The Leonora Kempner Thompson Community Enrichment Award originated from a desire on the part of the Trustees of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund to honor Leonora Kempner (Nonie) Thompson on the occasion of her retirement as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kempner Fund.  She had served on the Board as a Trustee and Secretary/Treasurer for thirty-four years and then for four years as Chairman, succeeding her brother, Harris L. Kempner.

Because of Ms. Thompson’s active participation, dedication, and commitment to her community, the Trustees of the Kempner Fund voted to designate a contribution to The Grand 1894 Opera House to be used as the nucleus of a revolving fund to assist in underwriting an annual special event to raise funds for the organization’s many vital programs and operations.

In 1992, The Grand’s Board of Directors chose to establish an annual event to honor an individual or individuals who had contributed to the enrichment of the community in the spirit of Leonora Kempner Thompson.  They voted to name the annual award in her honor and selected her as the first recipient.

For additional information about the 2022 Community Enrichment Award event honoring Kathrine G. McGovern, please contact Virginia Weber at 409.770.5055 or 800.821.1894.


2020 – Kathrine G. McGovern – event postponed to 2022
2019 – Ray and Vivian Pinard
2018 – Gina Spagnola
2017 – B.J. and Buddy Herz
2016 – Francisco “Paco” Vargas
2015 – Janice and Victor Pierson
2014 – The Honorable Craig Eiland
2013 – Drs. Ben and Sharon Raimer
2012 – Susan Lipnick Lynch and Robert L.K. Lynch
2011 – Cindy and John L. Sullivan and Susanne and Gerald Sullivan
2010 – Mary Ellen and Chuck Doyle
2009 – Burke Evans
2008 – Harris L. Kempner, Jr. and Hetta Towler Kempner (Shrub and Peaches)
2007 – Brenda Levy Hutchings
2006 – Gerry and Gene Hornstein, Lynn and Armin Cantini
2005 – Mary Ann and Jack Stobo
2004 – Margaret and Jim Earthman
2003 – Maureen and Larry Patton
2002 – Pat and Fred Burns
2001 – Tilman and Paige Fertitta
2000 – Diane and Marion Duzich
1999 – Ruth Kempner
1998 – Susan and Johnny Walker
1997 – Lyda Ann Quinn Thomas
1996 – Dennis Miller
1995 – Mrs. Frances Moody Newman, Mr. Shearn Moody, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Moody, Sr.
1994 – Edna and Bill Levin
1993 – George and Cynthia Mitchell
1992 – Leonora Kempner Thompson (first recipient)