To kick of its 50th anniversary year, VolunteerNow®‘s 14th annual Hearts of Texas Luncheon at Belo Mansion on Tuesday, June 29, was sold out, with good reason. In addition to saluting The Hoglund Foundation with the VolunteerNow Lifetime Achievement Award for its philanthropy and hands-on involvement and the presentation of the Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler Award to The Senior Source, the day’s featured speaker/author Liz Murray received a standing ovation. Here’s a report from the field:
VolunteerNow® kicked off its 50th anniversary at the 14th annual Hearts of Texas Luncheon on Tuesday, June 29, at the Belo Mansion.
Luncheon chair and VolunteerNow Board President Bill Braxton and VolunteerNow CEO Tammy Richards were joined by more than 200 attendees, both in person and virtually, at the annual fundraiser, which showcases the importance of volunteerism in the community by recognizing outstanding leaders. This year’s award recipients were the Sally and Forrest Hoglund family for their ongoing leadership and philanthropy, and The Senior Source, which serves as an advocate for older adults.
As the luncheon began, master of ceremonies Scott Murray welcomed all in attendance and acknowledged this year’s honorees and their guests, who were seated nearby. Patrons then enjoyed a delicious lunch of herb chicken and glazed salmon served with roasted asparagus and tomatoes, and potatoes au gratin, followed by dessert of flourless chocolate torte topped with ganache with raspberry drizzle.
At the appointed time, Murray returned to the podium with a second welcome and to thank attendees for their support of VolunteerNow. In sharing further details about this year’s award recipients, he stated that the spirit of volunteerism runs deep through three generations of Hoglunds. Sally and Forrest Hoglund founded the Dallas-based Hoglund Foundation more than 30 years ago; and since then, their daughters (Kelly Compton, Shelly Dee and Kristy Robinson) and grandchildren have joined the organization’s cause to give back. To date, The Hoglund Foundation has contributed no less than $55 million to over 650 agencies supporting families and education.
Scott also acknowledged The Senior Source as the recipient of the Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler Award. Serving the community for 60 years, The Senior Source is a leading resource for aging services in Dallas and is recognized for its outstanding volunteerism by an organization.
Bill followed and added his gratitude to attendees. He shared that VolunteerNow serves two important roles; first, as a hub for volunteerism in North Texas and, second, as a technology non-profit. For 50 years, VolunteerNow has played a critical role in matching passionate people with causes that matter. Every year the organization has the privilege of helping 3,500 nonprofits, both large and small, find the volunteers that serve critical roles in fulfilling their missions.
He added that just a few short years ago VolunteerNow had 10,000 volunteers in their network; today, thanks to its innovative and mission-driven technology platform to Voly.org, it has over 300,000 volunteers in its network, with a goal in the next few years to have over 1,000,000 across the United States.
In closing, Bill stated that in a typical year, VolunteerNow volunteers give 1.6 million hours valued at roughly $46 million; dollars that local nonprofits can invest in missions instead of paying for labor. By supporting VolunteerNow, the community is strengthening all nonprofits.
His points were further illustrated in a highlight video showcasing the organization’s work since its inception in 1971.
CEO Richards took the podium and first recognized top luncheon sponsors including Diamond sponsor – Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Ruby sponsor – The Hoglund Foundation and Gold sponsors – Carolyn and David Miller and Texas Instruments, as well as many others who supported the event and help ensure that VolunteerNow is able to fulfill its mission. She also announced that those who are able to support the organization with a donation during luncheon would receive a limited edition, origami heart created by nonprofit, Paper for Water, as a thank you.
In conclusion she asked all to join VolunteerNow on Thursday, April 28, 2022, for its 15th annual Hearts of Texas Luncheon, as the organization concludes its yearlong celebration of 50 years, as well as the upcoming Voly in the Park volunteer festival at Klyde Warren Park on Saturday, September 11, 2021.
After a moving video highlighting the Hoglund Family’s contribution to the Dallas community, family representatives Forrest Hoglund and Kelly Compton took the stage to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Hoglund recognized fellow honoree, The Senior Source, by saying, “The Senior Source, I’m just so happy to be on the same platform with them,” in which wife Sally commented from her seat, “Because you’re a senior,” which was well received by the audience.
Kelly followed and added her gratitude in receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, and recognized her family and the Foundation staff. She cited VolunteerNow’s innovation and effectiveness as the reason for their longtime support, including their recent contributions in providing much-needed volunteers for the distribution of the COVID vaccine.
The important services of The Senior Source were captured in a wonderful video highlighting six decades of “making older better” since 1961. CEO Stacey Malcolmson accepted the Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler Award on behalf of the organization. In her remarks, Stacey said, “We are so humbled to be recognized alongside The Hoglund Foundation, longtime supporters of The Senior Source as well.”
The much-anticipated featured speaker Liz Murray, best-selling author of “Breaking Night: My Journey from Homeless to Harvard,” shared her inspiring story of growing up in the Bronx to parents who were drug addicts and spent many years homeless before attending Harvard. She said that she owed much of her successes to the volunteers who helped her and the services she sought out during these challenging times.
“I would not be here without the support of people around me and those who volunteered to help,” she said. “No one gets to where they are going alone. What VolunteerNow does is, it is the engine that brings us together.”
After a standing ovation for Murray with very few dry-eyes in the audience, Scott concluded the luncheon with a final goodbye and reminder to save the date for next year’s Hearts of Texas Luncheon on April 28, 2022.
* Photo credit: Jason Anderson