New Ruth Sharp Altshuler Basic Needs Fund Makes Its First Donation to Salvation Army for Hurricane Harvey Relief

DALLAS, TX (September 6, 2017) – The United Way Foundation of Metropolitan Dallas today announced gifts of more than $7 million to establish the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Basic Needs Fund. This new fund was created in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society and made possible by longtime friends of its founder, Ruth Altshuler. United Way also announced the first distribution of the fund to the Salvation Army for $500,000 to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in North Texas, including assistance for evacuees relocated to Metropolitan Dallas.

The development effort for the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Basic Needs Fund was led by Kelly H. Compton, Caren Prothro, and Carolyn Perot Rathjen, as part of the $100 million Unite Forever campaign launched in 2015 to transform the lives and preserve the futures of North Texans.  The Unite Forever campaign has raised $50 million to date.

The nonprofit’s grants for emergency assistance, disaster response, and food and housing programs have now been named The Ruth Altshuler Basic Needs Grants at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. This designation honors Altshuler’s tireless efforts and unwavering commitment toward helping the most vulnerable populations across North Texas communities. The newly established fund, supported by friends of Ruth, will ensure that United Way continues to respond to the needs of families through a regular and predictable funding stream year after year.

The Ruth Sharp Altshuler Basic Needs Fund will enable United Way to provide lasting financial support to basic needs service in perpetuity. Each year, United Way has committed $1.5 million to basic needs programs, with applications from community-based organizations in its four-county service area of Collin, Dallas, Rockwall, and southern Denton counties accepted annually. While the fund was originally conceived as resource for addressing future needs, it was also intended to provide support to address emergencies such as Hurricane Harvey.

Mrs. Altshuler was honored today at the Tocqueville Society 30th anniversary luncheon of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  Aikman kicked off the 2017-1018 annual campaign at the event and recognized Margaret McDermott and Margot Perot with United Way’s prestigious Decades of Distinction Awards.

Mrs. Altshuler founded the United Way Leadership Circle in 1986, hand-writing more than 100 letters requesting donations and ultimately generating more than $1 million.  The Leadership Circle was later renamed the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society.  That same year she became the first woman to chair the United Way annual campaign and is an honorary lifetime board member.  In 1989, she was the recipient of United Way’s J. Erik Jonsson Award.  Additionally, she serves as a Co-Chair of the Unite Forever campaign and was the organization’s 90th Anniversary Honorary Chair.

“Ruth Altshuler’s life embodies a mission of support of United Way and for those in need,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “When Harvey hit, her first thought was to back up the agencies providing support to evacuees here in North Texas. United Way turned to one of Ruth’s community mainstays and one of ours – the Salvation Army – for the first distribution of $500,000. We are deeply grateful to Ruth for her lifelong example and friendship and message that North Texas is only as great as its care for the people who work or take refuge here.”

The Tocqueville Society 30th anniversary luncheon of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society Chairs included Roger Horchow, Regen and Jeff Fearon, and Lizzie and Dan Routman. Mrs. Altshuler was introduced by Ross Perot, Jr. Through their Decades of Distinction Awards, Margaret McDermott, 105 years old, and Margot Perot were recognized for their work as civic leaders, philanthropists, patrons of the arts and educational champions long committed to improving the lives of North Texans.

Event sponsors included the Gene and Jerry Jones Family, Eiseman Jewels NorthPark Center, and Central Market.  Tocqueville Leadership Sponsors included Atmos Energy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch & US Trust, Della and Bob Best, Diane and Hal Brierley, Lisa and Clay Cooley, Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Cooper, Barbara and Steve Durham, EY, Fluor Corporation, Haynes and Boone, LLP, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Lynn McBee/Young Women’s Preparatory Network, and PwC.  Barbara and Steve Durham, Caren and Pete Kline and Debra and Ken von Storch serve as Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society Chairs, and Kristy and Raymond Faus serve as10th anniversary Women of Tocqueville Chairs.

“On behalf of the Horchow Family and everyone involved in the celebration, we would like to extend our heart-filled gratitude and appreciation to Ruth for her vision and leadership in the creation of the Tocqueville Society,” said Regen Fearon. “Ruth lead the way for all of us and we are proud of the Tocqueville Society’s role as an important part of the impactful work of the United Way in our community.”

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About the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society, which recognizes donors with an unsurpassed dedication to the community. Named to honor the longtime Dallas philanthropist, the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society is composed of civic and business leaders whose vision for North Texas is matched only by their generosity. Each of the Society’s more than 900 members contributes $10,000 or more annually to bring hope, provide essential aid and shape the future of our region. The Women of Tocqueville is an inclusive network of business leaders, entrepreneurs and community leaders within the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Tocqueville Society. Women of Tocqueville was established in 2007 by 139 founding members who leveraged their collective leadership capabilities to support United Way’s efforts. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Women of Tocqueville continues to produce visible impact in Education, Income and Health in North Texas.

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 About United Way of Metropolitan Dallas: 

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based non-profit organization that treats 360 degrees of need.  For over 90 years, we have brought people and resources together to fight complex social problems by surrounding North Texas with efficient, impactful solutions. Since 2011, we’ve invested more than $147 million in more than 200 local programs that tackle issues across the areas of health, education and income; the essential components of a thriving community. We encourage North Texans to get involved by giving, volunteering or advocating, and helping lift up those in need now and in the future. United, we help those who want to do good to do great. Learn more at UnitedWayDallas.org.

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