Nearly 1,200 people gathered Feb. 16 to honor entrepreneur and community builder Raul Estrada at The Catholic Foundation’s 37th Annual Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole. The annual dinner recognized the restaurateur, construction business owner and real estate developer for the significant impact he has made in the Catholic community through his selflessness and generosity. The Catholic Foundation Award, dating back to 1983, is an annual tradition that honors exemplary Catholic leaders in the community for their distinguished service and support in furthering local religious, charitable and educational needs throughout the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. “Raul Estrada is a driven change-maker, invested community leader, selfless giver and worthy recipient of The Catholic Foundation Award,” said Matt Kramer, President and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Raul has played a critical role in strengthening our Catholic community by overseeing new school construction, supporting multiple charities and advocating for unity in the Dallas area.” In recognition of Raul, The Catholic Foundation awarded $5,000 grants to Catholic Charities of Dallas and Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, two organizations at which he has served in leadership roles. The Foundation also presented the Hal Tehan Scholar Award to Gerard Cardenas, a junior at Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep. Raul, a successful entrepreneur, immigrated with his parents to Dallas from Mexico when he was a young child. With tuition assistance, he attended local Catholic schools, and before he turned 16, he had worked nine different jobs in the Dallas area. With dedicated mentors and Raul’s great attitude, he was working for himself by the age of 26. Raul utilizes all his skills and connections in business and to help those in need. Raul owns and runs multiple locations of his restaurants, Las Ranitas and Los Sapitos. He began his construction business building and finishing out new restaurants and by building and financing homes for his employees. Raul has saved the Catholic Diocese of Dallas millions of dollars by participating in and managing construction projects at St. Mary of Carmel, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Saint James Parish, Cristo Rey High School, Catholic Charities Dallas, St. Jude Center and more. He is also a founding board member of Cristo Rey Dallas and served as a trustee of The Catholic Foundation for six years. He currently serves as a board member of Catholic Charities and is a founding board member of #BeGolden, a social awareness campaign that seeks to deliver a message of unity, civility and empathy for our immigrant community by following the Golden Rule.