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A Hero’s Legacy

Honoring Balie Griffith (1931 - 2020)

Born and raised in East Texas, Balie Griffith knew all too well the economical disadvantages children face very early on in their lives.

While establishing himself as a successful entrepreneur and investor in Austin, Balie continually poured his time, treasure, and talents back into the city through his philanthropic efforts. He supported many non-profit organizations throughout his life, alongside his wonderful wife, Beverly.

After first learning about the AVANCE organization from Gus Garcia, Austin's first Hispanic Board President of AISD and elected mayor, Balie knew he had to get involved. He was astounded when hearing that even though only 32% of mothers served by AVANCE had a high school diploma or GED, 93% of their children graduate from high school.

Together, Balie and his wife, Beverly, helped open the AVANCE chapter in Austin in 1998. Over the course of 22 years, the Griffiths have helped thousands of immigrants continue their path to success and economic prosperity through free two-generation education and family support services.

Balie often visited the classrooms of AVANCE-Austin and could see the success of his commitment in the faces of every young mother and her child. And every single person that came into contact with Balie could feel his passion for change.

In 2015, AVANCE-Austin named their annual hero award after the Griffith family, honoring true community leaders within Austin. With the first Griffith Family Legacy Award, of course, honoring Balie and Beverly Griffith.

Often referred to as an "AVANCE angel," by former AVANCE-Austin board chair and 2018 Griffith Family Legacy Awardee Rosie Mendoza, Balie dedicated himself to the vision of AVANCE where children and parents advance to their full potential, transforming our community. To our entire AVANCE familia, he will always remain an "AVANCE angel," never to be forgotten.

Join us in remembering our dear friend, Balie, by posting your favorite photo of him on our public remembrance page and read more about his life here.