RECAP: Caritas of Austin Harvey Penick Awards
Annually, Austin’s top philanthropists gather at the Four Seasons in support of Caritas of Austin and to honor the Harvey Penick Awardees. The award, formally the Harvey Penick Award for Excellence in the Game of Life, has been bestowed on Austin’s most beloved in its 21 years, including honorees: Lady Bird Johnson, Bob Bullock, Edith and Darrell Royal, Susan and Michael Dell, Teresa and Joe Long, and award namesake, golf legend Harvey Penick.
This year, the collective founders of GSD&M – Steve Gurasich, Tim McClure, Roy Spense and Judy Trabulsi – were honored for both their individual support and organizational focus on Austin’s community.
The evening started with a VIP hour where honorees, committee and board mixed and mingled before heading downstairs to the lobby of the ballroom. It was a perfect evening to open the doors to the terrace, where guests peered over Lady Bird Lake drink in hand. Once the ballroom doors opened, guests followed the chimes to their tables.
Fall was in the air and on the tablescapes – each were adorned with pumpkins and foliage styled by Eric Quinn of Quinn Interiors.
The program, emceed by Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith, was formal, but kept light with personal stories of the honorees told by long-time friends. Highlights like remarks by Neal Spelce, an early competitor in the ad realm, and a video featuring the children of the honorees brought the room to roaring laughs and to tears.
Each speech had reminders of the cause at-hand, Caritas of Austin. At every place setting, guests had an envelope asking for their financial support for Caritas, and all gifts that evening were graciously matched by Bobbi and Mort Topfer.
Caritas of Austin prides itself on not only feeding Austin’s hungry, but “teaching clients to fish” through programs that teach life skills and find jobs for those in need.