JUST IN : Hamon Charitable Foundation Creates $10M Endowment For Laura And Jack Roach Center For Translational Research In Alzheimer’s

The late Nancy Hamon was a magnificent example of philanthropy. She lavished funds on various nonprofits from the arts to healthcare. Advising her over the years was attorney Jack Roach. Before she died in July  2011 at the age of 92, she established the Hamon Charitable Foundation to continue her philanthropic legacy. And, of course, Jack was a Foundation officer.

Laura and Jack Roach*

Today it was announced that the Foundation has created a $10M endowment “to support the new Laura and Jack Roach Center for Translational Research in Alzheimer’s Disease” at UT Southwestern. The endowment was establish to “honor the Roaches after Laura [Roach] was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.”

Thanks to the gift, UT Southwestern will be able research better ways to treat Alzheimer’s and “delay its onset from the laboratory into clinic practice.”

Hamon Charitable Foundation President Kelly Roach explained, “We’re hoping for a cure and that researchers can slow progression of the disease. We believe $10 million will get us a step closer in the right direction. It’s a difficult disease to watch – they call it ‘the long goodbye.’ We hope other families don’t have to experience what we’re experiencing.”

Daniel Podolsky (File photo)

While some consider Alzheimer’s to be an older person’s disease, its effect touches the patient’s family and friends of all ages.  Amazingly, 90% of the developments in diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s has been made in the past 20 years.

According to UT Southwestern President Daniel Podolsky, “This magnificent gift from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will strengthen the infrastructure for translational research within the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. Already, work at UT Southwestern is leading to promising new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. A strengthened translational research program will bridge the gap between scientific discovery and clinical care and accelerate progression between today’s medical challenges and tomorrow’s cures.”

Thanks to Nancy Hamon’s philanthropy and her relationship with Jack Roach, her support of her adopted hometown continues.

* Photo provided by UT Southwestern

Nancy Hamon — A Texas Legend Leaves The Scene

Stubbs Davis and Nancy Hamon

Nancy Hamon was one of those people about whom tall Texas tales were told. In her case, the tales were slight compared to the woman herself.

For many young people, she was the more-than-gracious silver-haired lady who provided funding for some of Dallas’ institutions (the Dallas Zoo, Presbyterian Hospital, SMU, the Winspear Opera House, etc.).

For others she was known for giving over-the-top parties including one for her friends on board a yacht in the Mediterranean. Her Turtle Creek penthouse always had a well-stocked bar and an icy martini glass ready for a guest.

But for those people who remember the days when the Rosewood Mansion was just a private home across the street from Dallas’ ultra-exclusive Cipango Club where Sharon Simon, Lupe Murchison and other Lone Star legends of the 40’s and 50’s danced and drank the night away, she was the boldfacer, who made the Texas oil boom even boomier.

Having lost both her husband and son prematurely, Nancy let it be known that she was bound and determined to give her money away while she was still alive. And she did that with a Texas-sized smile, a twinkle in her eye and unbridled generosity from which so many have benefited.

With her death today, the party and the legend have moved upstairs.