While most folks associate Norm Hitzges with sports and radio, there’s another side to him. He’s also a dedicated supporter of Austin Street Center and once again proved that point on Tuesday, October 27, with a posse of “cowboys” to help raise funds. Here’s a report from the field.
The Tenth Annual Night with Norm event occurred at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Each year, this casual dinner brings together devotees of Norm Hitzges, the legendary sports radio veteran who recently celebrated 40 years on the air, with Austin Street Center supporters, who have come to love this unique and heartwarming blend of sports, wonderful food, and a compelling mission.
The evening kicked off with a silent auction that included prizes from Forty Five Ten, Stanley Korshak, Hiatus Spa, Sewell, Nonna, and more, along with a personalized, signed football from Roger Staubach and a gift basket of goodies from Michelle Grimes that included an autographed copy of her book “Where is Pidge?” But easily the most talked about items were the ones that weren’t for sale—tall, cylindrical vases filled to the brim with travel size shampoo, rolled up pairs of socks, and razors, illustrating how Austin Street Center meets the needs of thousands of homeless men and women each year.
As guests moved in to be seated for dinner, they were delighted to discover that the evening meal would be the very same meal that Holy Trinity volunteers have prepared and served at Austin Street Center for over 20 years—chicken oregonato, best-ever rice pilaf and the most delicious green beans.
Austin Street Center Executive Director Daniel Roby took the stage to make remarks—thanking sponsors Nancy Ann Hunt, Carolyn and David Miller, Central Kia and Marianne and Roger Staubach for their generous support. Then his attention shifted to focus on the 377 men and women who would spend the night sheltered and safe at Austin Street that evening, “Look around the room—and I really mean it. Look at how many people are here—there are around 300 people gathered here tonight. More people than are sitting here with us now are getting ready to spend the night at Austin Street Center this very night.”
He challenged the room to consider making a donation of $125 each—the price of a cot at Austin Street—to help ensure that each of those 377 men and women have a comfortable place to sleep.
Then Norm took the reins, and in his usual way kept the crowd entertained as he mixed sports with in depth personal interviews with special guests former Dallas Cowboys center Andrew Gurode, former Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart, the Dallas Cowboys Director of Personnel Will McClay and the Dallas Cowboys at the Dallas Morning News beat reporter David Moore.
The tenth anniversary edition of this much-loved event broke all records by raising over $77,000 to provide food, shelter, clothing, and hope to Dallas’ homeless community.
* Photos provided by Austin Street Center