With tens of thousands of Thank You votes pouring in from supporters around Greater Austin and the world, the RecognizeGood Legends Class of 2015 proved to be truly memorable. The results of this sixth edition of the annual Say Thanks, Austin campaign were announced in a ceremony at City Hall on Tuesday, February 16th along with the presentation of $17,000 in pay-it-forward donations made in the Legends’ names to the area nonprofits of their choice. Donna Gunn of Africa’s Promise Village took home the grand-prize $10,000 donation. Emceed by RecognizeGood board members Bobby Jenkins and Earl Maxwell with a special message from Austin Mayor Steve Adler, the Say Thanks Austin Closing Ceremony proved what extraordinary selfless impacts can be made by those all around us.
Bobby Jenkins, of ABC Home & Commercial Services, exclaimed, “This whole process of saying thanks to people who have done great things absolutely touches my heart.” Pay-it-forward donations were made to the following area nonprofits: El Amistad Club (from Gordon Perez), Girl Scouts of Central Texas (from Bob Pursley), Explore Austin (from Mike Leary), Africa’s Promise Village (from Donna Gunn), Rotary Club of Georgetown (from George Lourigan), Minis and Friends (from Gil Iwanski), Art from the Streets (from John Macpherson), Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (from Wanda Mills), and All Blind Children of Texas (from Patti Robinson).
The Council Chambers at Austin City Hall were “filled with goodness”, as Legend award winners and their support teams joined local business leaders, media partners and RecognizeGood fans to create an atmosphere of pure gratitude. “This is one of my favorite days of the year because this is an opportunity for us to recognize the unsung heroes of Austin,” explained Earl Maxwell, CEO of the St. David’s Foundation. Mayor Steve Adler adds, “I’m proud of our city, I’m proud of Central Texas – as you are aware, our cities are continuing to change but one constant is that we seek out and find good in our community and for the past 6 years this program has highlighted that.”
Say Thanks, Austin is an annual event which presents the Austin area with a unique opportunity to say “thank you” to a select group of remarkable individuals who contribute their time and talents toward exemplary acts of good. Each year, RecognizeGood selects nine Legend award recipients who become eligible to participate in the Say Thanks, Austin campaign. Over the course of January, the community is able to say Thank You to each participant by voting for one or all by means of a variety of voting methods including RecognizeGood.org, email, text, hand-written Thank You forms, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Once the Thank You votes have been tallied, the participant with the most votes receives a pay-it-forward donation of $10,000 to the nonprofit organization of their choice. Most importantly, our community focuses attention on those who truly deserve it, and are inspired to find ways to contribute themselves.