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Carey Willding, John Willding; Cullum Clark, Chairman of the Board; S.M. Wright II, Co-Founder, President and CEO; Heather and Ray Washburne, Honorary Chairs, Christmas In The Park; Vicki Howland, Dulany Howland. Photo by Dana Driensky.

    S. M. Wright Foundation kicked-off the 17th Annual Christmas in the Park with an event hosted by honorary chairs Heather and Ray Washburne in the executive suites at Highland Park Village recently.

          Ray welcomed guests saying that he and Heather are honored to serve as honorary chairs. Their first involvement was 12 years ago when the foundation served 200 people at the event and they are thrilled to see how it has grown, serving over 50,000 people.

          After a brief video, Christmas in the Park co-chair John Willding thanked supporters, saying that everyone has many nonprofits of which they are a part and their commitment to this event is meaningful. Especially with Christmas in the Park, the impact on people’s lives is evident. Attending the event will be City of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Emmitt Smith and more celebrities who are long-time supporters.
          Reverend S. M. Wright II expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Washburns, the Howlands, all of the event co-chairs and reminded everyone that this event has grown because of their support.

          Board chair Cullum Clark said that his entire family has participated by volunteering on the day of the event and that it’s a special magic to witness the heart of Christmas – it’s all about giving.

          The entire community, businesses and individuals, are invited to participate in Christmas in the Park on Saturday, December 19 where thousands of families gather at the Automobile Building at Fair Park for necessities such as coats, clothes, food, a toy or bike to help make a child’s Christmas wish come true. For more information, visit the website at  or contact the S.M. Wright Foundation at (214) 741-4990.

          Event co-chairs are Gina and Ken Betts, Allie Beth and Pierce Allman, Ola and Randall Fojtasek, Deni and Kevin Bryant, Julie and Darren Blanton, Michael Watson, Carrie and John Willding, Lisa and Jeff Rachor, Natalie and Mike McGuire, Brooke and Jeff Jackson and Pat and Emmitt Smith.

          The Host Committee is co-founder The Reverend S.M. Wright II, co-founder Debra D. Wright, co-founder The Reverend Calvin Wright, Lori and John Alschuler, Kathy and Harlan Crow, Chris Lalonde, Susan and Ernest Beecherl, Larry North, Michelle and Jason Fraser, Suzanne and Michael Grishman, Tony Hartl, Luann Hicks, Mack Hick.

Learn more about the S. M. Wright Foundation at their website here:  


About The S.M. Wright Foundation:


The S.M. Wright Foundation was founded in 1998 by S.M. Wright II and this year is celebrating its 17th year.  As a visionary, CEO Wright, his family, and trusted friends established the S.M. Wright Foundation as a nonprofit organization with a mission of providing support and stability to inner city, underprivileged children and less fortunate families through hunger relief, educational support, health and social service assistance and economic empowerment.  The mission of the S.M. Wright Foundation is to move these families from a position of dependency to self-sufficiency and to restore stability to families and the community.


With an organization once established to serve primarily the South Dallas Community, the S.M. Wright Foundation has seen exponential growth and has seen its clientele begin to come from all areas of the Dallas metropolis.   By providing a supporting role of guidance to our clients in areas for race relations, hunger relief, community involvement and events, economic development, social assistance programs benefiting the low-social economic families, and the implementation of several new educational programs the S.M. Wright Foundation is helping build a solid foundation and a sense of pride that allows our clients to successfully transition to that position of self-sufficiency.   As a result, 5 essential programs were developed as pillars of success to facilitate the great transition of our clients.   


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