HCC Foundation Gala celebrates college's 50th anniversary; raises more Than $790,000
Jun 2, 2022
The Houston Community College Foundation 50th Anniversary Gala at the Hilton Americas hotel raised more than $790,000 on behalf of HCC students on May 14, and Houston icon Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale received the coveted Crystal Eagle Award for his outstanding support of HCC’s programs and students.
The furniture entrepreneur and philanthropist was celebrated for his ties to HCC, including the “Mattress Mack School of Selling” and the Work Texas training program he founded.
"No Houstonian has done more to support HCC than Jim McIngvale,” said Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. “We could not be more grateful to Jim and his family for their continuing devotion to HCC and its students.”
Also recognized at the gala were past year Eagle Award recipients, including long-time donors and 2020 honorees Renee and Alan Helfman and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. McIngvale gave an impassioned speech about HCC’s importance to the future of the Houston community before surprising the crowd of 500 by making an impromptu $50,000 donation to the Foundation. He was so moved he joined auctioneer Vince Montalbano on stage to offer up the use of his Astros suites for donations as well.
“Houston Community College does such a great job for our city; they are an integral part of our community. They educate the young people and help them get great jobs, and help Houston develop into an even better world-class city,” Jim McIngvale said.
“This event truly shows the commitment of many wonderful people in the community who support our students and HCC,” Dr. Maldonado said. “The $790,000 raised will target areas of greatest need for HCC students as they navigate the difficult financial decisions many face when it comes to work, family and education.”
The HCC Foundation gave more than $5 million in grants and scholarship to support student success and scholarships last year alone.
“Support raised at this event goes directly to the areas of greatest need for our students,” Gala co-chair Ryan McCauley told guests. “The pandemic has been extremely hard on all our students—most of whom are working full-time, raising a family and trying to provide a better life for their loved ones.”
Public Safety graduate Omny Yanes shared on screen her story as a homeless student while at HCC; and how scholarship support from the HCC Foundation put her back on her feet and now, she is an EMS technician and living independently. “To this day, I’m a proud HCC Eagle and I will be forever grateful for all that was done for me,” said Yanes.
The black-tie attired guests marveled at HCC students as they showcased their hard work and talent, including chocolate created on 3-D printers, etched acrylic centerpieces and custom-designed gowns up for auction while a student brass ensemble entertained guests.
Supporters included: Presenting sponsor Barnes & Noble College; Platinum sponsor Linda and Jim McIngvale; Silver sponsors Julie and David Itz and Glenda and David Regenbaum.
Gala chairs Jessica and Ryan McCauley capped the program by announcing a campaign called Invest in Houston’s Future that has raised more than $13 million during a silent phase over the last two years toward a goal of $20 million. Money raised will provide additional scholarships, program investments, named endowments and building spaces for HCC and its students.
“I am so grateful to our generous donors and sponsors who help make a difference in our students' lives,” said Karen L. Schmidt, HCC Foundation President. "I would also like to acknowledge our dedicated staff and volunteers whose efforts made the HCC Foundation 2022 Gala Celebration such a success.”
The HCC Foundation is a philanthropic force supporting high quality educational experiences for HCC students of all backgrounds to help them improve the trajectory of their lives. The HCC Foundation empowers HCC student success through philanthropic support, aligned with key HCC institutional initiatives. Established in 1976, the HCC Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Internal Revenue Service has classified the Foundation as a Section 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) publicly supported charity.
To learn more, visit www.hccsfoundation.org.