Each year, The Thanks-Giving Foundation assembles civic, community, religious, nonprofit, governmental, and business leaders in celebration of unity around the power of gratitude and inclusive prayer for all faiths in America.

About the Luncheon

On the first Thursday of each May, The Thanks-Giving Foundation and Interfaith Council celebrate a community-wide recognition of the National Day of Prayer — a time at which multiple faith groups share their prayers for the nation. This day is celebrated in Dallas with a special luncheon program calling all faith groups together to celebrate common ground as United States residents. The program often includes presentations from area youth and inspiring messages from honored speakers. Proceeds from the luncheon are used to further the work of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, including Thanks-Giving Square and the Interfaith Council.

2020 Event Information


Thursday, May 7, 2019
Noon lunch and program

2019 Event Recap

We had a truly great 2019 National Day of Prayer Luncheon on May 2nd!

Over 400 of us gathered in the beautiful Statler Ballroom in downtown Dallas to “Highlight the Good,” and to experience the annual Thanks-Giving Foundation “community group hug”… and no one went away disappointed! I know that those that attended will want to relive every moment with me. For those of you that weren’t able to join us, read on to learn what you missed!

This year’s theme, “Highlight the Good”, served as a platform for recognizing the abundance of positive initiatives and positive people that make a difference in our community. No doubt that there is much work remaining to be done, but at the same time there are programs in every segment of our society that are making progress every day. We didn’t have to look far to find some important examples.

The event kicked off with The Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Board Chairman, Chris Trowbridge, welcoming the group and introducing our beautiful interfaith opening prayer medley delivered by Rabbi Ari Sunshine, Rev. Kathy Lee-Cornell, and Imam Azhar Subedar. Jim Recer, Honorary Luncheon Chair, offered greetings as well.  Anahita Sidhwa closed the first segment of the event by reading the 2019 Presidential Proclamation.

After the lunch break, Kyle Ogden, President and CEO of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, provided his president’s remarks. An outstanding lineup of featured presenters followed. Grant Moise, Publisher of The Dallas Morning News, led off with an informative report on his early months leading this important institution. Bob Mong, President of University of North Texas, Dallas, came next and shared his observations about the area’s improving educational systems. Ty Bledsoe, AT&T’s Assistant Vice President, External Affairs, spoke of AT&T’s investment in the community and challenged others to join in. Almas Muscatwalla, Foundation Director and Rev. Rachel Baughman, Senior Pastor at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, discussed the good work being accomplished by Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, the Interfaith Council of Thanks-Giving Square, and at houses of worship throughout the community. Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas closed the event with a magnificently vivid closing prayer.

Our great event was made possible by our Lead Sponsors, Locke Lord and Texas Capital Bank; our Champion Sponsors Ron and Rebecca Gafford; our Gratitude Sponsors The Hall Group and Jennifer and Peter Altabef; and over thirty Clergy Table Sponsors and Table Sponsors! Special thanks go to our Host Committee, Board of Directors, and Advisory Council. These special people are acknowledged and appreciated in our event program.

Your support of The Thanks-Giving Foundation and our National Day of Prayer Luncheon is greatly appreciated. Please consider donating to the Foundation as we continue our work to bring diverse peoples together on the common ground of gratitude and to advocate for gratitude, virtue and goodwill in our community and beyond.  Visit us at our magnificent home, Thanks-Giving Square, or online at www.thanksgiving.org.

2018 Event Recap

The Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Thirty Seventh Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon was held at the Tower Club in Thanksgiving Tower on Thursday, May 3rd. It was a special day of gathering with the foundation’s sponsors and supporters. We are grateful to everyone who attended, and to all who donated at the event and online. Your support sustains our programs and the continued maintenance of and improvement to The Square.

The event program started with a medley of prayers offered by Imam Khalid Shaheed, Dallas Masjid-Al Islam, Rev. Karen Fry, Co-Director CSLDallas, A Center for Spiritual Living, and Preston W. Weaver, Executive Pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church-Dallas.  The 2018 National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation was then read by Amy Moore and Shawn Daniell.

The luncheon honored Thanks-Giving Square founder Peter Pauls Stewart and his children, honorary event co-chairs Elizabeth Stewart Wally, Peter B. Stewart, Alan G. Stewart Cathy Stewart Moore, and David E. Stewart. Mayor Mike Rawlings spoke of his special affection and respect for Peter and for Thanks-Giving Square, and many of those same sentiments were echoed by Thanks-Giving Foundation Director Almas Muscatwalla. A special video helped chronicle some of the important contributions made by Peter Stewart.

Foundation Director Ron Gafford recognized the outstanding contributions of Jennifer Altabef, Director and Immediate Past Chairman, and Chris Slaughter, the Foundation’s recently retired President and CEO.  A beautiful framed Bjørn Wiinblad lithograph was gifted to each.

Kyle Ogden, the new CEO of The Thanks-Giving Foundation thanked the National Day of Prayer sponsors, donors and attendees, and spoke about the Foundation’s strategic identity. Foundation Chairman Chris Trowbridge recognized the dedicated work of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, indicated his enthusiasm for key initiatives, and implored the crowd of three hundred and twenty plus attendees to get behind the Foundation. In Trowbridge’s introduction of the day’s final presenter, Bishop Edward Burns, he highlighted the alignment of Bishop Burns’ “Be Golden” initiative and the Foundation’s long time focus on the “Golden Rule”.

Closing the program was Bishop Burns, a relative newcomer to Dallas, who expressed his delight in becoming a part of the Dallas community. The Bishop mentioned his concern for refugee populations, and the need to “do unto them” by being welcoming and supportive, and then closed the event with a prayer.

A good time was had by all as evidenced by the event photos, and all attendees made plans to attend next year’s National Day of Prayer Luncheon on Thursday May 2, 2019. If you were unable to attend this year, but still want to make a donation, you can click here to do so.

Thank you to all of our generous supporters and volunteers!

More Information

National Proclamation

Visit our proclamation page to view an archive of current and past National Day of Prayer presidential proclamations. LINK

Prayer in the 21st Century

What is prayer? How does it work? How does it change one’s life? These are questions that were asked to the North Texas community for the 2017 National Day of Prayer. People of diverse faith traditions gathered at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas to record statements about their own perspectives on prayer. Throughout the discussion ran common themes, revealing a connection between so many unique groups of people. The video was first presented at the 2017 National Day of Prayer Luncheon.

Past Speakers and Presentations

  • Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas
  • Janessa Gans Wilder, Founder of the Euphrates Institute | “Building Peace in the Face of Extremism”