The Legacy of Motown Gala on September 29 at Revention Music Center topped the philanthropy charts, raising more than $83 million and making it the highest-grossing fundraising gala in Texas. The event was underwritten by The Lester & Sue Smith Foundation, whose commitment to match funds raised inspired others to generously give.
But the biggest hit of the night was the announcement of the naming of Texas Children’s latest expansion project – the Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower. The Smiths, who have dedicated their private wealth for public good, generously pledged $50 million to Texas Children’s to support Legacy Tower, the hospital’s new home for heart, intensive care and surgery, as well as to support patient care and research at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
“I am incredibly grateful to Lester and Sue for this transformational gift,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s. “Their unwavering commitment to our patients and families over the years is unmatched, and this is another shining example of their extraordinary generosity and compassionate care for others.”
Drawing from a place of gratitude for the life-saving care Lester received during his battles with cancer, the dynamic couple has dedicated more than $150 million to support research at numerous institutions including Texas Children’s, Baylor College of Medicine and Harris Health System. Following the Disco Legends event in 2012, which benefitted Texas Children’s Cancer Center, the clinic was named in their honor as the Lester and Sue Smith Clinic.
“Giving to others is our guiding philosophy,” said Lester and Sue Smith. “There is nothing more precious than a child, and we hope this gift will help support the incomparable patient care for which the hospital is known. It is truly our honor to leave a legacy of support for generations to come at Texas Children’s.”
Legacy Tower adds 640,000 square feet to Texas Children’s sprawling Texas Medical Center campus. In May, the first phase of the tower opened with six technologically advanced operating rooms for neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, transplant and pediatric surgery – one with intraoperative MRI – and 84 ICU beds, including dedicated surgical, neurological and transitional ICU rooms. The second phase of Legacy Tower opened last week and serves as the new home for Texas Children’s Heart Center®, ranked No. 1 nationally in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. This milestone will help Texas Children’s continue to provide the highest-quality care possible to patients and families, particularly those children who are critically ill.
To learn more visit legacytower.org.
Texas Children’s Cancer Center is consistently ranked as one of the best cancer programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It is the largest pediatric cancer center in the nation and the destination for children from more than 35 states and 26 countries to receive individualized, state-of-the-art cancer care. Additionally, more than 91,000 outpatient visits occur in the Lester and Sue Smith Clinic each year.
To learn more visit texaschildrens.org/cancer.