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Norman Brinker Honored With 2009 Methodist Health System Folsom Leadership Award

DALLAS, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Methodist Health System Foundation mourns the recent loss of Norman Brinker. Methodist was privileged to present Mr. Brinker with the 2009 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award on May 15, 2009. The evening was a celebration not only of Mr. Brinker's business and sports accomplishments, but also his leadership and commitment to the Dallas community and his friendship to Methodist Health System.

"We are grateful for Norman Brinker's friendship, and it was an honor for us to highlight his leadership and accomplishments among so many friends as he received this prestigious award," said Methodist Health System Foundation President and CEO April Box Chamberlain.

Established in 2005, the award recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulates the achievements of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom. Past Folsom Leadership Award recipients include Robert S. Folsom (2005), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Troy Aikman (2007) and Laura Bush (2008).

H. Ross Perot, Sr., event chair, served as Master of Ceremonies for the award dinner. Perot said, "The Folsom Award has an impressive list of honorees, including Nancy Ann Hunt, who is here tonight. She's hard to follow, but now my good friend Norman has joined this list."

With that, Perot invited Brinker to receive his award, but the guest of honor couldn't be found. At that point, motorcycles roared through the ballroom, and Brinker rode in on a motorcycle with his friends from Strokers of Dallas. Perot exclaimed, "He makes quite an entrance!"

All eyes turned to the video screen for a moving video tribute, generously underwritten by Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt. Ruth Altshuler, Linda Custard, Margaret Folsom, Steve Folsom, Ebby Halliday, Lou Neeb, Robert Payne, Cindy Brinker Simmons and John Titus provided words and stories honoring Norman Brinker. Reverend Don Benton gave the invocation followed by dinner.

Methodist Health System Foundation President and CEO April Box Chamberlain said after dinner, "As is our tradition with this event, we took the passion of the recipient and coupled that with the needs of Methodist. Tonight, you'll have an opportunity to see how your support of Mr. Brinker will impact Methodist Health System, and our mission to improve and save the lives in our care."

Chamberlain then announced that proceeds from the event will benefit Methodist's Emergency and Trauma services. Methodist Health System serves more than 140,000 patients each year, making its hospitals some of the busiest emergency departments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Last year alone, Methodist provided more than $81 million in unreimbursed charity care, and the Folsom Leadership Award event as the largest fundraiser for Methodist, helps cover some of these costs.

Event co-chairmen Doug Brooks and Pete Schenkel then spoke about Mr. Brinker's leadership and influence in their lives. Brooks said, "Norman always gave respect to others, and knew he had to earn it back. He's been a legend in sports, business, and the community, and we honor him tonight."

After the remarks, a dramatic montage filled the room featuring Methodist's trauma services and highlighting care provided to dozens of Dallas police and fire fighters. Schenkel then declared, "We are pleased to announce that in this the fifth year of the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award event, we've once again raised more than $1 million. Because Norman wanted his gift designated for emergency and trauma services, Doug and I are pleased to announce the new Norman Brinker Emergency and Trauma Center at Methodist Dallas Medical Center." This center will serve more than 60,000 patients annually.

Steve Folsom, chairman of the board of trustees for Methodist Health System Foundation, then presented the Robert S. Folsom Leadership award to Norman Brinker. "I know that my dad, Robert Folsom, is very proud that you are receiving this honor. On behalf of our family and the Methodist Health System Foundation, I am thrilled to present this to you."

Brinker accepted his award and said, "Thank you. I thank you all for what you've done."

Mrs. Toni Brinker fondly states that the event was a high point in her husband's life, and that she and Norman were grateful to Methodist Health System Foundation, and all the many generous supporters of the event who enable vital services provided by Methodist Health System.

The Brinker family has requested that memorials be made to Methodist Health System Foundation in honor of Norman Brinker. For more information, contact the Foundation at 214-947-4555 or visit to make an online contribution to the Norman Brinker Emergency and Trauma Center at Methodist Dallas. Methodist Health System is a nonprofit organization.

Note to editors: High resolution photos are available to download at

About Methodist Health System

Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System uses some of the latest medical technology and research to bring quality health care to individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. In 2008 Methodist Health System provided more than $81 million in unreimbursed charity care. Additional information is available at

SOURCE Methodist Health System Foundation
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