This Thursday’s North Texas Giving Day is tinged with a poignant bit of philanthropic irony. It was in 2015 on North Texas Giving Day that the memorial service for the late Ebby Halliday Acers took place. Known for her giving back, she was being celebrated at the Park Cities Baptist Church by an overflowing crowd of dignitaries, Dallas mayors from the past, first lady Laura Bush and people from all walks of life. Seated in one of the pews was then-Communities Foundation of Texas CEO Brent Christopher, who had taken time out of the North Texas Giving Day’s 18-hour marathon mega-fundraising activities to pay homage to the woman who placed a high priority on helping others.
From the pulpit, then-Ebby Halliday Companies CEO/President Mary Frances Burleson said, “that in addition to the day being a tribute to Ebby, it was also North Texas Giving Day and [Mary Frances] knew that Ebby would truly appreciate it if friends would donate to one of Ebby’s favorite nonprofits — Happy Hill Farm and Academy, Ebby’s at the YW and The Ebby House at Juliette Fowler Communities — before the midnight deadline.”
Christoper was stunned that such a gracious request had been made. But Mary Frances was simply following the example that Ebby had set during her 104 years.
Now, four years later, a memorial service will ironically be held at 2 p.m. on this Thursday’s North Texas Giving Day at Highland Park Methodist Church for the late T. Boone Pickens, who, like Ebby, was renowned for his overwhelming generosity in helping others.
While the 11th annual North Texas Giving Day is underway to help North Texans, one can’t help but imagine that Ebby is celebrating the day of giving strumming her ukulele, while Boone is coming up with more “Boone-isms” to share with fellow philanthropists Herb Kelleher and Ross Perot Sr.
* Photo provided by Ebby Halliday Companies