The lovely Karen Mordecai and I just returned from the Dallas Historical Society‘s Awards for Excellence in Community Service. We were the guests of Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, who received the Jubilee History Maker award for efforts ranging from the glamorous (the renovation of Lee Park’s Arlington Hall, where Tony Romo got married) to the essential (the distribution of 1.5 million pounds of food in three years via the S.M. Wright Foundation).
Allie Beth has served on the TCU Board of Trustees, the Center for Brain Health Advisory Board, and the executive committee of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Dallas Council. Pierce, meanwhile, was one of the founders of La Fiesta de Las Seis Banderas and is the narrator for the Sixth Floor Museum.
Pierce spoke for his wife, whom he said is a proud native Texan, a claim he can’t make himself. “I’m from back east. I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas,” he said. “But as soon as the family learned to read, we moved to Texas.”
Pierce said one of his favorite things he ever read was an oath of citizenship young men had to make in ancient Greece. He then read it aloud to the room. I wasn’t able to jot it down word-for-word, but the basic gist of it was making sure you contribute to your city, to elevate it. “That spirit of old Athens is the spirit of new Dallas,” he said.
Finally, Pierce advised the attendees to never underestimate the power of an involved citizenry. “Just remember, the ark was built by volunteers,” he said. “Professionals built the Titanic.”
The Allmans weren’t the only Park Cities people honored at today’s luncheon:
- University Park resident Mark A. Roglán, director of the Meadows Museum at SMU, received the Award for Excellence in Arts Leadership.
- University Park resident Sandi Bond Chapman, founder of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, received the Award for Excellence in Health/Science-Research.
- Turtle Creek resident William M. Lee, who holds the Meredith Mosle Distinguished Professorship in Liver Disease at the UT-Southwestern Medical School, received the Award for Excellence in Health/Science-Medicine.
- Northern Hills resident Frank Welch, who holds a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Society of Architects, won the Award for Excellence in Creative Arts.
- Caruth Court resident Sara Martineau, a former chairman of the Crystal Charity Ball, received the Award for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership.
Congratulations to all of the honorees.