The Friends Alliance Awards recognize and honor outstanding volunteer efforts by local Friends Groups or individuals that support THC historic sites. The Friends of the THC presents these awards in partnership with the THC Historic Sites Division’s Community Partnerships Program, in the following categories:
Civic Engagement: for promoting and advocating for a THC State Historic Site to public entities, to maintain or elevate the site as a recognized community asset.
Friendraising: for creatively engaging diverse community stakeholders to support the site.
Stewardship: for augmenting site staff capacity by any means of assistance, such as hiring site staff, fundraising for additional operational, maintenance or preservation needs, and/or providing in-kind services or supplies.
This year, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission recognizes the following individuals for their outstanding work in support of the Texas Historical Commission:
Sharon Cowell, Casa Magoffin Compañeros – The Friends Alliance Award for Civic Engagement,
Lois Lacy, Friends of Mission Dolores – The Friends Alliance Award for Friendraising.
The Friends Alliance Award for Friendraising:
Lois Lacy is awarded the Friends Alliance Award for Friendraising, in recognition of her work in organizing an engaged and sustainable Friends Group organization to support Mission Dolores State Historic Site in San Augustine, Texas.
Within the first year of Mission Dolores being transferred to the Texas Historical Commission in 2017, Lois took the leading role in organizing the Friends of Mission Dolores. She served as President since its inception until this year, and has painstakingly established the group’s governance by learning best practices for nonprofits, creating clear channels of communication between the group and the THC, and building a Friends Group with high standards of integrity so it could stand the test of time. Within the first two years the Friends Group garnered almost 150 region-wide members, and a core group of board members who serve as dedicated fundraisers, volunteers, promoters and partners to the site and its staff.
The Friends Alliance Award for Civic Engagement:
Sharon Cowell is awarded the Friends Alliance Award for Civic Engagement in recognition of her work with the Magoffin Home State Historic Site in El Paso.
Sharon was one of the earliest supporters of the Magoffin Home, joining as one of the inaugural members of the site’s Friends Group, the Casa Magoffin Compañeros, over 25 years ago. Over the years Sharon has been instrumental in assisting site staff with important research about the Magoffin family and portraying the Magoffin Home matriarch, Octavia Magoffin, during the site’s special events, as well as offsite to schoolchildren and various history and civic organizations. Magoffin Home staff say they are grateful for Sharon’s optimistic, can-do attitude that she brings to every volunteer task, for her dedicated research, and for the personal touches she brings to her living history characters as she engages audiences of all ages with the site’s history.