14-YEAR OLD VOLUNTEER LEGEND RECEIVES $10,000 DONATION – $20,000 DONATED OVERALLJoel Coffman
“Little did I know my small idea as a five-year-old to help feed the homeless would turn into this amazing journey. My goal still remains the same to make sure everyone in the world has enough food to eat. The support I’ve received means the world to me, and I am so grateful to have such an amazing community surrounding me. I’m so excited to be able to help so many more people with this award money.”
– Gracie Garbade
After a month-long gratitude campaign saw just under 100,000 acts of gratitude submitted to RecognizeGood – through text, web, email, social media and paper forms – it’s safe to believe that Say Thanks, Austin successfully directed the Austin-area community’s collective attention to a group of incredible, selfless givers who have made amazing impacts for those around them.
A total of $20,000 in donations to local nonprofits was presented at the Say Thanks Austin Closing Ceremony – joined at Austin City Hall by presenters Bobby Jenkins, Judy Maggio and Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis, each of the 2022 RecognizeGood Legend award winners and their support teams were honored and applauded for their above-and-beyond volunteer efforts in service to this community. Ranging in age from just-turned-14 to volunteers well into their eighties, the heartwarming celebration brought diverse backgrounds, causes and neighborhoods all together in the name of the one thing everyone had in common – a habit of serving those around them.
Since 2011, the RecognizeGood Legends program has awarded over $340,000 in donations through recognizing 130 individual Austin-area residents who have made a “legendary” impact through their volunteerism.
The top finishers in the Say Thanks Austin campaign were Grace Garbade (Gracie’s Canned Goods), Merlin Tuttle (Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation), and Aline Garcia Weinheimer (Partnerships for Children). Each honoree was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Austin, a personalized 3D-printed Austin skyline sculpture from primary sponsor the TyRex Group, and a donation to the charity of choice for honorees to pay it forward. Crown Trophy also sponsored a beautiful glass award piece for the first-place finisher in the campaign.