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Two Saints and a Taco Tasting


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The University of St. Thomas held its sixth annual Two Saints and a Taco Tasting competition at Saint Arnold Brewing Company on Thursday, April 27th in support of student scholarships. Velvet Taco took home the top prize as the winner of the competition as chosen by three celebrity judges. The “People’s Choice” honor, awarded to the favorite taco among the 400 event attendees, was also presented to Velvet Taco. Runner up in the judges’ category was Escalante’s, and El Tiempo took home the People’s Choice runner up prize. In total, the event raised almost $90,000 for the UST Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, which will give out 11 scholarships to deserving students in the fall.

Attendees had the opportunity to sample tacos from participating local Houston restaurants that included Tacodeli, El Tiempo Cantina, Escalante’s, Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, Little J’s, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Ula’s Mexican Restaurant, Velvet Taco, and Yucatan Taco Stand. A panel of judges for the competition consisted of notable Houstonians Mia Gradney, anchor for KHOU 11, John Marion Carrabba ’80, and daughter Jessica Carrabba ’14. The Chocolate Bar, founded by alumnus Tino Ramirez, served up delectable desserts throughout the evening in the Investor’s Pub room.

Saint Arnold beer was flowing on tap during the course of the evening as guests mingled, sampled the food, and enjoyed the festive atmosphere that included DJ Alex Supgul ‘00 turning out hits, classics, and special requests. Attendees also populated the photo booth that was complete with festive hats and costumes perfect for a taco tasting.

UST alumnus Burney Hebinck ’55 served as chair of this year’s Two Saints and a Taco Tasting and commented, “As a struggling student who depended on scholarships myself, it meant the world to me and changed my life that there were people who were willing to help make it possible for me to continue my education. I am now grateful to be in the position to pay it forward and help students in a position similar to my own when I was starting my journey at UST.”

The evening additionally included a silent auction component, and attendees had the opportunity to bid on exciting prizes in the form of gift certificates for Whole Foods, Airline Seafood and Well Done Cooking Classes alongside season tickets to Texas Performing Arts and a stay at Hotel ZaZa, among many others.

Outgoing University of St. Thomas President Robert Ivany reflected on his final opportunity to attend the Two Saints and a Taco Tasting while serving in the role he has held for the past 13 years at UST, musing, “Two Saints and a Taco is a true highlight on the University event schedule each year. It represents a tremendous occasion for alumni to gather together and support future students.” He concluded, “I will dearly miss being able to attend Two Saints in an official role but look forward to returning in the future to reunite with friends and former colleagues.”


Two Saints and a Taco supports the UST Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, which will be giving away 10 scholarships to deserving junior and senior students this coming fall. For those alumni who were not able to get tickets to the event, but still want to take part in helping our students, we are introducing the “11th Scholarship!” Watch the video below to learn more.


El Tiempo Cantina
Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen
Little J's
St. Arnold Brewing Co.
Ula’s Mexican Restaurant
Velvet Taco
Yucatan Taco Stand

Dessert by The Chocolate Bar


Merchandise may be ordered through the registration link or purchased at the event. T-shirts are $20 and pint glasses are $5. Alumni package deals are available for $75 and include a ticket, t-shirt and pint glass.


Presenting Sponsors

Kelli Kickerillo ‘ 03 and Todd Forester ‘03
Cynthia Gdula ‘96 and Charles Westervelt
IndusRiver Ventures/Vitalus Health/K. Cody ‘00 and Kusum Patel

Celt Sponsors

Danny ‘99 and Jenna ‘13 Elustondo
Marcia Galatas ‘95
Burney Hebinck ’55
Linn Thurber LLP
Sysco Corporation
Paul ‘95 and Janna Vallhonrat

Shining Star Sponsor

Manuel ’05 and Ana ‘05 Aguilar
HEB Grocery Company
Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Hildebrandt
Clay Hoster
Mike ’82 and Jennifer’11 Mengis
Joe ‘69 and Kathy ’69 Ridley
Mari Salazar ‘95
Aaron Stryk ‘01
Uptown Consultants
Karen and Robert Zalud

Saint Sponsor

Jesse ‘05 and Gloria ‘03 Bounds
Ray ‘70 and Rita ‘70 Casserly
Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
Harriet Calvin Latimer
Manuel ’08 and Mary Luna
Michael Parsons ‘69
Raye White
Wrinkle Gardner & Co, P.C.
Diane ‘13 and John Thornton

Fan Sponsor

Alexis Barboza ‘11
Kelly Bosworth ‘08
Anil Chandy ‘00
Chesmar Homes
Chris Clay ‘95
Stephen ‘04 and Brenda ‘05 Cooper
Core Capital Management & Research, Inc.
Cox’s Foodarama, Inc
James Davis
David ‘99 and Nicole Durham
Hank, Anne, Max ‘18 and Abby Emery
Sharon Ettinger and Jim Mzyk
LTC and Mrs. Paul D. Hains ‘14
James P. and Renee Hennessy
Lori and David Hessel
Lee Holm ‘95
Houston Business Insurance
John Rains Kelly ‘69
Walter and Viola King
Konicki Family
Kimberly Lopez ‘90
Donald Lorson ‘68
Todd Mason
Jorge ‘01 and Esther Puig
Cynthia ‘95 and Jim Riley
Teresa ‘83 and Scott Ryan
Jenny Williams ‘86
Maria ’05 and Jack Younger

We would like to invite you to join us in the honor of presenting this event through your support as a sponsor. The continuous generosity of our sponsors has helped us to grow this event and increase the number of students who will benefit from the Alumni Association Scholarships. As a result of the 2016 event, the Alumni Association was able to award over $80,000 in scholarships to deserving students at the University of St. Thomas! In addition to raising scholarship funds for current students, Two Saints and a Taco Tasting strengthens involvement between the community and alumni. Please contact Hank Emery, Director of Alumni Relations, at 713-525-3111 or alumni@stthom.edu if you have any questions.

Download Sponsorship Form

Contact Information

Primary Contact

Hank Emery
Director of Alumni Relations

Secondary Contact

Kedrienne Day
Events Program Manager

Date & Location

Date: 4/27/2017
Time: 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Location: Saint Arnold Brewing Company