Harvey Penick Award

Each year, the Harvey Penick Award for Excellence in the Game of Life is presented to a prominent leader whose life emulates that of the first recipient, golf legend, Harvey Penick.

2018 Honorees: Lynn and Tom Meredith

Lynn and Tom Meredith
Lynn and Tom Meredith have been active members of the Austin community since making the city home to their family in 1992. The couple have been married for 46 years, have 4 children and have been extensively involved in philanthropic programs within Austin, as well as at the state and national level.

Lynn and Tom founded the MFI Foundation in 1998. Since its inception, the foundation has supported Austin non-profits focused on health, education, arts, and human services.

As President of their family-run foundation, Lynn’s focus has been to invest in organizations that change lives while meeting the critical needs of the community. She has served on the boards and chaired capital committees of the Austin Children’s Museum (The Thinkery); Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Blanton Museum of Art’s (UT) Museum Council; KUT; St. Gabriel’s Catholic School; and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. She is also the co-­founder of the first chapter of the National Charity League, Austin, a mother-daughter philanthropic organization. In addition, Lynn is passionate about The Women’s Fund of Central Texas and the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust Fund.

Tom has served as a trustee of the Montana chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and as a worldwide member of the Board of Directors of TNC. Tom is a co-founder and chair of the Waller Creek Conservancy. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and the University of Texas System Chancellor’s Technology Commercialization Cabinet. Tom is a co-founder of AI-Austin, a non-profit dedicated to the practical and ethical design, development and use of artificial intelligence. He is also an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Virginia College Foundation Board.

They have received numerous accolades and awards including being named 2012 Chamber of Commerce Austinites of the Year; recipients of the 2010 Austin Community Foundation Barbara Jordan Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contribution & Philanthropy for donors who have shown philanthropic leadership in Central Texas; the Torch of Liberty Award given by the ADL in 2006; Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year given by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2004; and an Honorary Alumnus Award given by Leadership Austin in 2003.

Harvey Penick Award for Excellence in the Game of Life

Since 1992, the Harvey Penick Award has been presented annually to someone whose leadership exemplifies Excellence in the Game of Life, and whose good works inspire lasting change in Central Texas. Previous honorees include Lady Bird Johnson, Ben Crenshaw, Susan and Michael Dell, and Susan and Gary Farmer.

Harvey Penick instructed pro and amateur golfers in Austin for seven decades and coached the University of Texas golf team for 33 years. Hall of Fame golfers like Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, Kathy Whitworth, and many others credited their success to his memorable insights. Penick was honored in 1989 with the PGA of America Teacher of the Year award, and Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book remains the highest selling golf book of all time.

In 1992, hundreds of people inspired by Harvey Penick honored him with the first Harvey Penick Award for Excellence in the Game of Life at a dinner benefiting Caritas of Austin. Penick was later inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002, seven years after his death.

Today, Caritas of Austin continues the tradition of presenting the Harvey Penick Award at our annual Words of Hope Dinner. Honorees have demonstrated a lifetime of excellence in their field of endeavor. These are the community leaders, mentors, stewards of community trust, and champions of the greater good who have left a meaningful legacy in Austin, Texas.

Past Honorees

  • Harvey Penick (1992)
  • Cliff Gustafson (1993)
  • J.J. “Jake” Pickle (1994)
  • Barbara Jordan (1995)
  • Lady Bird Johnson (1996)
  • George Christian (1997)
  • Bob Bullock (1998)
  • Edith and Darrell Royal (1999)
  • Lowell Lebermann (2000)
  • Ben Crenshaw (2001)
  • Angela and Mort Topfer (2002)
  • Jody Conradt (2003)
  • Larry Gatlin (2004)
  • Susan and Michael Dell (2005)
  • Pat Hayes (2006)
  • Senator Kirk Watson (2007)
  • Sally and Mack Brown (2008)
  • Bishop John E. McCarthy (2009)
  • Teresa and Joe Long (2010)
  • Donna Stockton-Hicks and Steve Hicks (2011)
  • Co-Founders of GSD&M: Steve Gurasich, Judy Trabulsi, and Tim McClure (2012)
  • Sarah and Ernest Butler (2013)
  • Frank Denius (2014)
  • ThunderCloud Subs (2015)
  • Susan and Gary Farmer (2016)
  • Tomi and Pete Winstead (2017)
  • Lynn and Tom Meredith (2018)