Survivor, Author & Activist
Celia Belt is the founder of the award-winning, Moonlight Fund Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional assistance to burn survivors and their families. A burn survivor herself, Celia recognized the need for survivor care. Along with Henry Coffeen III, she started the Texas-based charity in 1998. Since then, the organization has helped nearly 10,000 burn survivors across the United States.
Celia oversees grant writing, program development, event planning and fundraising for the Moonlight Fund. She provides support to burn survivors and their families by visiting them at the hospital and hosting support groups. She also organizes and executes award-winning healing retreats for burn survivors and their families.
Before starting Moonlight Fund, Celia had a successful career in commercial and residential real estate. She also spent seven years as a national sales manager for food manufacturer VanHolten’s, where she was instrumental in product development and marketing.
In 2012, Celia was invited to speak at the Pentagon on behalf of Moonlight Fund when the charity was named the top nonprofit in the country and given the Fisher House/Newman’s Own Award for improving the quality of life of military members and their families. Celia continues to speak on topics that include the needs of burn survivors, nonprofit management, overcoming childhood trauma, and empowerment for women.
Additionally, Celia has been awarded the San Antonio Business Journal’s Women in Leadership Award. She was chosen as a mentor three years running for the Business Journal’s Mentoring Monday event. Most recently, Celia was presented with the Distinguished Citizen Medal by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, and now a Bandera, Texas resident, Celia has published various articles in prominent publications including San Antonio Medical Magazine and Game Trails. When Celia is not caring for burn survivors, serving on committees, or writing grants, she enjoys spending time with her adult children and her grandson. She has been an equestrian for many years and enjoys riding on her ranch.
My early career was in marketing and sales management. I gave up that part of my life in 1998 when I founded the Moonlight Fund, a non profit for burn survivors and their families and have worked pro bono since. My public speaking career developed organically as they charity grew and writing a book, seemed a natural thing to do, telling the story of not only my life, but also of the thousands the fund has helped and how the charity developed over the years.
I’d like to slow down, yet, I have always thrived off caous….I look forward to seeing the Moonlight Fund grow and help more people. the first 12,000 we helped have given me the courage and strength to help even more
The Moonlight Fund being chosen as the top non profit in the nation, I accepted the award from General Martin Dempsey after speaking at the Pentagon , another award that is dear to me, is having been awarded the Distinguished Citizen Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Perhaps my greatest success is having raised three, well rounded , bright and kind children.
Leaving my husband, Dick, he co founded Moonlight Fund with me and Henry Coffeen.
Laugh you live….Cry you die….
Elizabeth the first
Raise funds for the Moonlight Fund, care for horses and dog
Remain healthy and always be kind to others
Find a way to better the life of someone else
Organize an activity that will enhance the life of a burn survivor
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
It’s small, known as the Cowboy Capitol of the world, I live outside of town, the hills surround my house, the sunsets speak to me in the language of love, I feel very blessed
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Oatmeal in the morning, my favorite restaurants are scattered across the U.S.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Usually checking email or typing a grant
10:00 AM – Working in the pastures
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? My back porch
7:00 PM – Working the horses
11:00 PM – Sleeping
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Water with Lemon
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Where to go- This App leads me to the Doggy Potty stations at airports. I always travel with my German Shepard, Taboo
What should everyone try at least once?
Deep Sea Fishing
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In the woods
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
I was volunteering on the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center. I was appalled to learn that there was next to nothing available in the way of non profit support for burn survivors. That was 21 years ago, the is still very little support.
Career advice to those in your industry?
It is difficult to raise funds for burn patients. Keep trying, find your voice and don’t give up.
How do you motivate others?
With love and kindness…and by example…
What else to know:
Monday, January 7th
The Patricia Raskin Show
January, Date TBD
Tuesday, November 6th
“The Frankie Boyer Show”
Biz Talk Radio