March 13, 2017
Amarillo—The Honorable Cecilia Abbott, First Lady of Texas, will be the keynote speaker Sunday, March 19 for the 20
th annual Respect Life Banquet.
This year’s banquet, which benefits Respect Life Ministries in the Diocese of Amarillo, will begin with social hour at 4:00pm, with dinner served at 5:00 in the Heritage Room of the Amarillo Civic Center, 401 South Buchanan.
Tickets are $50 per person, which includes a prime rib dinner catered by the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, according to Stephanie Frausto, director of Respect Life Ministries.
The first Hispanic First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbott’s story reminds everyone that the American Dream is alive and well in Texas. The granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, Mrs. Abbott was raised in San Antonio by parents who were both educators, and who instilled in her, her sister and two brothers a love of learning and helping others. Mrs. Abbott took their lessons to heart, and studied at the University of Texas at Austin before subsequently earning three degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Houston: a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Theology.
Mrs. Abbott has been a teacher, vice-principal, and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas. Most recently she served as the principal of the Cathedral School of St. Mary in Austin from 1996 to 2001. Mrs. Abbott then went on to another noble calling working in senior health care services, where she served as the managing director of community relations from 2004 to 2013 for a health care company specializing in senior adult health care facilities and services.
But Mrs. Abbott hasn’t only devoted her professional life to helping others; she’s done the same thing in her personal life. She currently serves on the board of several educational organizations: the University of St. Thomas Board of Directors, the Huston-Tillotson University Board of Directors, the St. Gabriel’s Catholic School Board of Trustees and the Cathedral School of St. Mary Advisory Board. Mrs. Abbott is also active in numerous philanthropic groups—she is a member of the Women’s Symphony League of Austin, the Dell Children’s Women’s Trust and is a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Mrs. Abbott believes strongly in giving back to our communities, and recently announced the launch of her Texanthropy Initiative, which she will use to promote volunteerism and service to others as her primary focus as First Lady of Texas.
The evening will also include Silent and Live Auctions. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate items for the Silent and Live Auctions, contact Frausto at 410-1059. Tickets for the Respect Life Banquet can be purchased in one of three ways:
• Through the diocesan Respect Life Office at www.amarillodiocese.org/rlmevents;
• From any Knights of Columbus Council in the Diocese of Amarillo; or,
• Any parish in the Diocese of Amarillo.