Despite Fire Alarms, Robert S. Folsom Award Dinner Honors Mike Boone With Bagpipers And Good-Hearted Teasing

Who would stay put when fire alarms are going off and a voice over the PA announces there has been a fire reported within the building?  A load of lawyers and friends who had come to honor Haynes and Boone’s Mike Boone.

Jane and Chick Pierce and Debbie Francis

While the hundreds attending the Bishop Dunne event in another part of the Hilton Anatole Tuesday night heeded the flashing lights and warnings, the Robert S. Folsom Award Dinner guests

Steve Folsom

like Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Debbie and Jim Francis, Steve and Marilyn Mansfield, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Gale and Jerry Sliger,  and former mayor/award namesake Robert Folsom‘s clan led by Steve Folsom, didn’t budge. Heck, they didn’t even look concerned.

Instead they talked about Hurricane Sandy hitting the northeast coast, the presidential election and tried to guess who the “surprise emcee of the night” would be.

Thanks to Methodist Health System Foundation President April Box Chamberlain, the eight-year-old fundraiser has gotten to be a surprise package for the honoree and the guests.

April Box Chamberlain

A couple of years ago Mark Cuban emerged from the back of the ballroom in shades and a baseball cap to emcee Pat and Emmitt Smith. Last year it was Karl Rove for Trevor Rees-Jones.

Karen Hughes

This year it was an intro by former first couple Laura and George W. Bush, who announced that Karen Hughes would be mistress of ceremonies.

But before Karen’s name was even mentioned, it was obvious that Mike’s longtime ties to Dallas were a centerpiece for the night. From the bagpipers and kilted dancer on the drum to mammoth photos of Highland Park High School and SMU, Mike’s roots were definitely showing.

Highlander dancer

Fred Hegi and Mike Boone

Perhaps this was because his old SMU buddy, Fred Hegi, was the man responsible for the night that set a record-breaking amount of $1.45 million raised for Methodist’s neurology department.

Mike and Fred go back to their days at SMU and have had a running joke about who is taller. Let’s just say that neither were ever recruited for professional basketball.

And speaking of sports, Mike’s golf game was ripe for poking. From the well-done video to the in-person comments at the podium, it became apparent that Mike’s talents are better placed in the courtroom than on the golf course.

The Perry Mason-style video in a faux courtroom pitted Mike’s law partner George Bramblett defending Mike against Texas State Representative/Winstead’s Dan Branch (aka Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala honorary chair, father of the Idlewild Club president, big-time underwriter of the Blondes vs. Brunettes, and many other things), who could only find Mike guilty of being dangerous with a driver and driving a golf cart.

Despite all the ribbing and a couple of songs by a faux Buddy Holly, Mike rose to the occasion, spreading appreciation to all. First on the list was wife, Marla, then his kids, his friends and all present.

Then telling the group that he still had two minutes allotted to him, the respected attorney who has never known less than a 24-hour day, eloquently said that any of his achievements were the result of his parents. Then he announced that he was accepting the award on their behalf.

What else would one expect from a Robert S. Folsom awardee?

Roberts S. Folsom Leadership Award Patron Party For Mike Boone Reaches New Heights At The Ritz-Carlton

Trevor and Jan Rees-Jones

Jan Rees-Jones teases that she and husband Trevor are like Lisa and Oliver on TV’s “Green Acres.” She’s a city gal and he loves the country life. That explains the twosome having a penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton and a land-line home in other parts of Dallas. But it was the Ritz residence with its two terraces overlooking downtown Dallas and toward Fort Worth, a mind-boggling collection of western art and furnishings that would send any interior decorator swooning, that was the place to be Tuesday night.

Rees-Jones western art

The only thing missing were jokes about lawyers. You know, how many does it take to . . .. That’s because Dallas’ finest legal eagles were filling the Rees-Jones nest in the sky for the Methodist Health System Foundation‘s Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award patron party. The reason for all the barristers and other influential types like Toni Brinker, Gerald Ford, Jim Francis, Sarah and

Mike Boone

Ross Perot Jr. is one of Dallas’ great attorneys — Mike Boone — will be presented the award on Tuesday, October 30, at the Hilton Anatole.

However, despite the splendor of the surroundings and the heady crowd, there was a certain tension in the room about staying close to the timeline. At 8 p.m., the second presidential debate was to take place. Jan laughed at the thought of guests feeling a need to scurry home to watch the debate. “We’ve got lots of TV’s here,” she said, indicating they could just settle back and watch it at the Rees-Jones place.

April Box Chamberlain

Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain looked like a homecoming queen when it was revealed that a record-breaking amount ($1.45M) had been raised for Mike’s designated group — Methodist’s neurology operations.

Host Trevor admitted that his relationship with Mike was not due only to their recent professional dealings [“I was very fortunately put in touch with Mike Boone. He doesn’t need a new client, but he has helped me in a way that’s beyond belief. … He must be the first cousin to the Energizer Bunny. … I don’t think he (even) has an assistant”], or their both being honored with the Folsom Award. Rather, Mike was the referee when Trevor played on a fifth-grade YMCA football team. Trevor smiled and said of Mike, “So, he must be really old.”

Fred Hegi

Another one who didn’t pull any punches in talking to the group about the honoree was dinner co-chair Fred Hegi, whose relationship with Mike started at SMU. “Mike and I go back a long time. Met 50 years ago at SMU. I was a green naïve freshman, and Boone was a hazing senior.”

Then, getting serious, Fred said what most already knew — Mike is the go-to guy for many non-profits with legal issues.

Marla Boone

With his wife Marla looking on, Mike then recognized Robert S. Folsom’s son, Steve, and kidded him that his dad had had the “longest eligibility” ever for NCAA football — seven or eight years.

Mike then told the group that Methodist System is so important to this area, especially for the Southern Sector. In touring the new trauma facility and talking to Dr. James Moody, he made the decision to direct the money raised from the evening to the neurological programs.

In keeping with the timeline, the talks were over promptly at 7:30, and the guests hit the elevator to make it home in time for the debate.

Share-A-Date: 2012 Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award

Fred Hegi (File photo)

Tuesday, October 30: The deets have just been announced about this fundraiser for Methodist Health System Foundation. Event chair Fred Hegi revealed that the 2012 Methodist Health System Foundation Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award will be presented to Mike Boone at a dinner at the Hilton Anatole.

While many know Mike as the co-founder of Haynes and Boone, there are still many more who recognize him from his leadership and countless contributions in improving the education system. For his years of work, he has been recognized time and time again with countless accolades

The award is presented to individuals who have “demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership [emulating] the achievements of  former Dallas mayor Robert S. Folsom.”

Mike will be joining the ranks of Trevor Rees-Jones (2011), Pat and Emmitt Smith (2010), the late Norman Brinker (2009), former first lady Laura Bush (2008), Troy Aikman (2007), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006) and the award’s namesake Robert S. Folsom (2005).

Having raised more that $7 million since 2005, this year’s proceeds will go to the new Neuro Critical Care Unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

For those who join the 2012 Folsom Leadership Circle ($10K), they’ll be treated to a patron party at Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones‘ home.

Hey, Mike, when it comes to picking out dessert for the dinner, check with Trevor. He picked a winner last year.