Catholic Charities “Happy” to Raise Nearly $1 Million at 75th Anniversary Celebration

Trini Mendhall, Cardinal DiNardo, Cynthia N. Colbert

Honoree Trini Mendenhall, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, and President/CEO Cynthia N. Colbert.


Bright colors, exciting live music, and plenty of dancing made this birthday a “Happy” one for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at Saturday’s 75th Anniversary Spirit of Charity Celebration, which raised nearly $1 million to benefit the organization’s programs and services.

More than 500 guests filled the beautiful ballroom at the Marriott Marquis Houston where they were greeted with festive cake displays and vibrant florals from Blooming Gallery. The sounds of the St. Francis of Assisi Choir and Doppelganger, Houston’s premier party band, kicked off the celebration accompanied by a procession of individuals representing each of Catholic Charities’ programs. His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo then opened the program with a blessing.

Joe Hafner, Cynthia N Colbert, Cheryl and Guy Malden

Event chairs Joe Hafner, President/CEO Cynthia N. Colbert, and Cheryl and Guy Malden.

This year’s “Happy” event honored Trinidad “Trini” Mendenhall with the inaugural Catholic Charities Legacy Award for her philanthropy, dedication and leadership to the mission of the organization to help people in need. Mendenhall is the President of Fulton Shopping Center and a former Principal of Fiesta Mart, Inc., and Chairman of the Trini and O.C. Mendenhall Foundation. She is a past chair of Catholic Charities’ board of directors and co-founded the Caritas Circle.

“Trini Mendenhall is one of the most special people here in Houston. She has a long history of working effectively and collaboratively to make our community a better place,” said Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW, Catholic Charities president and CEO.

Stan Marek of Marek Brothers, Inc., longtime friend of Trini and Catholic Charities board member, reflected on her years of service. “Trini is always there when there is a good cause. She has a real place in her heart for the poor and unfortunate. I can’t think of anybody that is more deserving of this award than Trini,” Marek said.

Honoree Trini Mendenhall and Co-Chair Raye G. White.

Honoree Trini Mendenhall and Co-Chair Raye G. White.

Event chairs for the 75th Anniversary Celebration were Cheryl and Guy Malden, and Joe Hafner. Honorary co-chairs were Cardinal DiNardo and Raye G. White.

Special guests included Jan and Oniel Mendenhall, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Frank and Gloria Kalman, and Philamena and Arthur Baird.

Special thanks to event partners CityBook Houston, HEB, Del Frisco’s and Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers for their support of the event.

The Spirit of Charity Celebration is the largest fundraising event for Catholic Charities. It raises funds to support all programs of the agency, which impact the lives of more than 85,000 people annually throughout the Archdiocese.

If you missed out on your chance to make an impact, make your gift online here.