By James Barragan, Staff
Austin American Statesman – July 12, 2016
Terrell Gates, the chairman of the Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area’s board of directors, was announced as the 2016 Patsy Woods Marting Big Giver award winner last week by the I Live Here, I Give Here philanthropy group.
The award is given annually to a person who contributes their time, expertise and money to one of I Live Here, I Give Here’s 611 partner nonprofits. Over the past three years, the nonprofit said, Gates — who beat out six other finalists for the award — racked up 300 hours of volunteer work for the Boys & Girls Club and led the group’s fundraising plans. He has also raised more than $1 million for the group, including his own donations.
Gates, the founder and CEO of Virtus Real Estate Capital, has served on the Austin Boys & Girls Club’s board for nearly a decade and spearheaded the group’s push for a flagship location in East Austin that will increase the group’s capacity and lower its cost of operation. He has also contributed to Mobile Loaves & Fishes, the Central Texas Food Bank, the First Methodist Church and the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
“He’s a successful business person, he’s a successful family man and he supports generous causes, including us,” said Mark Kiester, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area. “We feel fortunate to have him on our board.”
Kiester said Gates rose quickly to a leadership position after joining the group’s board through his advocacy for the club’s mission and his knack for fundraising. Terrell regularly visits local clubs because he believes in personally connecting with the people the group serves, Kiester said.
Larry Meyer, a fellow board member, said Gates is passionate about helping disadvantaged youths and provides great leadership for the board.
“He’s a combination of a visionary guy, an inspirational leader and a good administrator all in one,” Meyer said. “On top of all that, he has a big generous heart and is willing to get his own checkbook out and put his money where his mouth is.”
Gates will receive the award Sept. 9 at the Big Give event put on by I Live Here, I Give Here.
“I Live Here, I Give Here works to inspire the people of Austin and their neighbors to make a difference in their community,” Celeste Flores, executive director of the group, said in a statement. “Terrell Gates embodies that mission by inspiring everyone around him to get involved in improving the lives of our community’s most vulnerable kids.”