Spirit of Rockport Award

Logo Final

Those of us who make Rockport home are fully aware of the enviable qualities that define our way of life. We’re blessed with a verdant peninsula, natural beauty, moderate climate, spectacular wildlife, and a warm, inviting populace.

It’s the residents themselves that make Rockport stand out from its neighbors ... friendliness, involvement and commitment to maintaining the unique charm that has been associated with our community.

With that in mind, the Sesquicentennial Committee would like to recognize those individuals and businesses whose contributions have brought Rockport to where it is today and what it will be in the future.

The "Spirit of Rockport" award was developed to recognize individuals and organizations which exemplify the unique spirit of Rockport. We’re looking for nominations for those who go above and beyond to make our community a better place. (click here to make a nomination)

Awards presented to:

6/9/2020 - Lisa Gordon, Jessee Pilgrim and Mary Theisen, founders of the Aransas County PPE Sewing Group. Click here for News Release

7/14/2020 - Tana and Jerry Neel and James Smith. 

Tana is responsible for starting the non-profit Another Chance Rescue in late 2016, which facilitates fostering, adoption, and relocation of dogs from the Aransas County Animal Control.  Thanks to the group’s efforts more than 1,300 dogs have been saved.

James is a welcome attendee at City Council meetings – often the only individual in the audience.  He is a volunteer with the Coastal Fishery Division of TX Parks and Wildlife, a regular blood donor, and stepped up to buy gifts cards for needy families when the ACISD free lunch program ended.

8/11/2020 - Members of the City's Citizen Advisory Boards.  Their time, input and guidance are instrumental in developing policies and procedures, new programming, and long-term plans.

Comprehensive Plan Update - Patricia Albin, Monica Burdette, Nancy Bolting, Elizabeth Brundrett, Sylvia Combs, Ginger Easton-Smith, Christine Hale, John Jackson, and Suzanne Villa

 Parks and Leisure Services - Ray A. Garza, David Rodriguez, Jenny Vander Pluym, and Leo Villa

Planning and Zoning - Ruth Davis,Maynard Green, Warren Hassinger,  Kim Hesley, Kent Howard, Diana Severino-Saxon, and Ric Young

Zoning Board of Adjustments - Jeanetta Davis, Carey Dietrich, Warren Hassinger, Leo Villa, and Ric Young

8/25/2020 - The Rockport Volunteer Fire Department.  Since 1885, Rockport Volunteer Fire Department has dedicated itself to saving lives and protecting property. Per their mission statement, they are committed to providing to our citizens the best possible service in a courteous, professional, and cost-effective manner, to assure that every person who contacts the fire department receives satisfaction to the best of our ability. 

Fire Department 2They achieve this through continuous education, training, and community involvement, while maintaining the safest working environment possible. Under the auspices of Fire Chief Steve Sims, Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Grimes and Captains Aaron Guerrero, Gillian Cox, Joe Carvajal and John Carvajal, the 65 firefighters and members of the Fire Corp provide a vital service to our community, which not only saves lives and property, but also decreases the cost of homeowner and rental insurance for our residents.

9/8/2020 - Castaways Thrift Shop. Volunteers with Castaways and representatives of First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Peace Lutheran Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and St. Peters Episcopal Church work tirelessly to generate and accept donations; stock the shop in a clean, retail setting; manage the registers; and assist with the loading and unloading of materials.  People may donate to the organization, commonly referred to as the “shop,” or any of the five church partners, which share a percentage of their sales that go towards Castaways operating costs. 

 cropped_castawaysOver the past five years, Castaways has infused than $1.3 million in the community to youth activities, history and arts, animal rescue, social services, and volunteer first responders. In 2019, Castaways awarded more than $438,000 in grants. Although Castaways is currently closed to protect the health of its volunteers and community, they are accepting applications for the coming year.

9/22/2020 - South Rockport Neighbors, a non-profit civic organization whose involvement in the City extends beyond their geographical location. The group sponsors the annual “Night Out” program for the community; open forums on informational topics and local issues, candidate debates and more; and financial support via scholarships to local students. 

10/27/2020 - Aransas County Children's Coalition.  The Children’s Coalition of Aransas County, a non-profit civic organization was born from the need to provide childcare immediately following Hurricane Harvey.  Once local childcare businesses began to open up, the Children’s Coalition expanded its services to create, suppose and improve care and resources for children and families in our area.   

Spirit of Rockport Diane Clark of Good Samaritans

11/10/2020 - Diane Clark, chairman of Good Samaritans.  Nominated by Dorothy McAbee (left in photo above).  In submitting the nomination, she said “Diane is Chairperson for Rockport-Fulton Good Samaritans, Inc. She worked diligently helping clients during the pandemic. She coordinated 4 drive-by food giveaways while the center was closed and worked with churches and other resources in Rockport to help clients as much as possible. Her planning, dedication, and leadership made the reopening of the Center possible. 

 “Good Sams is now open; masks are required, hand sanitizer is used, and hanging plexiglass panels separate the interviewers and clients. It is as safe for volunteers and clients as Diane could possibly make it. With the Center open, Diane continues to go far beyond expectations in what she does at Good Sams. Not only does she do an admirable job of performing her Chairman responsibilities, she regularly works the reception desk, and spends time after hours at the Center handling vouchers to make sure clients utilities are not terminated. Diane's dedication to helping others makes her deserving of the award.”

 11/24/2020 - Bobby Jackson.  

It is only fitting that our final award goes to an individual who personifies the spirit, charm and history of Rockport – Bobby Jackson. A fifth generation native of Rockport, Bobby has lived here almBobby  Jacksonost his entire life with the exception of attending college at Texas A&I in Kingsville,

 Now retired, he has taught in the local schools for more than 40 years, with the majority of that time bringing Texas History alive for the students at the middle school.  Bobby has received countless accolades during his career, including Texas History Teacher of the Year from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and a feature article in Texas Monthly.

His living history programs are not only shared in the classroom, but in numerous Texas History productions locally and throughout the state.  His unique art of storytelling, drama and humor, while dressed in period costumes, has made him a favorite among students, historians, and Rockport residents and visitors.