MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Harold C. Simmons Memorial Highway Designation Reception

Morgan Meyer, Don Huffines, Kent Hance and Greg Abbott

In these parts the importance of events can’t be judged by the number of guests. Such was the case on the afternoon of Friday, January 12, at Annette Simmonsand Jerry Fronterhouse‘s estate. The crowd was made up of less than 25, but what a heady group it was — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, State Sen. Don Huffines, State Rep. Morgan Meyer, Texas Tech University System Chancellor Emeritus Kent Hance and the blended family and friends of the late Harold Simmons.

Greg Abbott and Annette Simmons

The occasion was the champagne toast for the designation of the Harold C. Simmons Memorial Highway. As the signage was being put into place along Preston Road extending from Northwest Highway to Royal Lane, accolades and memories were shared in the home where Harold had lived for decades.

While the post is being finalized, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

The Trinity Trust Friends And Fans Gather To Toast Annette Simmons’ $50M Gift For Trinity River Park Launch

It’s not every day that a city gets a $50M gift. But then every city doesn’t have Annette Simmons! To celebrate the announcement of Annette’s gift to commemorate her late husband Harold Simmons and to get things hustling for the creation of the Trinity River Park, city officials and longtime Trinity Trust staffers and friends gathered on Wednesday, November 9, to toast the news at Saint Rocco’s New York Italian. Here’s a report from the field:

On November 9, The Trinity Trust gathered its supporters to celebrate Annette Simmons’ $50 million historic gift to the Trinity River Park with a “Toast to the Trinity.” Taking place on the rooftop of Saint Rocco’s New York Italian restaurant overlooking the Dallas skyline and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, this location was also where Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the gift in honor of Annette’s late husband, Harold Simmons, just the previous week.

Trinity River Park illustrations*

The gift will launch development and construction of the first phase of Trinity River Park that encompasses more than 285 acres of land near downtown Dallas. With approval from the City Council, the park will be named the Harold Simmons Park, which will stretch from the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge to the Margaret McDermott Bridge or about 200 of the 285 acres.

The Trinity Trust Rat Pack and River Rats and guests sipped wine and beer and noshed on Italian appetizers and watched the sun set. As the sun went down, the remarks began. The Trinity Trust President Gail Thomas said, “This is such as moment. As we crossed the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, I remember Jane Jacobs saying that as the sun is setting and shines on the glass buildings, the reflection puts her in her high heart. This gift has been a dream come true. Thank you to the Simmons family for believing in this project.”

Craig Holcomb and Monica Alonzo*

Joe Crafton and Amy Simmons Crafton*

Deputy Mayor Monica Alonzo, whose district includes the park area, welcomed everyone to her district and shared in the excitement of the news.

Representing the family, Amy Simmons Crafton said, “This park is something my dad would have been proud to do. Someday, this will be an incredible park. We’re proud to be associated with the park. We’re ready to hike and bike in it.”

Nancy Cain Marcus and Nelda Cain Pickens*

Garrett Boone and Lucy Hale*

Electra Harelson, Tori Mannes, Stewart Thomas and Gail Thomas*

Those in attendance included Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas Assistant City Manager Mark McDaniel and his wife Cindy; The Trinity Trust Board Members Garrett Boone and Nancy Cain Marcus; Nelda Cain Pickens, Lynlee and Dave Forehand; new Trinity River Audubon Center Director Lucy Hale; Trinity Commons Foundation’s Craig Holcomb; Gail Thomas’ three children: Stewart Thomas, Tori Mannes and Electra Harelson, their spouses and some of their children.

* Photo credit: Jerry McClure

JUST IN: Annette Simmons Donates $50M For The Creation Of The 155-Acre Harold Simmons Park

Harold and Annette Simmons (File photo)

Harold and Annette Simmons (File photo)

The late Harold Simmons was a philanthropist who loved Dallas and the outdoors. It is with this in mind that his widow, Annette Simmons, made a $50M donation to create the Harold Simmons Park along the Trinity River.

The 155-acre park will extend from the Margaret McDermott Bridge to the Ronald Kirk Bridge.

According to the POA, the initial $10M will be expended by the (Trinity) Trust “for the purposes of planning, designing, promoting and construction the Park.” If all things go as planned, the remaining $40M will be used for governance, management and operations of the park.

A Passing: Harold Simmons

 

Harold Simmons (File photo)

A Harold Simmons (File photo

The death of anyone is especially hard to bear around the holidays. It is with this in mind that we truly regret to report that philanthropist Harold Simmons died Saturday night.

Both Harold and his wife Annette have become synonymous with philanthropy through their donations and support of numerous nonprofits.

And while his blues eyes will no longer twinkle nor his smile brighten a room, his contributions to the North Texas charities and the thousands they benefit will live on.

Our deepest condolences are extended to his family, who only this past year also suffered the loss of Harold’s brother, Glenn Simmons.

UPDATE: Harold Simmons’ memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 2, at Park Cities Baptist Church.