‘It was like HGTV’: Leadership Dallas alums transform schools, clinics and agencies

Exchange Club and Oddfellows members at DPD

All over Lake Highlands, Vickery Meadow and Northeast Dallas Saturday, teams of Leadership Dallas alumni gathered friends and family for Community Day, their annual half-day of service. The project united more than 850 volunteers to roll up their sleeves and provide more than 3,000 hours for more than 40 local agencies.

“My mom sort of dragged me here, but I think we really helped,” said Drew Harris, a 10th-grader on the Wildcat drum line who volunteered at Healing Hands Ministries’ clinic. “We painted walls and put together chairs for the waiting room, and it was quite the transformation. I think the clients are going to feel welcomed and comfortable.”

“It was awesome and so much fun to have our son working alongside us,” agreed Kristen, Drew’s mom. “He learned something and walked away proud of his work.”

Steve Harris and Chris Thompson, members of the same Leadership Dallas class, were co-captains at the Healing Hands site and brought their families along to pitch in.

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“It didn’t even look like the same room,” said Chris’ son, Asher, whose tasks included taking off outlet covers and painting walls. “It changed the whole room. I didn’t know that was possible in two hours. Seeing the waiting room transform was really crazy. It was like HGTV.”

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Steve and his team sent out a call for “the Joanna Gaines of Lake Highlands,” and Virginia Krejci of Virginia Krejci Interiors stepped up, volunteering to design the clinic’s behavioral healthcare space.

“It was great to see people giving of their time, putting forth the effort for a great cause,” said Steve.

Volunteers also chipped in at Pamper Lake Highlands, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, the Northwest Community Center, Tasby Middle School, Lowe Elementary, Heart House and Literacy Achieves. Also Saturday, members of Oddfellows Cycling Club and Exchange Club of Lake Highlands refurbished the Dallas Police Department’s Northeast Substation.

Leadership Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber’s flagship leadership development program, supplies the city with a pipeline of trained and diverse leaders. Participants engage in a ten-month educational program, with in-depth exposure to critical issues facing the community.

Leadership Dallas alums hang a portrait of Thurgood Marshall at Thurgood Marshall Elementary. Photo by Mary Worthington.
Asher Thompson, Chris Thompson, Kristen Harris, Drew Harris and Steve Harris
Healing Hands entry after
Healing Hands entry before
Exchange Club members at DPD
Exchange Club members at DPD
Exchange Club members at DPD
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