On the evening of Wednesday, September 4, Methodist Health System Foundation President Jim Johnston was talking with former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings at a patron party in the middle of The Library of Kathy and Harlan Crow. The reason Rawlings, Johnston and other guests were gathered in the library: the 61st Dallas mayor had been selected to receive the foundation’s 2019 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award, to be presented at a dinner at the Hilton Anatole on Friday, September 20.
Jim was telling Mike that the upcoming, 15th annual dinner was selling better than any Folsom event except for the one that honored David B. Miller two years ago, “when the price of oil was up!” Mike returned the positive feedback, remarking how critically important the Methodist hospitals have been to the economy of southern Dallas. As mayor, of course, Mike focused on southern-sector economic development with his GrowSouth initiative.
All around the two leaders were co-chairs of the 2019 Folsom Award, which was established in 2005 to honor an individual “whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate[s] the contributions of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.” Among the attendees were Event Co-chairs Sally and Tom Dunning, Lottye and Bobby Lyle, Carolyn and David B. Miller, Pat and Pete Schenkel, and Gail and R. Gerald Turner. Also present: Angela and Brad Cheves, Jim Francis, Jennifer Staubach Gates, George Shaker, Beth and Chuck Thoele, Jack Lowe Jr., Steve Folsom, Missy and Jim Scoggin Jr., and 2019 Folsom Award Honorary Co-chairs Marilyn and Dr. Stephen L. Mansfield.
Just a few weeks ago, James officially succeeded Stephen as permanent president and CEO of the Methodist Health System.
During formal remarks a little later in the evening, Harlan welcomed everyone and called Mike “a great friend and a great public servant. … I am a lifelong Republican and Mike is a lifelong Democrat, but he is the best mayor we’ve ever had!” Then Jim Johnston spoke, saying the Folsom Award has raised more than $18 million to benefit Methodist’s programs and services over the years, before giving way to this year’s honoree.
“When I left office in June, I just wanted to ride into the sunset, not into the spotlight,” Mike said. “You know, when Royce West and Pete Schenkel come to your office to ask you if you’ll accept this award, it’s just not fair!” Then he added: “What Methodist has done serving the people of southern Dallas for so long is tremendous, and it dovetailed into what we were doing with the GrowSouth initiative so beautifully. Micki and I have both been patients and had a great experience. Methodist is such an important institution in our city, caring for those who can pay and those who can’t.”
As of September 4, sales for the 2019 Folson dinner were “right at $1.4 million,” or just shy of the $1.5 million goal, according to Jim Johnston. Methodist says Rawlings asked that proceeds from the event benefit “a new, specialized floor for patients of The Transplant Institute at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.”
For more pictures of the evening, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.