2016 CKW LUXE STAR AWARDS
Phyllis Williams: An Artist Who Is Drawn to Serve
CKW Luxe is proud to announce that Phyllis Williams is our honoree for the Constellation Award. This award goes to a woman who is philanthropic and shows sincerity, kindness, and friendship to others.
“The innocence of a child should never be destroyed” – Phyllis Williams
Phyllis Williams grew up in a family that concerned itself with the welfare of others. Its core values became hers, and Phyllis knew early on that serving others would be her passion.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, Phyllis put her skills as a graphic artist to work for Pro Group, Inc., an Arnold Palmer company. Her responsibilities included designing and creating logos for golf and country clubs throughout the country. When she relocated to Houston in 1984, Phyllis became an independent representative for Recycled Paper Greetings and worked with the company until 2011. She also designed a personal line of greeting cards from 1984 to 2011.
Currently, as the founder and president of Birdiewear, Inc., Phyllis designs her own line of golf apparel, something she loves doing. In her spare time, Phyllis plays golf and goes hiking.
Phyllis was introduced to Houston’s charitable community in 1991 when she became a member of the Houston Cosmopolitan Exchange Club and volunteered her time to assist with raising funds for the Houston Police Activities League and the Escape Center for Women. While volunteering, she discovered her artistic training and talent were invaluable to designing and setting up visual displays for silent and live auctions. Her first foray into this kind of fundraising transpired when she served as co-chair of Chuck Norris’ Kick Drugs out of America’s annual gala in 1997. Now known as KICKSTART Foundation, its mission is to change and help save the lives of children through martial arts programs by providing them with life skills to bolster their self-image. Phyllis had found her calling. The 1997 silent and live auctions for the gala netted over $400,000. During the years she has served as KICKSTART’s annual chair for the silent and live auctions, the foundation has raised over $4 million. In 1999, Phyllis was chosen to serve as a member of the foundation’s advisory board. She has done so ever since. In 2007, the foundation made her a Team Spirit Honoree.
Phyllis and her husband, Cornel A. Williams, are drawn to organizations that benefit, nurture, and motivate children and that’s where they focus their volunteer work. “Family comes first,” the Houston Chronicle quotes Phyllis as saying. As a testament to Phyllis’ belief in family, she has devoted herself to spending quality time visiting her mother, who has Alzheimer’s, in Tennessee every six to eight weeks. She is Phyllis’ number one priority.
Although her heart is very much with KICKSTART Foundation, Phyllis has donated her considerable artistic talents as silent auction chair or co-chair to a number of different charities. In 1998, she served as silent auction co-chair for Search Foundation and Houston Children’s Charity annual gala. Later that same year, she produced a silent auction holiday catalog to help raise funds for the Child Development Center, and in 1998 and 1999, Phyllis had the honor of serving as the live auction chair for the Mayor’s Grand Prix Gala. It was her distinct pleasure, in 2000, to serve as the annual gala co-chair, and, in 2002, to serve as the silent auction chair for the Zina Garrison All-Court Tennis Foundation. In 2014 and 2015, Phyllis was honorary chair for Houston’s Youth Program for Enrichment’s (HYPE) annual golf tournament.
In her tireless effort to provide assistance where it is needed, Phyllis has been a member of the Texas Gulf Coast March of Dimes Guild since 1997 where she regularly volunteers as a raffle committee member. She was also named to the Houston Chronicle-Neiman Marcus 2009, 2012, and 2014 Best Dressed lists, which benefit the March of Dimes. As a third-time member of the Houston Chronicle-Neiman Marcus Best Dressed list in 2014, Phyllis became a Hall of Fame honoree. Phyllis was also honored for her distinctive style by Onyx Style Magazine in 2004.
As well, in 1997, Phyllis became affiliated with Project Row Houses, Inc., volunteering on the host and decorating committees for its annual gala. Her commitment hasn’t ended there. Since then, Phyllis has served the organization in a number of capacities, from acting as committee member for its bi-annual Mother and Daughter Tea to chairing the annual gala and auction in 2004. She has also been a member of its board of directors since 2002 and has served as vice president.
Due to the alarming number of reported sexual abuse cases in Houston, Phyllis began volunteering her services at The Children’s Assessment Center, which provides a safe haven for sexually abused children and their families. In 2012, Phyllis was honored by them at their annual Spirit of Spring Luncheon.
For her unending volunteerism, Phyllis was honored in 2009 with the Excellence in Bloom Award at the Huffington Center on Aging Luncheon. The full list of organizations Phyllis has been part of and continues to assist is too long to include here, suffice it to say Phyllis gives selflessly of her time to many worthy institutions that make a difference within the Houston community.
As if by prophecy, Phyllis knew from an early age that she was meant to help others. From that time on, she has never wavered in her commitment to serving individuals and her community. Her motto, which appears above, personifies her style of volunteerism with charities whose primary focus is on bettering the lives of children.
CKW Luxe would like to congratulate Phyllis Williams on being the Constellation Award honoree. As the embodiment of the award, Phyllis is guided by her empathetic and caring nature to help assist the innocent members of society who aren’t able to speak for themselves.