2021 Henry McMahon Advocacy Award
Awarded to Kendall Antonelli
Presented by Kids Living Well
At this time, we will now present the Henry McMahon Advocacy Award.
The Henry McMahon Children’s Advocacy Award is named after Henry McMahon, who volunteered tirelessly on behalf of the children, youth and families of Travis County. His passion was to strengthen children’s mental health systems of care and promote collaboration across child serving agencies. The award is in place to honor the advocacy work of those who voluntarily, without being paid, give of their time and energy to advocate on behalf of children with mental health needs.
Kendall Antonelli is an active volunteer for the Austin Child Guidance Center. She has volunteered on the Austin Child Guidance Board for the past 4 years. Her dedication to the Austin Child Guidance Board reflects her lived experience. One of the most impactful ways Kendall promotes awareness for children’s mental health is through the sharing of her personal mental health journey. As the chair of ACGC’s Voices for Children Giving Society, Kendall has shared her personal story at numerous events. Whether she is the speaker at a fundraiser, featured in an article or podcast, Kendall believes in being open about her mental health journey, the highs and lows. She believes that a “brain & feelings doctor” is just as important as a physical body doctor. Last year Kendall shared her own mental health journey by giving a talk to young adult women at The Refuge, for domestic minors of sex trafficking.
The Antonelli’s Cheese Shop has the tag line of “Do Good, Eat Good” and for Kendall Antonelli it is more than just a mission statement for the company, it is a motto that applies to all realms of her life.
She is also a member of Impact Austin and serves on the Grant Review Committee (2017 to present). Through Impact Austin, they recently co-launched a Ripple Reads Book Club for parents interested in raising race conscious kids. In 2018, she volunteered as the chair of NAMI Walks and put together a team of more than 50 walkers who raised over $14,000 in support of mental health.
She volunteers with her children’s school efforts to create a more inclusive, beloved community, like serving as a facilitator for their Pollyanna Conference and working on a bi-weekly action group. She has volunteered as a mentor for the Girls Empowerment Network. Kendall has also used her profile to serve as a host for numerous fundraisers including Breakthrough Central Texas, The Thinkery, and Austin Child Guidance Center.
Unofficially you will find Kendall popping up as a volunteer where there is a need. After the winter storm of 2021, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop turned a tragedy into an opportunity to do good. After the cheese shop lost power, Kendall and her staff hustled to recruit volunteers to help them box up the food that would have gone bad without power. They then donated 150 Protein Packs to the RBJ Health Center. She ran donations drives for Hurricane Harvey relief and hand delivered in the immediate aftermath of the storm diapers, feminine hygiene, and kids’ kits. She also ran donations drives for families seeking asylum in the “tent camps” in Matamoros on two different trips in 2019 & 2020. The Antonellis cooked hot meals for 1000 individuals and handed out goods at the border.
Kendall Antonelli is an outstanding volunteer. Her volunteerism is making a difference for children, youth, and families in our Travis County community. We are proud to award her the 2021 Henry McMahon Children’s Advocacy Award.
—Kids Living Well