dallas Historical Society board of trustees, gathered the crowd for brief remarks.  Helmbrecht welcomed everyone and thanked all in attendance for their support of the 35th Awards for Excellence in Community Service.

Co-chairs Lill and Suhm followed, adding their gratitude to this year’s sponsors, before recognizing the 2016 Awards for Excellence recipients, many of whom were in attendance:  Arts Leadership – Keith Cerny; Business – Leonard M. Riggs, Jr. M.D.; Creative Arts – Eliseo Garcia; Education – Pat Mattingly; History – Hugh Aynesworth; Humanities – Molly Bogen; Medical Research – Dr. Eric Olson; Philanthropy – Linda Perryman Evans; Sports Leadership – Michael Johnson; Volunteer Community Leadership – Philip C. Henderson;  Volunteer Community Leadership – Frederick “Shad” Rowe and Jubilee History Maker – Margot Perot.  The Awards for Excellence are bestowed on selected recipients who have demonstrated generosity of spirit, civic leadership, and ability to encourage community-wide participation in a particular phase of the growth of the city.  

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the Dallas Historical Society and its dedication to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history through its many programs, including educational outreach and public programs to more than 20,000 area school students annually.  The event would not be possible without the generosity of the 2016 Sponsors, which include: 

Platinum History Maker ($10,000) – Diane and Hal Brierley; Joe M. and Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation; Al Hill Family; Lyda Hill Foundation; Stephanie and Hunter Hunt; Holly and Tom Mayer; Eugene McDermott Foundation; Leonard M. Riggs, Jr.; 

Gold Historian ($5,000) – Baylor Scott & White Health; Linda and William Custard; Craig and Kathryn Hall Foundation; The David B. Miller Family Foundation; Perot Foundation; Shad Rowe; Peggy and Carl Sewell; Ruth C. and Charles S. Sharp Foundation; Mike and Mary Terry;

Silver Historian ($2,500) – Children’s Health; Chris Molsen Clark; Amy and John A. Cole; The Richard Eiseman Families; Nancy Nasher and David Haemisegger; Cathy and Bill Helmbrecht; Liza and Will Lee; Locke Lord LLP; The Meadows Foundation; John Neill; Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC; Penn Davis McFarland, Inc.; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; Carolyn and Karl Rathjen; Willing Ryan; Kit and Kemp Sawers; Margaret and Glenn Solomon; South Texas Money Management, Ltd; Southern Methodist University; Southwestern Medical Foundation/UT Southwestern Medical Center; Marianne and Roger Staubach; Thompson & Knight Foundation; and Gail and Robert Hyer Thomas.

The 35th Awards for Excellence (AFE) in Community Service luncheon will be held on Thursday, November 17 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Dallas, located at 1717 N. Akard Street.  Tickets begin at $125; sponsorships begin at $1,000 and are available by visiting or contact Nora Lenhart, 214-421-4500x101 or .


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