What do tall, newlywed Danya Anderson and petite, former school marm Bette Perot have in common? Last Thursday they were among the among the folks being honored at the North Texas Food Bank‘s third annual “Dish Out Gratitude.” Held in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton, NTFB’s Jan Pruitt told the room filled with community and political leaders that “we are here to do just that (Dish Out Gratitude) — to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your partnership with us in passionately pursuing a hunger-free community.”
And what a challenge NTFB has taken on. It is now trying to handle the needs of a 13-county service area!
Among those receiving recognition were:
- “Do What Needs to be Done Award” (For motivating others to give back to their community through the NTFB) — Cindy Wenban, Hannah Stone, Debora Babb and Lockheed Martin
- “Urgency Award” — Mountain View Church of Christ
“Stewardship Award” — Sen. Royce West
- “Diversity Award” — Carver Heights Baptist Church
- “Celebrate Passion Award” — Pam Beckert, Patsy Fagadau, Diane Buchanan and Rick Andrew
- “Corporate Innovator of the Year Award” — Walmart
- “Community Innovator of the Year Award” — Justin Chatigny
- “Individual Innovator of the Year Award” — Vicki Eastland
- “Individual Golden Fork Award” — Danya and Mike Anderson
- “Corporate Golden Fork Award” — ORIX USA
- “Lifetime Achievement Award” — Bette Perot
While all the recipients were truly touched by their awards, Danya and Bette were showstoppers. Danya teared up and with Mike by her side said NTFB is “part of my calling.” She was genuinely touched that the Andersons had been rewarded for donating wine from their wine cellar to the 2011 Taste of the NFL and hosted the most successful NTFB Board fundraiser event ever. The goal had been $50,000, but instead raised $93,000.
On the other hand, when Bette’s name was called, her kid brother Ross and his family (wife Margot and daughters Suzanne, Carolyn and Katherine ) knew the group was in for a real thunderbolt. They also knew that Bette was not going to follow the drill. She ain’t that kind of lady. Instead of stepping up to the stage, she stood firmly on the carpeted floor next to a poster about her award.
Organizers looked a little startled in trying to get a mic to her. But no need. Like the best Marine drill sergeant, Bette said, “For those of you who know me, I don’t need any microphone!” The line of Perots all chuckled. Ross settled back with his arm extended over the back of the seat that Bette had occupied. He just knew his big sis was going to be a hit. She then went on to explain how during the Depression she and younger brother Ross grew up in Texarkana — five blocks into the Texas side, “so we are Texans!” Nobody rose to disagree. Bette continued telling how her parents had been wonderful role models. Her mother gave food away to hobos who came to their house on Olive. “Mother would fix them a sandwich, a piece of cheese, piece of fruit and would tell them, ‘Now sit down right here in the backyard and eat.’ She taught us, ‘You better do for others before you do for yourself.'”
Yup, Bette went beyond her 30-second limit and many wished the retired school teacher had kept going for another half hour. But, alas, she didn’t and took her seat.
Recognizing that following that act was tough, Jan simply returned to the podium and said, “You’re still a teacher.”