Honoring the Philanthropy of Ralph and Joy Ellisby Representative Kenny Marchant
Posted on 2013-03-14
in the house of representatives
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Mr. MARCHANT. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to recognize Ralph and Joy
Ellis as one of the most caring and giving couples in North Texas, and
it is my distinct honor to highlight their significant contributions to
the Lyric Stage of Irving, Texas. Furthermore, I would like to
congratulate them for receiving the prestigious Lyric Stage Spotlight
Award for philanthropic contributions to the arts at the Lyric Stage
20th Anniversary Gala on March 22, 2013.
Irving Lyric was founded in 1993 by Irving native Steven Jones to preserve and develop American musical theater. In 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized Lyric Stage by awarding a grant to the theater to host Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel with a 40-piece orchestra. Ralph and Joy Ellis were so impressed with the performance that they have personally contributed the resources necessary for Lyric Stage to continue featuring a full orchestra at each production playing the original Broadway orchestrations.
[[Page E300]] Ralph and Joy's support has helped Lyric Stage provide the City of Irving and all of North Texas access to amazing original Broadway musical productions. In fact, in the 2012 season, audience members from 20 states and 347 zip codes traveled to Irving to attend productions at Lyric Stage. Irving is proud to say that 90 shows have been produced locally, including 20 world premieres, several of which have gone on to theaters in New York and London.
Lyric Stage is not the only program that Ralph and Joy Ellis have influenced through their generosity. They have made numerous contributions to local charities including the Salvation Army, Irving Cares, Brighter Tomorrows, Irving Symphony Orchestra, Irving Healthcare Foundation, Irving Family Advocacy, The North Hills School, and Crossroads Interfaith Clinic. The majority of their philanthropy, however, has been to endow several student scholarships at Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University, and to graduates from the Irving Independent School System and Carrollton-Farmers Branch School System.
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the 24th Congressional District of Texas, I ask all my distinguished colleagues to join me in thanking Ralph and Joy Ellis for their charitable contributions to North Texas programs. Their influence in the community has enhanced the quality of life for many Texans, and we are extremely grateful for this caring couple.