When much-admired community leader Flo McGee took the stage in the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom for the annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon, the vibrant crowd of 1,000 rose to its feet with a standing ovation. The same generous greeting was given to the Ernest H. Cockrell family, both long noted for their noble philanthropy. McGee was honored with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award and the Cockrells with the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy.
It was a feel-good day that celebrated philanthropy across both personal and corporate arenas. Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the luncheon was chaired by Mike Delzotti, director of philanthropic resource at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Mark Niles, principal of the Niles Partners LLC.
As one of the largest Philanthropy Day events in the country, the luncheon raised close to $240,000 to promote ethical charitable fundraising through education, training and mentoring.
The 2013 honorees in addition to McGee and the Cockrells were CenterPoint Energy receiving the Houston Business Journal Outstanding Large Corporation Award, the Centennial Campaign for Rice University receiving the Outstanding Fundraising Program (more than $250,000), the Simmons Foundation receiving honors as Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation and 610 AM's J&R Show (Josh Innes and Rich Lord) recognized as Outstanding Media.
Among the room full applauding the honorees were Houston Methodist CEO Dr. Marc Boom, Estela and David Cockrell, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Cyndy Garza Roberts, Dawn Koenning, Rey Ocanas, Vidal Martinez, Lynda and David Underwood, Emily Crosswell, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Susie Glasscock, Chree Boydstun, Regina Rogers, Linda May and AFP-Houston Chapter president Debbie Lackey with Memorial Hermann.