|Photos by Patrick Michels|
|Mayor Tom Leppert looks out at construction of The Park moments before stepping in for what may be his last big photo op as mayor.|
The Woodall Rogers Deck Park Foundation's still $17 million shy of its fund-raising target, but with construction well under way, the series of major donations announced today was a fine chance for Mayor-For-One-More-Day Tom Leppert to take one last photo op beside a group of kids and wax dreamy on the bright future they'll have in the great city Dallas is becoming.
With half the city council seated up front, along with Ray Hunt and a few of The Park's latest big donors, Leppert said the cap on Woodall Rodgers isn't just another place to take a walk downtown -- it's "a strategic element of what we're trying to accomplish in Dallas," he said.
"It's going to transform Dallas, yes, today, but it's going to transform it for generations to come."
The occasion for today's get-together at Hunt Oil HQ was, of course, the latest series of big donations
, amounting to more than $8.5 million, which will go toward naming the restaurant pavilion and a gazebo in the children's park.
Linda Hart, who, along with her husband Mitch, donated for the naming rights to a plaza and a pedestrian boulevard, called the park "the most seminal event to hit the city since Woodall Rodgers Freeway itself was put in."
|Leppert recalls the children's reaction momets earlier, as he described what'll be in the park when it's done: "Oh wow!"|
Other big donations came from the family of Dallas Fed head Richard Fisher, Cindy and Bill Ward, Lyda Hill -- eldest daughter of Margaret Hunt Hill -- and a pair of anonymous donors.
As part of the ceremony, kindergarteners from Uplift Education's downtown charter school Laureate Prep recited their pledge and presented donors with framed art.
|Leppert joins kids from Laureate Prep at the window.|
|Woodall Rodgers Foundation chairman Jody Grant imagines a greener tomorrow in downtown Dallas.|
|A view of The Park from 14 stories.|