Words of Hope

Words of Hope is Caritas' largest annual fundraising event featuring an author or prominent figure whose story reflects Caritas' mission and work. This year's featured speaker is best-selling author Ron Hall. The event will also honor Tomi and Pete Winstead with the 26th Annual Harvey Penick Award for "Excellence in the Game of Life." 

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10th Anniversary Words of Hope Dinner

September 14, 2017

JW Marriott Austin 

Featured Speaker

Ron Hall

RON HALL was a successful art gallery owner who had a healthy bank account but emotionally was running on empty. DENVER MOORE was a homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery – in the 1960s. Although worlds apart, their destiny collided when Ron’s wife Debbie insisted that Ron join her in serving food at a local homeless shelter. As soon as she met Denver there, she had a vision that he would change the city and that her husband must befriend him. Alas, she didn’t live to see the incredible result of the unlikely friendship she initiated. Their story is immortalized in the New York Times best-selling book, Same Kind of Different As Me.

A film adaptation of Same Kind of Different As Me will premiere in theaters October 20, 2017. The cast includes Renée Zellweger (Deborah Hall), Djimon Hounsou (Denver Moore), Olivia Holt (Ron’s daughter), Jon Voight (Ron’s father) and Greg Kinnear (Ron Hall). Denver and Ron’s story was featured as part of the inaugural Words of Hope event in 2008. For the 10th Anniversary, Ron is back to once again share this powerful story and its ripple effect on the lives of others, chronicled in his second book What Difference Do It Make? Sadly, Denver Moore passed away in 2012. His spirit and story lives on to inspire people to take off their racial, social, and economic blinders in order to find common ground.


Presenting Sponsor

Susan and Gary Farmer


Lead Sponsors

Susan and Lane Prickett *


Tracy and Ken Snodgrass



Champion Sponsors

Frachtman, Levy, Saad and Zausmer Families

Sonja and Joe Holt



Advocate & Partner Sponsors











Margie and John Brindley

Harriett and Kenneth Choffel

Fritz, Byrne, Head & Gilstrap *

Beth and Tom Granger

Hahn Public Communications

Waleska and John Lavorato

Laura and Jim McBride

Norwood Tower Management Company

Prosperity Bank *

 Pam and Neel White

Mary and Howard Yancy

*Denotes half sponsorship


Past Inspirational Speakers 

2016   Dr. Jeff Salz and Alepho Deng, author of "They Poured Fire On Us From The Sky"

2015   Bobby Bones - prominent radio personality

2014   Marcus Luttrell - U.S. Navy SEAL and author of "Lone Survivor"

2013   Luma Mufleh - inspirational coach of a soccer team called the Fugees-short for refugees. Basis for book "Refugees United"

2012   Liz Murray - author of "Breaking Night" and whose story inspired the film "From Homeless to Harvard"

2011   Rick Bragg - Pulitzer Prize winning author of "All Over but the Shoutin'"

2010   Leigh Anne Tuohy - the woman whose life inspired the novel and film "The Blind Side"

2009   Jeannette Walls - the author of "The Glass Castle"

2008   Ron Hall and Denver Moore - authors of "Same Kind of Different as Me"