Former Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings was named the 2019 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient by Methodist Health System Foundation.
The award will be presented at a dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Sept.20 in the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.
Established in 2005, the award recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the contributions of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.
“We feel very strongly that Mike Rawlings exemplifies the intent and spirit of this special award,” said Jim Johnston, Methodist Health System foundation president. “Like Bob Folsom, Mike’s dynamic leadership as a dedicated public servant in Dallas – as well as his care, concern, and generosity to help others who are less fortunate – have made a lasting impact on our city.”
Rawlings was the 61st mayor of Dallas and the longest-serving mayor in more than 57 years. Over eight years in office, the foundation highlighted his achievements as: spurring economic development in the long-overlooked southern portion of Dallas through his GrowSouth initiative, improving public education, combating poverty and domestic violence, developing parks, elevating the city’s international profile and turning Dallas into a top destination for artists, young professionals, families, and corporations.
In 2016, Rawlings was selected as a Vital Voices Global Partnership honoree for his work to eradicate domestic violence. He was the 2017 recipient of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award for Leadership in Urban Design.
In 2018, he received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership from Americans for the Arts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and this past April, he received the Spirit of the Centennial Award from the Friends of Fair Park.
“No one has been a stronger advocate for (the) southern sector than Mike Rawlings,” said Pete Schenkel, Vice Chair, Methodist Health System Foundation board of trustees. “He has dedicated much of his life to making Dallas an even greater city, and we sincerely appreciate his hard work. Bob Folsom was committed to Methodist and to ensuring those less fortunate had compassionate, quality healthcare, and Mike shares that mission.”
In 2018, Methodist Health System provided nearly $150 million in unreimbursed charity care—an amount that continues to grow with the community needs. The Folsom event has raised more than $18 million over the past 14 years to benefit Methodist Health System’s programs and services.