People & Places: Inaugural 'Heart of Henry' benefit to honor Tulsa philanthropists Zarrow, Helmerich
BY DANNA SUE WALKER World Staff Writer
Sunday, February 03, 2013
2/03/13 at 5:15 AM
Mention "Mr. Henry" and almost everyone knows who you are talking about.
He is a man so recognized for his kindness and generosity that the last name of Zarrow isn't necessary.
Henry Zarrow, who built a successful life from humble beginnings, is a legendary contributor to the Tulsa community.
Because of his longtime support of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless and because he has been an integral part of its success since it opened in 1986, the center is launching an inaugural event to honor him.
"The Heart of Henry" will be held 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa.
Each year, the Heart of Henry Award will honor a person in the community who shares Zarrow's spirit of giving and will recognize Zarrow's contributions.
This year's recipient is the late Walt Helmerich, who during his life gave generously to many causes and organizations and made Tulsa a better place to life. His widow, Peggy Helmerich, will accept the award on his behalf. The evening will include a formal dinner followed by presentation of the award and video presentation.
In addition to the formal dinner, there will also be a "Cigar and Scotch After-Party" following dinner. The party will include a "Gift Card & Wine Pull" with donations from Tulsa area boutiques and restaurants.
Tickets are $250 per person.
All proceeds will benefit the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.
In 2012, the Day Center served more than 135,000 people during the day and more than 40,000 at night. Offering more than emergency shelter, the Day Center provides a clinic, case managers, community voice mail and many other services to help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency.
"We continue to see large numbers of people seeking emergency shelter and services through the Day Center, including many families with small children," said Sandra Lewis, the center's executive director.
"It is important to understand that people often become homeless due to unforeseen circumstances - a sudden loss of income, a medical emergency or some other major bump in the road. In 2012, we served families, college-educated professionals and people from all walks of life. None of us are immune to becoming homeless, which is why this is such a critical issue for the Tulsa community," she said.
Zarrow was born in Milwaukee, the first son of immigrant parents from Latvia. His parents, Sam and Rose Zarrow, established themselves in the grocery business in Tulsa in 1916, and Zarrow started working them when he was 6 years old.
By the time he was 13, he opened his own grocery store in the Crystal City shopping center. He eventually turned his attention to learning the pipe business.
At 22, he started Sooner Pipe and Iron (what would be later known as Sooner Pipe & Supply). Through the years he acquired Big Heart Pipeline and its subsidiaries, Tri-States, Oil-Trading, Crude Oil, Bow and Tomahawk. The 1960s saw the launch of the international side of the business, with TK Valve expanding into Canada, Scotland, Singapore and Nigeria. Reluctantly agreeing to slow down, he sold Sooner Pipe & Supply in 1998, when he was 82 years old. While a very successful businessman, he is also known for his heart of giving and has been contributing to charities since he was 21.
Lewis said the event is unique in that it will provide the funding needed to continue serving those in need while also honoring those who give back to Tulsa.
"Because of the generosity of the citizens of Tulsa, we are able to provide valued services to those who need the most basic care," Lewis said. "We are thrilled to honor both Walt Helmerich and Henry Zarrow for all they have done to help make Tulsa a better place to live."
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Sharon Catalano at the center at 918-556-6425, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Print Headline: Benefit to honor Zarrow, Helmerich
Jo Lynn Jeter (left), president of the board for Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless; Tom Biolchini, board member and past board president; Sandra Lewis, executive director; and sponsor Rik Helmerich prepare for "The Heart of Henry" benefit named after longtime supporter Henry Zarrow. The event will honor Walt Helmerich on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Courtesy