2014 Tracey Hilfman Award for Excellence in Humanity Recipients Diane Caplan and Alex Martinez
About Diane Caplan:
Diane Caplan never tires from her professional and endless non-profit work. Last year alone she chaired a sold-out luncheon called Heroes and Handbags for Heroes for children, the organization that helps thousands of children with cancer and their families. She also planned a successful Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation event which awards college scholarships to children who lost a parent to cancer or who have cancer, and children’s hospital arts. Cancer wellness is a subject that is near and dear to her heart. She lost her beloved grandmother Velma Whorton to ovarian cancer when she was five. Her husband Michael’s father, Mel Caplan, died two years ago from bladder cancer, and her own father, Joe Whorton has battled bladder cancer for three years.
Diane is on the board of the Children’s Assessment Center, striving to end sexual abuse of children. Once again, she chaired a sold-out luncheon for CAC featuring Ashley Judd as a key-note speaker. Less than a year ago she successfully chaired the Festari fabulous Unna Notte gala to benefit Bo’s Place, an amazing non-profit that offers support to those who lost a loved one to tragedy or illness.
Professionally, she is the publisher of Houstonia Magazine, owner of West Ave’s chic Vanity Lounge where she also showcases vintage jewelry from her new business Skout. A brilliant business woman, Diane Caplan oversees the marketing for her husband’s popular coffee shop, Siphon. Diane can accomplish more in one day than most do in a month. Daily she helps others by doing numerous acts of kindness. The HRRF is proud to give Diane Caplan the esteemed Tracey Hilfman Award.
About Alex Martinez:
The gift of Alex Martinez is as bright as his smile, laughter, and infectious positive energy. And when he lost his lovely mother Lupita to stomach cancer and his father Cesar, to esophageal cancer, Ales turned these sad occurrences into positives by becoming active in The Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation, especially with the grief counseling for those who lost a parent to cancer, giving educational scholarships. His education began with a full scholarship to “Tec de Monterrey” one of the most prestigious private universities in Latin America, earning a BS in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Physics. He came to the US and taught in public schools for 12 years, realizing the need to help minorities and like the many beneficiaries of the Holly Rose Ribbon Foundation who are in need but without financial resources.
The list of organizations he has participated in includes Houston Parks Board, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Leadership Houston, Camera de Empresarios Latinos, AIDS Foundation Houston, Out for Education, The National Victory Fund, The Human Rights Campaign, Houston Equal Rights Alliance, H.E.A.R.T., The Hispanic Heritage Awards, and the Houston Consular Ball.
Loving art, wellness, equal rights, and education, Alex has served to add the kind touch to impact his friends and family on a daily basis. In addition to his many volunteer activities, Alex is the President of Versatil Group, which provides business development, public and government affairs representation and project partnerships to professional firms including engineers, architects and transportation companies.
About the Tracey Hilfman Award:
The Tracey Hilfman Award represents the highest qualities of humanity that both Holly Skolkin and Tracey Hilfman had. Both women lived a life of giving and continual love for their families and the community. They used their breast cancer as a “health opportunity” to inspire others to wellness, while serving the greatness of the world.
This award is given to someone who personally has experienced a loss from cancer yet continues to serve the world and their loved ones.