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by Sylvia B. Bodell

A picture-perfect dedication with old friends and new friends including Miss Texas Mallory Fuller

It was a glorious day as The Center kicked off December with its building dedication and ribbon-cutting.

If ever Dallas had a picture-perfect day, it was Wednesday, December 1. The beautiful weather was affirming and the topic of the morning as friends and community partners gathered around the peaceful garden and outdoor spaces to dedicate The Center's new Central Office at 4305 MacArthur Avenue in Dallas.

“While The Center never stopped providing counseling during the pandemic, this dedication and official ribbon-cutting represents a day to stop, reflect and thank God, our friends and staff for your dedication and support,” said Dr. Brad Schwall, President and CEO of The Center, as he welcomed guests and thanked project partners.

“I see longtime friends here, such as Reverend Katherine Glaze Lyle, who served on our board and whose gift right before the shutdown in 2020, helped propel our fundraising efforts and allowed us to create this beautiful garden in memory of her mother, Ruth.

“Our Cornerstone Capital Campaign continues. We’ve raised $2.25M during a pandemic and we continue to share our story of being a cornerstone for mental health. Our goal is $3.4M. We're 65% there and confident we will finish well."

“We stand here - before a great cloud of witnesses – those who have come before us, whose shoulders we stand on who paved the way for us,” added Reverend Caesar Rentie, during his eloquent opening prayer. Caesar is a board member and co-chair of The Cornerstone Campaign. He is also Vice President of Pastoral Services for Methodist Health System.

Relationships were the theme of the day
Relationships were the theme of the day as Amy Powers, Chief Operating Officer, shared that Katherine Glaze Lyle officiated her wedding 26 years ago. Amy shared her background and introduced other speakers Eric Nelson, Board Chair, mental health and teen suicide awareness advocate Miss Texas 2021 Mallory Fuller and T. Hardie, President of The Rees-Jones Foundation.

“The Rees-Jones Foundation has been a long-time supporter of The Center’s PACT (Partnership in Accessible Counseling and Training) program in West Dallas. Their generous Cornerstone gift (of $650,000) for our Child, Teen and Family Center led the way to us being here today,” said Amy.

“It’s an honor to be here,” added T. Hardie, President of The Rees-Jones Foundation. “The Foundation accomplishes its purpose by partnering with nonprofit organizations through focused and relational philanthropy in areas of children, youth and mental health. When it comes to partnerships, we look for commitment and passion for service; we’re looking for relationships – and we have that here with The Center.”

Mallory's mission
“I experienced the loss of my friend to suicide at age 15, so my social impact initiative is suicide prevention," shared Mallory Fuller, Miss Texas 2021. "In 2015, I stood before the Texas Senate and testified on behalf of the Jason Flatt Act, making it mandatory for educators to be trained in suicide prevention annually.

“The strides we have made have been significant. I’ve talked to 10,000 students so far. We want students to know the warning signs and give them tools to help them. By normalizing conversations about suicide and education, we can prevent tragedy before it happens.

“I also want to share that this past January, I began seeing a therapist. With everything going on with COVID, I needed to talk to someone. Honestly, I wouldn’t be here today if not for counseling. Without counseling, I wouldn’t have been able to have successfully competed in the Miss Texas pageant this past summer. Because of counseling, I’m prepared to compete in Miss America on December 16. Counseling has made a big impact in my life,” concluded Mallory. "This is important work and I’m so glad to be here today.”

The Center is grateful for the speakers who candidly shared about their personal experiences and the importance of removing the mental health stigma. Guests celebrated the morning with beignets and café au lait from the Beignet Bus.

A special thanks to Origin Bank, our event sponsor. If you weren't able to make the dedication, please feel free to reach out and come by for a tour.

About Mallory Fuller, Miss Texas 2021
​In addition to her work for suicide prevention and awareness, Mallory wrote and published her own children’s book titled Henry’s Happy Heart. This heart-warming book focuses on mental health in a kid-friendly way. She has also developed her own college training program with the help of the Jason Foundation. Mallory reaches all age ranges and demographics in her fight to prevent suicide.

Mallory Fuller is a graduate of Texas A&M University and graduate student at Baylor University pursuing a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and will pursue a career as a speech pathologist.