Spirit of Charity makes Texas-sized impact for Catholic Charities


From left:  Trini Mendenhall, George and Annette Strake attended the Catholic Charities’ Deep in the Heart of Texas Spirit of Charity Luncheon on May 6, 2021 at Life HTX.

Guests with hearts as big as Texas put a shine on their cowboy boots and raised nearly $600,000 to support the work of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston at the Deep in the Heart of Texas Spirit of Charity Luncheon.  Wearing their Texas business best, attendees got their rodeo fix while helping Catholic Charities’ network of life-changing programs that work together to alleviate poverty.

Luncheon co-chairs Laurel and Jeb Bashaw planned the hybrid event with down-home hospitality in response to the pandemic, choosing an innovative space, LIFE HTX, that supported a visual treat for in-person attendees and those at home watching through live video streaming.

“Catholic Charities is grateful to all of our faithful friends who grabbed their cowboy hats and checkbooks for this event,” said Catholic Charities President Cynthia N. Colbert, MSW.  “We are humbled by the generous support that enables us to continue serving people in need.  Thanks to donors across the Archdiocese, we’re able to prevent hunger and homelessness, provide comfort to lonely seniors, welcome refugees and immigrants, and extend our reach to those who struggle during the pandemic.”

Jeb and Laurel Bashaw

Spirit of Charity event chairs Jeb and Laurel Bashaw.

Honorary chair was His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  Luncheon emcee was ABC13 news veteran Tom Koch, who earned a standing ovation from guests to honor him as he approaches retirement.

The Texas-sized celebration honored the Strake Foundation, a legendary philanthropic organization that has earned recognition across Texas, nationwide and even at the Vatican.  The Strake Foundation has a long history of support for Catholic and community causes.

“The Strake Foundation has had a profound impact on the quality of life in our city,” said Ellen Ginty, Catholic Charities board chair.  “We see it everyday at Catholic Charities, where the Strake Foundation supports essential social services that help lift people out of poverty so they can become self-sufficient.”

Catholic Charities serves thousands of families each week through programs that prevent hunger and homelessness, and answer needs such as employment, recovery from disaster, positive mental health, and immigration legal assistance.

To support the Spirit of Charity luncheon and Catholic Charities’ mission as people of faith helping people in need, make a gift online now.

Missed the event? Re-watch any time here.