On Tuesday, February 26, Austin Gives hosted its first annual luncheon at the Hilton Hotel, honoring three of Austin's most generous businesses. Give Realty, Buildasign.com and Harden Healthcare, were presented with the GeneroCity Award for their generosity.
Judy Maggio, KEYE-TV anchor, opened the show with an introduction for one of the guests of honor, Mayor Lee Leffingwell. In his opening speech, the mayor highlighted Austin’s distinct culture of giving, touching on the city’s generous history of support during difficult times.
Austin Gives founding member Bobby Jenkins, of ABC Home and Commercial Services, took the stage next to explain the origin of the organization, which is modeled after the Keystone Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Austin Gives' mission is to celebrate the generosity of local businesses throughout the year via traditional and social media, as well as with the annual luncheon. “This is a wonderful first event for Austin Gives,” he said, continuing with an enthusiastic nod toward the future of Austin Gives. "Here in Austin we're going to 200, 500 and then 5,000 before we're done."
Keynote speaker Roy Spence focused on the theme of "giving back," with an inspirational speech referencing charitable icons Ghandi and Hellen Keller. “Giving,” he said, “is the most personal thing you can do.”
“Giving is natural,” he continued. “Charity isn’t just something we do during lunches. It’s the human spirit."
As the luncheon came to a close, Give Realty, Buildasign.com and Harden Healthcare accepted GeneroCity Awards from Austin Gives.
In its first year, Austin Gives surpassed its expected membership of 100, growing to 130 members. The organization plans to host this awards show, which attracted about 300 people to the Hilton downtown on Tuesday, annually.
Bobby Jenkins, ABC Home and Commercial Services.