The late Nancy and Jake Hamon were the poster couple of Texas legends. Jake made his money as an independent wildcatter and Nancy was the hostess who set the bar in these parts. An invitation to a Hamon party was like winning the lottery.
But as great as their reputations were in business and society, their philanthropy totally outshone all else. Over the years, such local nonprofits as the Dallas Museum of Art, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, SMU, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Dallas Zoo and many others benefited from their overwhelming generosity.
Despite Jake’s death in 1985 and Nancy’s in 2011 at the age of 92, their giving back and supporting lives on. Why, just in 2017, the Laura and Jack Roach Center for Translational Research in Alzheimer’s at UT Southwestern was created thanks to a $10M endowment.
Now, another amazing sign of the Hamons’ philanthropy has just been announced. The Hamon Charitable Foundation “has committed a $7.5M challenge grant to Children’s Medical Center Foundation to help Children’s Health address the pediatric mental health crisis in North Texas.”
Over the next three years, Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher’s goal is to raise $7.5M to match the challenge that would result in $15M to “help Children’s Health and the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) empower primary care providers across the community to provide behavioral health care to patients, allowing for earlier identification and treatment of pediatric mental health conditions.”
According to Brent, “The mental health challenges facing kids and families were already significant before this year, and the stresses of the pandemic amplify them even more—especially anxiety and depression. The incredible challenge grant from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will rally the community around a fresh start in tackling the problem. The key is to link early screening with practical strategies in a direct, cost-effective way that will change the mental health trajectory for Texas children. This collaboration between Children’s Health and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute aims to do just that, and philanthropy will make it happen.”
This financial support of Children’s isn’t the first for the Hamon Charitable Foundation. Since 2012 it has donated more than $30M to Children’s Medical Center Foundation.