Special to The Texas Catholic
Lydia and Dan Novakov, longtime Dallas philanthropists with a passion for giving people a chance in life while dedicating their time, talent and treasure to serving others in areas including healthcare, Catholic education, children’s charities, the Catholic community as a whole including preservation of the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe downtown, have been named the 39th Catholic Foundation Award honorees.
Married 43 years, the Novakovs are members of Christ the King Catholic Church. The couple will be recognized for their example of continually volunteering to make the local community a better place to live, work, learn and play for all.
On Feb. 19, 2022, the Novakovs will be honored during The Catholic Foundation Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Sara and David Martineau will serve as the 2022 Award Dinner Committee Chairs.
For nearly four decades, The Catholic Foundation Award has recognized an individual, couple or family for their distinguished service and support to further the religious, charitable and educational needs throughout the local Catholic community.
“Lydia and Dan represent the very best in living a life of service from a Catholic perspective. As individuals, and as a couple, they’ve humbly and graciously taken on some of the region’s highest profile leadership roles for charitable causes,” said Matt Kramer, president and CEO of The Catholic Foundation. “Throughout Lydia’s and Dan’s life, thousands of people have benefitted from the funds they’ve help raise, programs they’ve enhanced, and impossible dreams turned into realities. We’re honored to recognize Lydia and Dan with the 39th annual Catholic Foundation Award for a lifetime of doing their very best to serve others.”
The Novakovs met in college as Lydia earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., and a master’s degree from The University of Notre Dame while Dan earned a bachelor’s degree and J.D. degree from The University of Notre Dame. Dan also earned his LL.M., Tax, from the Southern Methodist University.
A Dallas native, Lydia returned to North Texas after college and taught government at Ursuline Academy of Dallas where she graduated. A native of Cincinnati, Dan was a Moeller High School standout and played on the Notre Dame football team for four years, earning the honor of offensive MVP in 1971.
Today, Dan is a member of Frost Brown Todd where he provides legal and tax advice on federal, state and international transactional tax matters.
Lydia and Dan have two children, Isabell and Daniel, and three granddaughters.
Living a Life of Service
The charitable organizations that Lydia and Dan have served as trustees, campaign or committee chairs or advisory council members are numerous.
Among those Lydia currently serves include the Catholic Diocese of Dallas Finance Council, Hoblitzelle Foundation, UT Southwestern Medical Center, The Catholic Foundation as Advisory Council chair, Town of Highland Park, Junior League of Dallas, Fair Park First and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. She previously served on the boards of Crystal Charity Ball Committee, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Senior Source and Ursuline Academy.
Dan currently serves on the AT&T Cotton Bowl Board of Directors, The Catholic Foundation Advisory Council, Catholic Diocese of Dallas involving strategic planning for Catholic schools and co-chair of the Our Faith Our Future capital campaign, Communities Foundation of Texas Advisory Council and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. He also has served on the boards of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Dallas Schools, The Baylor Care System Foundation, SMU Athletic Forum, and the University of Notre Dame Law Association Board of Directors.
They both value their lifelong Catholic schools experience, referring to it as a “total education of body, mind and spirit.” Growing up in devout Catholic households, the Novakovs say their formative years cast a large impression on the faith and family-oriented life they created as young parents and how they still interact with their children and family today.
“We grew up knowing you should be grateful for what you had, and do what you could for others,” says Lydia. “We are humbled and honored to receive the Catholic Foundation Award. This is a celebration of our Catholic community. We have pitched in with many others to help people overcome hunger, to help people have clothes to wear and open up the Catholic education process so that children can obtain a Catholic education if they want one.”
“The Catholic Church extends a helping hand to the less fortunate and provides a path to a life of hope and dignity, and that’s what we attempt to do in serving others,” says Dan. They often call upon the Gospel of Matthew to embody a mindset that helps them to strive to do their best each day. “For the Son of man himself came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. We have been given life to serve others rather than to be served.”
Table and individual reservations for the 2022 Catholic Foundation Award Dinner can be made at The Catholic Foundation. Visit www.catholicfoundation.com, call 972-661-9792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.