DAYL President’s Page

An Opportunity Unlike Any Other

November 2019

We were late, but I wanted to get it just right.  Our Uber was rumbling through bumpy East Dallas streets this past Saturday night on the way to the sixth annual Bolton Ball in Fair Park.  My wife Rachael was shining her cell phone light so we could see my notes. She was, as always, getting me back on track. I was still scratching out my short speech for an event that means so much to me and Rachael. Finishing these things is always the hardest part.  It usually happens just like this– on the way, at the last minute, and with the gift of another’s inspiration.

After all the thanks to our incredible volunteers, recognizing the many esteemed members of the judiciary in attendance, and encouraging everyone to bid up the dozens of auction items, we wanted to say something about our dearly departed friend, Alex Bolton, the true man of the hour that night.  We turned over a few phrases, batting around ideas, and settled on what we felt was most fitting: toasting Alex for the incredible night of possibilities he had created for all of us.

You see, Alex, along with 2018 DAYL President Jennifer Ryback, Ethan Minshull, and many others from our 2013 DAYL Leadership Class helped found this annual fundraiser. The November 2014 event not only gave DAYL and its members a chance to dress up every fall, but it created a proud tradition of generosity and engagement with our community.  While the earliest Bolton Balls (formerly the DAYL Charity Ball) benefitted very worthy causes, Alex advocated strongly for the eventual change of the Ball’s beneficiary to the DAYL Foundation.  Redirecting the Ball’s funds to the Foundation would, in turn, support two other causes he felt so strongly about: grants for local non-profits providing legal services to indigent members of our community, victims of domestic violence, and others, and scholarships for law students committed to serving others.  Since the switch, the Bolton Ball has raised well over $100,000 in support of the Foundation and these causes.

This is only one of many ways Alex was exceptional– a true shooting star– before we lost him in October 2017.  But if he was here with us today, I bet he’d agree that the Bolton Ball is just the latest evidence of DAYL’s 99-year legacy of service and generosity.   Alex is a perfect example of the best of DAYL– the kindness, compassion, fervor, generosity, ingenuity, and a servant’s heart that its members bear.

You won’t find many other organizations that offer the chances and opportunities that DAYL offers.  With hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of community service hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for more organizations than we can list here, DAYL’s record is clear– if you step up, you can do incredible things for others.  You can spearhead new initiatives or join existing teams– any of our 30 committees– already supporting incredible causes.

While the year is almost out, several quality opportunities still lie ahead for you to serve others through DAYL.  This Saturday, our incredible 2018 Leadership Class is throwing a food festival and fundraiser at the Fair Park Women’s Museum for Heart House, an education non-profit serving refugee children with holistic after-school and summer programs.  You can buy your tickets here.  You can also contribute to our Aid to the Homeless committee’s annual DAYL Coat Drive, benefitting the SoupMobile homeless shelter, by bringing your used coats to the Belo Mansion December 10th through the 12th.  You can also support the DAYL Foundation’s mission by attending the annual DAYL Foundation Fellows Luncheon on December 10 (tickets can be purchased here), where Former US Trade Ambassador and Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk will be speaking.

The Bolton Ball, and Alex’s legacy, remind us of the opportunities we all have to serve others and to contribute to our community.  We hope you’ll join DAYL as this year draws to a close to begin your own legacy of service, in partnership with DAYL, for years to come.