The encourager’s legacy: Celebrating selfless dedication to Tempe’s future

40th Don Carlos Humanitarian Awardee, a champion of youth and civic causes and an inspirational future-builder

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Glynn W. Gilcrease Jr. is the 40th recipient of the Don Carlos Humanitarian Award for his decades of volunteer work with youth and civic initiatives and his selfless dedication to Tempe’s bright future. Gilcrease received the esteemed humanitarian award for his decades of volunteer work with youth and civic initiatives and his selfless dedication to Tempe’s bright future. A longtime community leader, Gilcrease has been selected as the recipient of the 40th Don Carlos Humanitarian Award by the Tempe Community Council.

The award recognizes those who enhance Tempe’s livability through impactful, lasting efforts that address vital community needs. It is named after founder Charles Trumbull Hayden, fondly referred to as “Don Carlos” by Hispanic pioneers, and is Tempe’s most prestigious award. Throughout his tenure, Gilcrease has continued his legacy of selfless dedication to human services through leadership with numerous charitable organizations.

He has spent decades volunteering for multiple humanitarian efforts, including longtime support of youth and other civic efforts. His philanthropic efforts have supported Tempe Sister Cities’ international cultural programs and sponsored many youth in their international student exchange program. As a Tempe South Rotarian, he has given years of service to various endeavors, living out their motto “service above self.”

An esteemed trial attorney in Tempe, Arizona, and former U.S. Marine, Gilcrease is known for his multifaceted roles. He’s a prominent member of the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley and has served as both director and chairman. His dynamic talents also extend to his role as a professional Abraham Lincoln impersonator, captivating audiences of all ages, including elementary school children, college students, and Rotary Clubs. His admiration for Lincoln’s eloquent writing is evident. He carries a ragged paperback copy of the 16th president’s great speeches in his coat pocket and reads from it daily. The copy is so worn that the book reads “GREAT PEECHES “ according to Wrangler News reporter Samuel Voas, who wrote about Gilcrease several years ago. The book has been used so much that the “S” has worn away. No surprise because Gilcrease lives by the phrase “What would Lincoln do?” when confronted with a problem.

Gilcrease also believes deeply in being an encourager and discusses the values of being so in his “How to Encourage Others” episode of the “Glynn and Abe” podcast. The episode aired on May 11, 2022, and is available on Apple Podcasts. Spreading kindness and encouragement is something Gilcrease wishes we would do more of on social media, he states in the episode. Gilcrease believes if we spread encouragement, the world will be a better and brighter place for everyone. He tells co-host Anthony Smith he also loves the word “encourager” because it includes the term courage—something Gilcrease ascribes to, whether as a Marine or an attorney. His long-time friend and former attorney, Dennis Gorman, said there was never a case that intimidated Gilcrease.

He’s based his life around the values he learned in the military and being a a member of the worldwide service group Rotary International, adds Gorman. “Glenn has been a Rotarian for many, many years and lives by their guiding principles in all areas of his life,” Gorman said. His standards and ethics are beyond approach, as are his kindness and generosity. Gorman said he knows Gilcrease has even used his personal funds to support the Boys and Girls Club. The long-term effect of kindness, such as Gilcrease’s, is backed by research and underscores the positive impact of kindness on health and happiness, nurturing trust and cooperation within society.

Tempe is the direct benefactor of Gilcrease’s lifetime generosity of spirit, spreading compassion to our community. Gilcreas lives up to the motto, “service above self,” and continues to inspire and uplift many by doing whatever it takes through his commitment to the never-ending service of others.

This year’s Don Carlos awards ceremony, sponsored by the Salt River Project, is scheduled for Sept. 27 at the SRP PERA Club in Tempe. The event celebrates the efforts of individuals like Gilcrease who have contributed to making Tempe a caring community. For inquiries related to the event, tickets, sponsorships and program ads, contact TCC at 480-858-2300 or visit its website at Don Carlos Awards Tempe Community Council .



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