Generous, immense and undeniably intertwined with Texas Children's Hospital's legacy of loving care is the legacy of Leopold L. Meyer. In fact, the dream of Texas Children's Hospital became a reality due in large part to the remarkable fundraising efforts and organizational skills of this founding trustee.
Mr. Meyer worked in Houston for many years, earning a reputation as a tireless community leader and humanitarian. His early success as an entrepreneur and retail merchant, both in Galveston (where he was born in 1892) and in Houston, enabled him to devote significant energy and time to supporting the charitable causes he loved. In 1931, he married Adelena Levy Goldman. The unfortunate death of their young daughter, Fan Harriet Meyer, eight years later prompted his charitable giving to medical organizations.
Like other trailblazing leaders, Mr. Meyer recognized that the growing city of Houston had a great need for a children's hospital. In 1947, he served on the Houston Pediatric Society children's hospital committee, and at the invitation of Jim Abercrombie headed the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, which raised $30,000 in the first year for the establishment of the Texas Children's Hospital Foundation. Mr. Meyer continued to invest his time in the cause when he assumed the role of the Texas Children's Hospital Foundation treasurer. Through his network of community contacts, he raised $2.5 million to build the original Texas Children's Hospital. Mr. Meyer then became the first president of the hospital's Board of Trustees, serving until 1974.
For years, Mr. Meyer championed the growth and progress of Texas Children's Hospital, doing whatever it took to provide quality patient- and family-centered care for its ever-expanding patient population. When he learned in the 1950s that an image intensifier would prevent children from undergoing x-rays in a dark room and produce more accurate results in less time, he made it possible for the radiology department to purchase this equipment. A decade later, he gave $25,000 to help establish a new rubella clinic that became part of a multidisciplinary diagnostic clinic - now known as the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine - for children with various developmental issues.
Mr. Meyer's impact on Texas Children's Hospital - his favorite and lifelong charitable endeavor - can still be seen long after his death in 1982. A team of dedicated fundraising professionals and other administrative staff housed in the Leopold L. Meyer building at 1919 South Braeswood aspire to advance the same hospital mission that Mr. Meyer had embraced as his own. In the waiting room of the Meyer Center, patients and visitors alike admire the collection of Fan Harriet Meyer dolls dressed in clothes that Adelena created. Planned gifts from the estates of Adelena G. Meyer and Mr. Meyer L. Meyer help provide loving care for children seen in the Meyer Center and throughout the hospital. Thanks to the legacy of Mr. Meyer and the generosity of all who have given to Texas Children's Hospital, millions of children each year find what Mr. Meyer dreamed the hospital would be: "a refuge from the ravages of disease and illness and the hope for health and happiness."
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