Incarnate Word Academy recently honored Sr. Mary Brendan O’Donnell, C.V.I., a Sister of the Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, at the Academy’s 2009 Gala, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”
Sr. Brendan was presented with the 2009 Sheehan Award for her devotion of 60 years to Catholic education. This award is bestowed upon individuals who demonstrate integrity, passion and excellence in their field, making them leaders and role models in the community, according to IWA.
George Strake, Jr. also presented O’Donnell with the Yellow Rose of Texas certificate which is given only through the Office of the Governor and recognizes women for significant contribution to their communities.
“What a spectacular evening it was for Sr. Brendan and for Incarnate Word Academy,” said school President Sr. Lauren Beck, C.V.I. “We are so thankful to everyone in the IWA Community who shared and supported our special evening.” Sister Lauren also mentioned that the Sr. Mary Brendan O’Donnell Scholarship was introduced that evening. “This is a great tribute to Sister who has devoted so many years, in particular at IWA, raising money so that many students could receive an excellent Catholic Education. Sister Brendan’s legacy will continue after her retirement.”
The evening included entertainment by the St. Thomas High School Jazz Band and an Irish step dancing performance by IWA Senior Lydian Lopez. A tribute video of O’Donnell was also featured. The gala’s emcee was Ron Trevino of KHOU/Channel 11.
The dedicated gala committee was under guidance of Event Chair Linda Camarillo and Co-Chairs Connie Gonzales, Mary Sass, Kathy Simpson and Mary Jane Smith. More than $235,000 was raised in support of the IWA’s continuing needs of advancement in technology.