Home » Community » Make a Difference Awards

Make a Difference Awards

Kowalski-Legacy-AwardRosemary Kowalski, founder of The RK Group, was honored with the Legacy Award during the 2012 Make a Difference Awards hosted Sept. 12 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Sunset Station after being nominated by SA Youth.

Established in 2009, the awards were inspired by Lana Duke, owner of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and her commitment to giving back to the San Antonio community. The awards also help raise funds for Roy Maas’ Youth Alternatives, a nonprofit organization that has been serving abused, neglected and abandoned children since 1976.

The annual awards recognize well-known community leaders as well as small organizations and other individuals who do wonderful things for the community, often with little or no recognition. Duke’s co-chair this year was philanthropist Harvey Najim, a previous Making a Difference Award recipient.

For 66 years, The RK Group has been the premier catering company for the Alamo City, and since then Kowalski has supported numerous charities and nonprofits in her efforts to make San Antonio a brighter place to live. In July, she partnered with local nonprofit SA Youth to create Rosemary’s Kitchen, a culinary arts training program for at-risk young adults, ages 16 to 24, to prepare them to become future chefs.

SA Youth CEO Cynthia Le Monds said, “SA Youth nominated Rosemary for the award because of her dedication to helping us develop our culinary arts training program, and her dedication to making a difference in the lives of youth in the community.”

Kowalski said she was honored to receive the award. “I am very fond of Max Lucado (preacher at Oak Hills Church), and I read one of his inspirational readings every day, “Kowalski said. “He talks about how a lot of people think only about themselves. But according to what he preaches, he says not to worry about the state of the government, the economy or the weather. If you do things for other people, everything will be taken care of.”

Duke believes that community involvement is key for company success. Over the years, it became evident to her that Kowalski shared that belief. Thus, Duke created the Make a Difference Legacy Award to present to Kowalski in recognition of her years of making a difference in the community.

“Rosemary worked her way up the hard way to achieve her outstanding success, and it wasn’t always easy, especially for a woman,” Duke said. “She is a role model to all of us – a shining example that hard work and determination will always pay off. And Rosemary’s Kitchen is a perfect example reaching out to youth, and knowing that these simple actions will impact generations to come.”

Sponsors of the 2012 Make a Difference Awards were The Greehey Family Foundation, Grand Hyatt San Antonio, South Texas Surgeons Professional Association, San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind, Burdick Custom Homes, Mont Blanc, Glazer’s, Fresh Urban Flowers, KSAT12, San Antonio Woman, Valero, Silver Eagle Distributors, NuStar Energy LP and Rudy’s Bar-B-Q.

About Rudy Arispe

I'm a storyteller with 25 years experience in print journalism. I have written news and features stories for the San Antonio Express-News, La Prensa, UTSA's campus publications, University of the Incarnate Word's alumni magazine, and many others.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login