Every November issue of Waco Today we get to present the selfless individuals, groups and businesses that are recognized with the annual Philanthropy Day Awards, sponsored by the Central Texas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
It’s always inspiring to see the people honored at the luncheon and to hear their stories about how they got involved and why they give. In this issue writer Julie Engebretson introduces readers to the six recipients, from Philanthropists of the Year Todd and Susan Behringer to the three girls -- Delani Anderson, Yissel Rodriguez and Galilea Villegas Chavez -- who will be recognized with the Youth in Philanthropy Award. Julie gives us a sneak peek into their stories.
Jane Bounds shares her passion for Pack of Hope, honored as the Outstanding Community Service Organization, and TXU Energy'’s Kim Campbell talks about her company’s programs that benefit its customers.
Longtime friends Kim Klimt and Loren Schwartz will both be recognized, with Kim as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser and Loren as the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser. It’s fun to see them honored together.
Although Philanthropy Day’s luncheon makes this the perfect time to feature them in the magazine, we’re expanding that theme of giving even further this month to our cover story. Can you believe it’s been 50 years that both Caritas and Meals on Wheels have been in Waco? I find it amazing that both came into being this same year in Waco.
Both nonprofit organizations do such good in our community as well as outside McLennan County’s borders. With both agencies you first think about food, whether it’s Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering food to older residents and the homebound, or Caritas allowing those in need to supplement their groceries from its food pantry. But as you'll learn in the story, Caritas does so much more than that.
Though café is in the name, there’s no actual food involved with Texas Music Café, which also hit a milestone in 2017. This is the 20th year for the Waco-produced PBS show that shares the musical flavor and culture of Texas.
Chris Ermoian began the show with his brothers T.J. and Jeff, but he continues as executive producer and the face of the program. Lesly Rascoe interviewed Chris and some of his longtime collaborators to find out how the group continues to find relatively unknown talent and give them a venue to show off their musical abilities.
The TMC crew doesn’t do it the easy way, either. They don’t routinely record in a TV studio. No, the crew is on location, or as Chris says, “at crowded concerts, bars or deep in the canyons of a national park …”
A special anniversary screening will be at the Waco Hippodrome Nov. 1. What Chris and his team do to celebrate Texas music, well, you could argue that’s a philanthropic endeavor in itself.
As we move into the Thanksgiving season, we can all ask ourselves, “How can we make someone’s life better?” Then we should try to do it.