Mattress Mack to Serve as 2018 Grand Marshal

The FM 1960 Parade Committee is proud to announce that the Grand Marshal for the 40th Anniversary Saint Patrick’s Parade will be Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the owner of Gallery Furniture, a local icon, and a national hero whose actions during Hurricane Harvey were publicly praised by President Donald Trump. The parade, which will honor the Heroes of Hurricane Harvey, is scheduled for Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m. See Parade Route here.

Mack is no stranger to the Saint Patrick’s Parade. He served as Grand Marshal of the parade once before back in the 1980’s, but his selfless actions during Hurricane Harvey merited him being asked to serve once again and the committee is pleased that he said yes.

Last August, as Hurricane Harvey’s rains began pelting the Houston area, McIngvale opened two of his Gallery Furniture stores as shelter to take in people displaced by flood waters. He provided meals to his guests as well. He also directed the use of his biggest delivery truck to help rescue others trapped in their homes by flood waters.  Plus afterward, he has provided new furniture to many deserving flood victims, including 99-year-old World War II veteran Bill Fly who celebrated his 100th birthday last November in his renovated home filled with donated furniture from Gallery. Fly had never flooded and did not have flood insurance. “Lone Survivor” Marcus Luttrell’s “Never Quit” Foundation took the lead in putting together a team to restore Fly’s home in time for his birthday and Mack stepped forward to handle the furnishings.

According to his official biography, Gallery Furniture was founded by Mack and his wife Linda in 1981 with $5000 and a dream. Mack began making and airing his trademark “Save You Money” TV Ads early on and with his motto of “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise”, he quickly became a household name.

In 2009, Gallery Furniture opened a second store on Post Oak Blvd in the Houston Galleria area. This proved to be a blessing as Mack, Linda, and the entire Gallery Furniture family faced a horrific fire on May 21, 2009, at the flagship I-45 store location which destroyed the warehouse. By bringing their positive approach and “TODAY” philosophy to everything they do, Gallery Furniture re-built the “World’s Greatest Furniture Store” bigger and better than ever with a full Grand Opening less than four months later.

Gallery Furniture has seen a lot of expansion over the years with the re-build of the flagship store, the addition of the Galleria location and, in 2015, the opening of the third and largest store located in Fort Bend County on the Grand Parkway. That store features a 165,000 square feet showroom. Even with multiple locations, Gallery Furniture still lives up to its promise of delivering quality furniture, mattresses and home electronics TODAY.

The success of Gallery Furniture is mostly attributed to Mack’s “do-whatever-it-takes” approach to pleasing the customer. Gallery Furniture sells the most furniture and mattresses in the nation per square foot including Gallery Furniture’s own line, Mack-O-Pedic, as well as other name brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Mayo, United Leather, American Leather, Lane, Broyhill, Flexsteel and of course solid wood furniture, made in America.

Mack’s strong work ethic is matched by his philanthropy and exceeded only by the commitment he has to his family.  Past charitable contributions include:

  • Co-founded the Peace of Mind Foundation for those affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • One of the largest contributors to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo with over $4 million given
  • Funded St. Luke’s Mobile Stroke Unit
  • Large contributor to Texas Heart Institute, Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School
  • Instrumental in getting Menninger Clinic to move to Houston to provide mental health care to Houston by providing a multi-million dollar donation
  • Annual Christmas give-away furnishing hundreds of housefulls of furniture for the past 30 years
  • Helped start and continuously fund the KickStart Kids Program in Houston
  • Furnished USO facilities around the world
  • Furnished George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M
  • Hosted events for and donated to the Salvation Army
  • Donated thousands of dollars of furniture to hundreds of teacher lounges in Houston area schools
  • Helped to raise over $12 million dollars for the Bush/Clinton fund to aid those affected by the Tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
  • Underwrote YMCA playground at Reliant Stadium for Katrina Evacuees and housed several hundred evacuees during hurricane crisis
  • Underwrote National OCF Conference held in Houston
  • Recipient of Mental Health Association Award in 2005
  • Underwrote wolf exhibit for The Houston Zoo
  • Built and paid for tennis facility at Yates High School
  • Donated tennis racquets to inner-city kids that would not otherwise have the opportunity to take tennis lessons
  • Sole sponsor of Pilgrimage of Faith sending 500 kids and chaperones from the Galveston/Houston Catholic Dioceses to Rome
  • Fed 25,000 people Thanksgiving dinner for several years
  • Bought 10,000 toys for needy children, distributed during the holiday

In addition to Gallery Furniture, Mack and Linda also own and operate Westside Tennis and Fitness and enjoy spending time with their children James, Laura, Elizabeth and Regina, and their three grandchildren.