Auction of Dallas Philanthropist’s Jewelry Raises Nearly $1.9 Million

The sale of jewelry from the estate of the late philanthropist Mary Anne Sammons Cree raised  $1,886,292 for the Rosine Foundation Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, so named for Cree’s mother, from whom she inherited her spirit of giving.

A 17.6-carat yellow diamond ring from Cree’s collection alone raised $591,000. The ring was one of more than 125 jewels Heritage Auctions offered from Cree’s collection. 

Mary Anne Sammons Cree

Cree, daughter of Charles and Rosine Smith Sammons and Highland Park and SMU alumna, died July 21, 2021, at age 91. 

Upon her death, Cree left the jewelry to Communities Foundation of Texas, which manages more than 1,200 charitable funds and has awarded more than $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. 

“Communities Foundation of Texas is honored to carry forth Mary Anne’s legacy of generosity. The proceeds from her jewelry sale will provide tremendous support for local nonprofits for years to come,” said Monica Christopher, senior vice president and chief giving and community impact officer at Communities Foundation of Texas. “We hope that those who purchased any of the 125 pieces from her collection know the positive impact this will bring to our nonprofit community through the Rosine Fund at CFT.”

Over the years, Cree supported various local causes and organizations, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Arboretum, the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Museum of Art, SMU, the Girl Scouts, and the Trinity River Conservancy to the United Way, to whom she left $10 million when she turned 90.

She’s also responsible for some of Dallas’ most beloved, significant, and most-visited landmarks, including the Observation Deck at the Girl Scouts STEM Center of Excellence and Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. She commissioned Santiago Calatrava’s sculpture Wave on the SMU campus to celebrate the opening of the Meadows Museum; funded Rosine Hall, the popular gathering space at the Arboretum; and helped create the Girl Scouts’ STEM Center of Excellence.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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