The true measure of Houston's philanthropic momentum is witnessed each fall with the annual National Philanthropy Day "Changing the World" awards luncheon. Wednesday's event was no exception with more than 1,000 filling the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom to honor some of the city's most generous giving individuals and organizations.
The spotlight first shown on Maureen Hackett, who over the weekend was named the 2014 Outstanding Philanthropist in North America at the National Philanthropy Honors award dinner in Washington D.C. A generous leader in local and national philanthropy, Hackett was nominated for the award by M. Anne Murphy of Dini Spheris, Lisa Kennedy of The Kennedy Collaborative and Deborah Lackey of Memorial Hermann Foundation. With announcement of the honors, she received a standing ovation.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts the award presentations in chapters across the country and nationally.
Barbara and Corby Robertson also received a standing ovation as they received the Maurice Hirsch Award for Philanthropy. "We're fortunate to live in a community like Houston," Corby said, "that has a large giving spirit." On presenting the award Dr. Paul Klotman, Baylor College of Medicine CEO, noted, "Philanthropy is a tradition with this family. It's part of their DNA."
With Channel 13 KTRK morning news anchor Tom Koch serving as master of ceremonies, the following awards were presented:
To Mary and Will Williams, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers; to the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, Houston Business Journal Outstanding Large Corporation; to West Houston Subura, Houston Business Journal Outstanding Small Corporation;
To the Houston Symphony, Outstanding Fundraising Program of More Than $250,000; to Bikers Against Breast Cancer, Outstanding Fundraising Program of Less Than $250,000; Cut-N-Shoot Texas Chapter Harley Owners Group, Outstanding Community Service Organization; to KPRC, Outstanding Media and to Betsy Clardy of UTMB Health, the Byron Welch Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Among the many notable philanthropists on hand were Cora Sue and Harry Mach, Ernie and Janet Cockrell, Beth Robertson and Steve Pearce, Nancy Ruez, Joella and Steve Mach, Cam Canion, Lynda and David Underwood, Howard Tellepsen, Regina Rogers, Martha Turner, Marc Shapiro and Steve Lufburrow and Association of Fundraising Professionals — Houston chapter president Angela Young.