If the mood was enthusiastic at the Baylor Health Care System Foundation’s A Night of Gratitude at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, April 26, there was a very good reason. The foundation, after all, had just announced the successful completion of its first-ever comprehensive funding campaign, Campaign 2015: Baylor Makes Us All Better.
The campaign, which had an original goal of $250 million, had busted past that mark to hit $270 million. And it was bound to be counting even more cash, with the official closing not scheduled until the end of June.
As the 300 Night of Gratitude guests like Margo and Bill Goodwin, Ellen and Alan Miller, D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock, Christie Carter, and Debbie Oates, poured into the DCC, one of them exclaimed: “This is our little victory dance.”
And the place was decked out to match the celebration. In the reception area was a huge backdrop of multi-squares, some were filled with dazzling small squares, some with the Baylor Health Care System logo and others spelling out “A Night of Gratitude.” That only hinted at what lay within the ballroom that had been transformed with back-lit white curtains covering the walls and lounging areas and tables set up throughout. At one end of the room was a stage with a backdrop and the word “Gratitude” in script.
What made the campaign so successful? “I’ve got a great team, and a great board to sell for,” said Foundation President Rowland “Robin” Robinson, as he greeted guests not far from Baylor Scott & White Health President/CEO Joel Allison and Foundations Board Chair Jim Turner.
But according to Baylor’s Plano medical center Board Chair Glenn Callison, Robinson was being too modest. “I saw what it was like before Robin joined and since he’s been here, and it’s been absolutely phenomenal,” Glenn said. “He’s the best-kept secret in philanthropy.”
As guests including newlyweds Hillary and Shepherd Robinson, Kate Robinson Swail, Jill Smith, Trisha Wilson, Pam Busbee, Randi and Ed Halsell, Richard Eiseman Virginia Chandler Dykes, Lydia and Dan Novakov, Marilyn Augur, Pam and VIn Perella, Richard Eiseman, Shelle and Michael Sills and Carolyn and David Miller enjoyed dinner and music by Hunter Sullivan and his band, more than a few decided to turn the Night of Gratitude into a literal “victory dance.” After all, they knew, more than 30,000 donors had ponied up more than 90,000 gifts for the foundation campaign—including a whopping 40 gifts of $1 million or more. The funds will be invested in patient-focused programs, research, medical education, capital and advanced technology for Baylor Scott & White Health-North Texas.
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman