Country Singer Sensation Aaron Watson
Glenn Beck, Founder | Gina and Ken Betts, Honorary Chairs
Glenn Beck, founder of the nonprofit Mercury One, Inc., and his wife Tania, brought together internationally and nationally-renowned supporters and beneficiaries, along with local friends and leaders in the arts, social and business communities for the M1Ball American Cowboy: History. Heritage. Humanity. which featured one of today’s finest torch-bearers of real country music, singer and Texas native Aaron Watson, who performed live at Eddie Deen’s Ranch in Dallas.
Founders and hosts were Tania and Glenn Beck with honorary chairs Gina and Ken Betts. Honorary chairs emeritus are The Vinyard Family, Charla and Paul Vinyard, Analee and Joel Vinyard and Tiffany and Derrick Wheeless and Gena and Chuck Norris.
Over 450 guests joined in celebrating Mercury One’s sixth year of service, growth and accomplishments in the North Texas community and around the world.
The evening began with a VIP reception where sponsors and underwriters snapped photos and chatted with Glenn and Aaron, Suzanne Grishman, Executive Director of Mercury One and Michael Powell, Director of Development of The Nazarene Fund; Pat, Stu and Jeffy from Mercury Radio and more.
Inside the ballroom, emcee Jane McGarry welcomed guests and introduced Suzanne, who said, “Mercury One has been very busy at work this past year. This year has seen many disasters in the form of hurricanes, fires and floods. Mercury One has proven partners who are the most efficient and effective with their resources to help the most people possible in crisis,” thanking these partners in disaster relief and sharing videos of their involvement: Team Rubicon, Church of Addis, Gleaning For The World, Somebody Cares, Operation BBQ Relief, CitiImpact and Lighthouse Charity.
Continuing, she said, “Humanitarian assistance and restoring the human spirit is at the core of Mercury One's mission. We will always work towards ending human trafficking, domestic violence and support our youth in underserved communities through after school programs, comfort and safety. When these tragedies strike, our donors stand with Mercury One and our partners provide healing, aid and comfort,” and recognized these partners: KickStart Kids, Operation Underground Railroad, SM Wright Foundation, Stand To Honor - Folds of Honor, Carry The Load, The Deliver Fund, Treasured Vessels, and Hope's Door New Beginning Center.
Highlighting education, Suzanne said, “The future of our nation is in the hands of the next generation. Mercury One is leaving a legacy by educating our youth through first source documents and artifacts and leadership training. This year we partnered with David and Tim Barton with WallBuilders. The result was life changing,” and recognized these partners: The Dallas Film Society and the Leadership Training Program participants from the inaugural 2017 Class.
Focusing on Mercury One’s The Nazarene Fund, Suzanne said, “This fund has been assisting families in the Middle East who have been persecuted by ISIS for their faith since 2015. We have rescued, restored and rebuilt their lives, but there is still much to be done. Because of you, our donors, thousands of lives have been saved and resettled safely in new countries.”
An event not to be missed, this evening featured Glenn’s testimony as he revealed these stories to an absolutely enthralled audience and fully embraced organizations who have benefited from and partnered with Mercury One with heartfelt emotions and expressions of thankfulness and service.
Glenn took the stage, saying, “Tonight is a new chapter in Mercury One's future. Since 2015 The Nazarene Fund has raised over $18 million to help people who have been persecuted by ISIS for their faith. We have provided over 35,000 people with humanitarian aid, food, water, clothing and blankets. We have moved 5,500 people from tents to dignified living situations of apartments and homes with running water, heat and bathrooms. We have evacuated over 7,600 Christians and Yazidis to countries such as Australia, Canada, Slovakia, Brazil, France and 1 family in The United States. We have sponsored a youth pastor from Syria to study at Harvard for his Masters in Divinity. Tony is family and he is with us tonight. We have funded 107 projects in the Middle East and most importantly we have rescued as of tonight 100 men, women and children who were slaves from the hands of ISIS.”
Speaking about human trafficking, Glenn said, “Mercury One announces an expansion of for The Nazarene Fund with Tim Ballard taking on the role of CEO of The Nazarene Fund. Together we are going to put an end to the human trafficking around the world through ISIS and beyond,” thanking supporters by saying, “You are the ONE in Mercury One. We have so much to accomplish together!” to a rousing standing ovation.
Highlights included a spirited live auction featuring many one-of-a-kind items, silent auction, raffle of a 2017 GMC Canyon sponsored by Sewell Automotive Companies and a lively Dillo Derby armadillo race managed by “Armadillo Jim” Schmidt. The winner was The Blaze’s Jeffy Fisher.
Host committee included Dr. Kathleen Bassford; Rozalyn and Robert Colombo, Giovanna Cugnasca, Suzanne and Michael Grishman, Michael Holmes, Beth Knott and Brad Staggs, Kendel and Paul Martin, Lora and Aaron Mattix, Gwen and Adam Rich, D’Andra Simmons and Jeremy Lock, Dawn and Travis Simpson. Media sponsors were PaperCity Magazine and The Park Cities News/The Waters Family.
For more information, visit the website at mercuryone.org/m1ball
About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) foundation based in Dallas, Texas. The M1 Ball benefits the foundation’s General Fund which pays for all administrative costs, overhead, research, fundraising, and awareness, so that each dollar donated to a particular project will go straight to it. Mercury One provides aid and support in the areas of disaster relief, humanitarian efforts, veteran causes, support for Israel, education initiatives, and rescuing and restoring persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East. Visit the website for more information: mercuryone.org/m1ball
Photos by Rob Wythe/Gittings, Amber Fisher, Chris Waits.