Enjoy Our Incredible Lineup of Speakers!
We have selected speakers with firsthand knowledge of the heroics demonstrated during this pandemic by frontline workers. Hear from Dr. Kelvin Baggett, Mayor Johnson’s choice to lead a diverse team of civic leaders working to coordinate an expedited response to the pandemic threat. At Parkland Hospital, Vishal Bhalla worked to support doctors and nurses working in harm’s way. Assistant City Manager Jon Fortune led the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire Rescue and Office of Emergency Planning through these most trying times. And finally, DISD Board of Trustees President Justin Henry has championed the awesome teachers of DISD as they have pivoted in response to the COVID-19 virus.
An in-person event… with precautions
We know that for many of you this will be your first in-person gathering in quite some time, and we want you to know that we understand your concerns. We share those concerns, but yet for many of us it is time to take this next step. Please know, however, that we have arranged the huge Statler Ballroom for a reduced headcount at less than sixty percent capacity, distanced the tables a minimum of six feet, set the tables for eight rather than ten, pre-set the meal for minimal server interaction, and will ask that masks be worn when not seated at assigned tables.
Be a part of our diverse gathering
And finally, you probably know that the National Day of Prayer is set by official governmental proclamation as the first Thursday of May each year. We know that some of our friends will be fasting, but please don’t let that keep you away from this important interfaith event. For those that prefer, we have arranged to allow attendees to take their meals with them after the event for consumption later. Your server will be available to assist.
We gathered virtually from Dallas for the 2020 National Day of Prayer Luncheon on May 7, 2020.
Speakers giving messages of hope to the community included Rev Dr. George Mason, Rabbi David Stern, Imam Azhar Subedar, Almas Muscatwalla and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. View the full video below or click the chapter markers to watch individual speaker segments.
May 02, 2019
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.
May 03, 2018
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!
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.
Each year the White House issues an official proclamation for the National Day of Prayer. Visit our proclamation page to view an archive of current and past National Day of Prayer presidential proclamations.