Overall winner – Darla Janice Richards
Best Male Dancer – Anton Melnyk
Best Female Dancer – Mikea Glenn
Best Costume – Jeff Groban
Showmanship – Tommy Taylor
Well, he would say that he’s “talking to someone a darn sight smarter than you are” and go back to his thoughts and his plans for the day or… his plans for you, for a stranger he never met… or for a child.
Thomas Gould Hendrick thought quite a lot about you, that is, if you are someone who has ever used the the roads of Fort Worth or wanted for good medical facilities or needed special services for a child. He not only thought of these things, he provided for them.
Born in Paradise, Kentucky to school teachers during the Civil War, Mr. Hendrick witnessed the advent of flight, the harnassing of electricity, the Great Depression, two world wars and the arrival of the Atomic Age. During his life, he raised sheep, served as a county commissioner and judge – even delivered fast mail on horseback for two years. He wasn’t just a doer though, he was a dreamer. Alongside of this beloved wife Ida Nations Hendrick, Mr. Hendrick also struck oil and enjoyed profitable land purchases and cattle ranching. His only son Joseph died as a toddler, but Mr. Hendrick turned his success and dreams into vital resources for other children and future generations he would never meet.
Built on 52 acres and opened in June 1939, Hendrick Home for Children consisted of three structures – the main building, a large garage with an overhead apartment, and the superintendent’s home. The Home was intended not as an orphanage, but as a home for children who could not live with their natural parents, a frequent phenomenon just after the Great Depression. It was Tom Hendrick’s wish that the children attend the Abilene public schools, have daily responsibilities, maintain ties with their families if possible, and attend church regularly. Over the years, a swimming pool, cabana, gymnasium, family cottages, a horse barn, and a maintenance building have been built on the campus. The M. Bernard Hanks Equestrian Center was built to provide equine therapy. In the planning stages now is the construction of the Family Care Complex to provide short-term help to single-parent families in financial straits.
We were all glad to sing “Happy Birthday” to Mr. Hendrick today and enjoy a “glass” of coffee in honor of such a visionary man!]]>