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‘Texas Sized Event’ Honors Trailblazers

By Sheryl Lilly Pidgeon | Editor-in-Chief 

The Southwest Jewish Congress (SWJC) will celebrate its 14-year anniversary by recognizing exceptional women, men and young adults at its ‘Texas Sized Event’ on October 3rd at Edison’s in Dallas.

The sold-out event will honor 17 leaders from various disciplines and backgrounds who are role models and trailblazers dedicated to making a positive impact on their community. 

Sports-talk radio great, Norm Hitzges, is the featured speaker.  Hitzges, who is a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and recently retired from a 48-year on-air career, will be interviewed by Andy Adler, CBS 11 Sports Anchor. 

With his trademark enthusiasm, Hitzges has analyzed the highs and lows of DFW sports for 48 years. The Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster launched the first all-sports morning drive talk show on KLIF in the 1980s before joining The Ticket in 2000. Hitzges’ career also includes being a commentator for Texas Rangers broadcasts on HSE and providing major league baseball commentary for ESPN. Hitzges has been honored by the Dallas All Sports Association and the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. His philanthropic work is vast, but his passion to help the homeless led to hosting “Norm-A-Thon,” a yearly 18-hour marathon broadcast to raise money for the Austin Street Center, a Dallas area homeless shelter. This past June, Hitzges announced his retirement and has since launched his own podcast. 

Co-emcees for the evening are Sylvia Komatsu, KERA/KXT and Chris Lawrence, WFAA-TV. 

SWJC is a Texas 501(c)(3) organization with membership open to everyone. The diversity, leadership and passion of the Board strengthens its ability to reach their main goal: to build bridges throughout the community. Their mission includes providing quality educational programs and events, awarding grants to local nonprofits who provide services to injured veterans, refugee children, at-risk youth, and the homeless. 

Each year, SWJC selects and recognizes exceptional community volunteers from many disciplines at its ‘Texas Sized Event.’ 

“Our present and past honorees include different disciplines, religions, ethnicities and cultures,” said Susan Myers, SWJC Executive Director. “This is a prestigious group to be part of. They build bridges between themselves and between organizations.”

The SWJC ‘Texas Sized Event’ recognizes outstanding leaders from various disciplines and backgrounds who are role models and trailblazers throughout our community.

This year’s honorees include: 

Lifetime Achievement Award RecipientsLottye Brodsky Lyle and Bobby Lyle 

Caring CoupleRegina Montoya and Paul Coggins 

Audrey Kaplan Inspiring Women of the Southwest: Christina Melton Crain, Diane Hopson, Caren K. Lock, Linda Manner and Tammany Stern

Stan Golden Men of Action: David Card, Hector Musquiz Flores, Justin Henry, James Tacker, and George Tobolowsky

Future Inspiring WomenShira Kamisa 

Future Men of ActionRoman Childress and Sam Rael 

In 2016, SWJC introduced the 50/50 Donation Program to help build bridges throughout the community. The night of the event, guests are invited to participate in the program by donating to the charity that the Honoree has chosen to receive funds in their honor. Since the start of this program, SWJC has been able to share funds with multiple local non-profits. 

Nominations for 2024 honorees will begin the night of the event.

For more information, call Susan Myers at 214-361-0018, email tse@swjc.org or visit the website at www.swjc.org

About SWJC:

Southwest Jewish Congress is a stand-alone Texas 501(c)(3) organization. 

With membership open to everyone, the diversity, leadership and passion of the Board strengthens its ability to reach their main goal: to build bridges throughout the community.

This important goal is made possible by celebrating exceptional volunteers, providing free educational programs and launching the newest endeavor, a grant project. These are the mainstays of this lean, grassroots, no-frills, decisive group. Here are a few examples: 

  • Annual selection and recognition of exceptional community volunteers from many disciplines, including young adults – our future leaders – at the ‘Texas Sized Event.’
  • Complimentary programs, which have included international speakers such as New York Timesbest-selling author Edwin Black; Dr. Daniela Gleizer from the University of Mexico; professors from Hebrew University and Technion; author and journalist, Alexis Clark; and presentations on human trafficking, Crypto-Jews, the F-35 and its delivery to Israel, and the inspirational story of Bonton Farms in South Dallas. 
  • Building Bridges Grant Initiative, awarding a combined $10,000 to five local non-profits who provide services to injured veterans, refugee children, sexually assaulted women, at-risk youth, and the homeless. 

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