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A Call to Action

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Men of Austin: When it comes to giving, Don’t Do Mild.

By Roy Spence, Photo by Eric Doggett.

In the winter 2011 issue, I wrote the Last Word column entitled 2012. The Year of the Giving Man. The centerpiece of the article was a call to action for the men of Austin to give throughout 2012. I asked guys to pick something they could get behind, and commit, something they could go all in with. The only requirement was that men needed to pick something they love and were passionate about, and then make the Giving Man Pledge: the pledge to give of their time, talent or treasure.

ATX Man magazine went all in and, as you can see in this magnificent issue, so did Austin men (and women). So, I would like to give my personal shout out to the people in Austin who signed the pledge and then delivered. The results were that lives were improved in the most awesome city we call home: Austin, Texas. The results made all of us—the givers and the recipients— a little richer for the experience.

As most of you know, my personal passion is helping to re-ignite the Miracle of America—the core ideal of the American Dream—that when America is at her best, it does not matter where you come from, what your last name or zip code is, if you are willing to dream big and work beyond hard and play by the rules, if you can dream it, you can build it. And Austin is at the epicenter of the miracle.

Entrepreneurs are driving innovation and forward-thinking enterprises. They are opening bars, diners, mobile-food vending sites, web companies, social enterprises and marketing agencies. Everywhere you look, the young and young at heart are taking a leap of faith by jumping off the building and building the wings on the w ay down—all driven to build something that makes a positive difference in people’s lives, something that their purpose and passion is calling them to do.

My 2012 Giving Man Pledge was to double down on my annual Don’t Do Mild Award, a $5,000 grant from my startup Royito’s Hot Sauce Company, of which my son Shay (who just graduated from Tulane in the cooking capital of the world, New Orleans) is now the chief culinary officer. Awesome! Because the purpose of Royito’s Hot Sauce is not only to help people spice up their life by cooking with Royito’s (, but also to inspire people to Don’t Do Mild in life by following their purpose and passions, we decided to give two $5,000 grants at the Rise Convention to two young dreamers.

You simply would not believe the extraordinary entries this year. The two Don’t Do Mild grants went to Environmart and the F7 Group, and to VetPro. Check them out. As we enter the season of giving, please join us and choose something that you are passionate about, something that will make this city and your life a little richer. Then give of your time, talents and dollars. And when you do, men of Austin, Don’t Do Mild!


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