Houston Treasure for 2011
Photo by: Gittings
Carol Sawyer’s parents and her faith instilled in her a passion for performing acts of human kindness. She remembers going door to door to collect coins for the needy and listening to her mother reading books into a Taping for the Blind “record player” in their home. Carol’s early encounters with serious disease led her to believe that advancement in medical science was an important answer to human suffering. Later in life, Carol’s enthusiasm for medical research engaged her with The Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Ten, Baylor Guild, BRASS, Baylor Teen Clinics, and Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, serving on their boards and gala and executive committees. Under her presidency, the 2004 Honor Your Father Campaign raised over $6.4 million for research and treatment.
Carol also serves other health-related boards, including the Women’s Fund for Health, Education and Research. Her continuing committee service includes annual events for CCFA (Women of Distinction and Winter Ball) as well as AHA’s “Go Red for Women” Luncheon.
A longtime and continuing supporter of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in myriad leadership roles, Carol was instrumental in the creation of the Champion Wine Auction, which she titled “Rodeo Uncorked!” and which has contributed over $12 million dollars to the Rodeo’s mission of direct educational support to the youth of Texas. She is a hands-on member of A Better Night’s Sleep Team for Houston Children’s Charity which gives away 100 beds (mattress, frame, pillows, linens) to children who might otherwise sleep on a floor. What’s more, Carol personally delivers her freshly-baked goods to children with cancer for the Caring Bakers program of Texas Children’s Hospital.
Carol has chaired major events for the Parkinson’s Society, Cancer League, Houston Symphony, March of Dimes, American Diabetes Association, and National M.S. Society, among many others. She is Vice President of Joyful Toyful Fiesta, which benefits five local children’s and family charities.
Carol’s husband is beloved, retired veterinarian Tom Sawyer. They love traveling overseas when they can to absorb other peoples’ cultures. Between (and during) trips and volunteer commitments, she is disciplined about her exercise regimen and commitment to wellness. She is humbled by to be honored as a Houston Treasure and hopes it inspires and empowers others to do even a small thing to “pay it forward.”