By Sandra Bretting
For 50 years, noted Houston trial attorney Fred Parks represented everyone in the courtroom, from oil field workers to film actress Hedy Lamarr. However, before his later success, Parks was so poor that at one point he slept on the streets of Houston.
Today, the Fred and Mabel Parks Foundation pays tribute to the success of this well-known Houston philanthropist and his wife, who was a dedicated volunteer at Texas Children’s Hospital before her passing in 1998.
This spring, the Foundation donated $200,000 to the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, which will be one of the world’s foremost centers for the study of pediatric and adult brain disorders when it opens in the Texas Medical Center later this year. Through this gift, Fred and Mabel Parks will continue to help the community they so loved for generations to come.
“Mr. Parks passed away last, in 2001,” said Jim McClellan, president and trustee of the foundation. “This is the kind of man he was, though … he was still working up until the time of his death, when he was 95 years old. The gift to the hospital came about because of his wife’s volunteerism and how deeply they both cared about the Houston community.”
“The Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute is one of the most important projects Texas Children’s has ever undertaken—one that will make a real difference in the lives of many thousands of children all around the globe,” said Mark A. Wallace, Texas Children’s president and CEO. “The support and advocacy of our donors play such a vital role in the work we are doing.”
The gift from the Fred and Mabel Parks Foundation has an even greater impact because it helps the hospital meet a matching gift made recently by the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc. for the institute’s neurophysiology research lab.
In this way, the gift from the Fred and Mabel Parks Foundation can play an even larger role with the world-class research that will take place there.