Joe and Laura Street win top prize at Golden Nail Awards

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Laura Street accepts the Summit Award at the Golden Nail Awards.
Photo by Chip Chandler

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Philanthropists Joe and Laura Street received the highest honors at Thursday's Golden Nail Awards.

The Streets were named winners of the Summit Award, the top honor from the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council Arts Committee. 

"This is very humbling," Laura Street said in accepting the award for herself and her husband, who could not attend. "Thank you so much for this. ... We will always be part of this community."

The awards — held Thursday in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Grand Plaza — honor individuals, businesses and foundations that have made financial or in-kind contributions to or have volunteered for fine arts organizations in Amarillo and the area.

"It's really important for entities in our area to be able to honor and say 'thank you' to people who suppport them, to show them how much we appreciate everything they do for us," said Kashion Smith, the CVC's director of tourism. "For a town our size, the support we have from local and area people is just astounding."

Those nominated for this year's awards by area arts groups were responsible for donating nearly $2.1 million to the organizations, with nearly $1 million of that coming from individuals, according to Smith.

Awards were given in seven categories, culminating in the Summit Award.

"This award could indicate an exemplary level of monetary contribution, a dedicated loyalty to governing boards, an extraordinary purpose in volunteerism — or all the above. When you think of the Summit awardee, you think of them in the very highest regard," said Marlies Ballengee, the 2009 winner of the Summit Award, in prepared remarks. "This year’s awardees are passionate about all the arts in our communities."

Joe Street is owner of Street Toyota in Amarillo and active in several arts and civic organizations. Laura Street, a former nurse, headed up the fundraising drive for the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, led the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health and, like her husband, is active in countless community organizations.

"They demonstrate the highest of integrity in business practices, a fierce protectiveness for several chosen organizations and do everything with grace and humbleness," Ballengee said.

Individual awards were given to Louise and Gene Rahll and Steven and Lori Beckham. The Rahlls hired the Amarillo Symphony to perform in October for a public celebration of the couple's 50th wedding anniversary, while the Beckhams were recognized for generous support of Amarillo Opera.

Business awards were given to Newcrest Image / Embassy Suites / Courtyard Amarillo Downtown for its support of Civic Amarillo's Broadway Spotlight Series and FirstBank Southwest for its support of Amarillo Museum of Art and Amarillo Little Theatre.

Golden Touch awards, recognizing new or innovative arts events, were given to The Citadelle Roadshow Art Traveler, which brought art to 81 classrooms around the Panhandle; the Heart of Texas Art, a celebration of Western culture at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum; and AMoA's "An Evening with Cheech Marin," a lecture by the actor and renowned Chicano art collection.

The Gayden Family Foundation and Amarillo Area Foundation were given foundation / nonprofit awards for their support, respectively, of PPHM and Amarillo Opera.

Angie Hawkins of Canadian, who'll lead the town's children's summer theater camp, and Alfonso and Britny Zambrano, who chaired AMoA's 2016 Achievement in Art gala, won the Up-and-Coming Distinguished Volunteer Awards.

Distinguished Volunteer awards were given to Jackie Creel of Midwest City, Okla., for her work with students in Stratford, Amarillo and elsewhere, and to Dorinda Creel for her work with Lone Star Ballet.




Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.


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