Philanthropy takes many forms in greater Round Top. The wild west spirit and tenacity attributed to cattle wrangling and ranch handling tends to breed generosity and a genuine concern for neighbors that has spawned a variety of organizations ready to lend a helping hand. 

In this new regular series, is highlighting some of the philanthropists making a difference, recognizing their major contributions to the nonprofits working tirelessly to serve their communities deep in the heart of Texas. Today, we spotlight Susie Shank.

Susie Shank is a local activist, professional, wife and mother of four. She serves in countless ways for numerous organizations and is the founder of many of them. She founded the local chapter of the Navidad Valley CattleWomen Association and is currently chairing the 5K Ranch Run that will herald the start of the Schulenburg Festival this Saturday, August 6. 

Fueled by beef: 5K Ranch Run participants

The funds raised by the Ranch Run will be awarded to graduating seniors from Fayette, Lavaca and Colorado counties with an interest in pursuing a career in agriculture. The Navidad Valley CattleWomen Association has awarded more than $80,000 in scholarships since 2006. 

Runners and walkers interested in participating in the 5K Ranch Run and supporting area youth can register here, or contact Susie Shank at (979) 820-8964. 

The 2021 recipients of the Navidad Valley Cattlewomen scholarships

Shank is also a founding member of the Rural Non-Profit Networking Group (RNNG) and she helped her daughter found the Grow Wings 4-H Club. Shank is a lay minister and gives much of her time to her church — St. Mary in High Hill. She also currently serves on Parents as Teachers, Turtle Wing and the Schulenburg PTO. The list of additional nonprofit organizations that Susie Shank supports seems endless. This is a woman who is getting it done and stepping up to help the greater Round Top community.

I sat down with Shank to discuss what motivates her and get her tips on how to get involved with nonprofits in the community. How do your personal passions drive your contributions to local nonprofits?

Susie Shank: As we balance God, family and work, it really falls into that priority. All of my nonprofit involvement stems from this.

RT: What would you say is the most important part of the legacy you are creating?

SS: Having a servant’s heart. Be kind always. Leave things and people better than you found them.

RT: Do you have any advice for someone who would like to be involved with a nonprofit but hasn’t taken that step?

SS: Come to a RNNG meeting and hear about the wonderful things happening in our community. Meet the leadership. Sign up and show up.

The RNNG meets the second Wednesday of each month at 10 am at various locations. Check out the group’s Facebook page for more information about the next meeting on Wednesday, August 10.