April 26: Patrick Esquerré Honored by Oak Cliff Lions Club

(Featured photo: Patrick Esquerré)*

Patrick Esquerré, an entrepreneur, and the spirit and creator of the La Madeleine Country French Cafés, will receive the Bill Melton Humanitarian Award from the Dallas Oak Cliff Lions Club. The award will be presented at the noon luncheon meeting on April 26 in Weiss Auditorium at Methodist Dallas Central.

Esquerre is the 45th recipient of the prestigious annual award, which recognizes and honors a person whose activities, contributions and service to the community best symbolize the ideals of Lionism. The award is usually given to non-Lions who have demonstrated dedication to community, profession, God and mankind that exemplifies the motto of Lions Clubs International, “We Serve.”

After founding La Madeleine, Esquerré grew the company to 75 units across Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Georgia, and the Washington, D.C area. Born and raised in France, Patrick earned an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the Ecole Supérieure du Commerce de Paris and joined the international marketing firm of Young & Rubicam. Then he established his own marketing firm. His client base includes Fortune 500 companies, among them: BMW, Yoplait, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Chrysler and R.J. Reynolds.  His expertise in innovative communication garnered him the chance to work with and for the French Government, arranging among others the logistics for the meeting in Martinique between French President Giscard d’Estaing with President Gerald Ford. Patrick also provided marketing and special events for then the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac.

His most memorable experience was when he organized several events during the Pope John Paul II’s official visit to Paris, at Notre Dame, The City Hall and the Park des Princes Stadium where the pope challenged 75,000 French teens with a load, and applauded: “Do it only after you get married!” He also used new technologies to celebrate spectacular Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower, five years in a row.

Esquerré also worked with the U.S. Tourism Office in Paris. and was the co-founder of the Tour de France à la Voile (sailing) competitions. He has been celebrated and honored over the years with numerous awards for his business acumen and accomplishments, as well as in recognition for his generous and tireless fundraising efforts. In 1991 PBS presented him with their Humanitarian Award for his help in fundraising Pledge Drives in eleven U.S. cities.

In 1993 INC. Magazine named him Entrepreneur of the Year and in 1997 he was the recipient of Nation’s Restaurant News Magazine’s ‘Top Fifty Power Players’ Award recognizing him among the nation’s most influential and successful restaurateurs. Among his most notable recognitions, in 2004, his native Republic of France awarded him the prestigious l’Ordre National du Mérite for his distinguished achievements. Patrick also received the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

He is the Founder of the Essilor Vision Foundation and Kids Vision for Life Coalitions, 501c3 public charities based in Dallas. The charities have the support of Essilor, the leading manufacturer and distributor of optical lenses, as well as Alcon Foundation to service Dallas-area Lions Clubs. Its mission is to correct and eliminate poor vision and its lifelong consequences by providing screenings, eye exams and glasses to children who could not otherwise afford them. Since its inception in 2008, Kids Vision For Life has grown, extending its services across Texas and providing eye care to children in California, Georgia and Washington, D.C area.

For over 94 years, Oak Cliff Lions have supported a variety of local, state, national and international charities involving youth, vision, and other worthy causes and charities. It is estimated that the club has contributed over $1.5 million to charitable causes through the dedicated efforts of club members.

In 2010, the annual humanitarian award was renamed to honor its Founding President, Past District Governor and former Dallas County Treasurer Bill Melton. The Dallas Oak Cliff Lions Club was organized and chartered in April 1929. The civic organization meets at noon every Wednesday in Weiss Auditorium at Dallas Methodist Central Hospital, off Beckley and Colorado in North Oak Cliff.

Lunch will be served starting at 11:30 a.m., and the awards program will start promptly at 12 noon on April 26. The event is free for members of Oak Cliff Lions Club, and guests will be charged $12.50 for their lunch. Blake Lindsay is President of the Oak Cliff Lions Club, and Past President Dennis Jeter is Chairman of the Humanitarian Award Committee. For more information about the organization, or to make reservations for the awards lunch program, please visit oakclifflions.org. For media information, please contact Jo Ann Holt at 469-363-7371 or joannholt@gmail.com.

*Courtesy photo

(This Philanthropy Lifestyles eBuzz post courtesy Jo Ann Holt, contributing editor.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.