[gallery ids="1702,1703,1704,1705,1706,1707,1708,1709,1710,1711"] The 10th Annual Play Bingo! Ladies Luncheon brought another sold-out crowd to the Hilton Austin in support of the Center for Child Protection. Jim Spencer and Cassie LaMere were stellar emcees for the occasion that featured Lexus of Austin as the lead sponsor. The continued support from across the private and business sectors is simply amazing. It's hard to imagine having this much fun for such a serious purpose. The Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children's advocacy center, is the first stop for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and for children who have witnessed a violent crime. All services are provided to children and their protective caregivers at no charge. That mission is aided immeasurably by the support of the Friends of Christopher Guild.
Robert Godwin has been covering the non-profit scene in Austin from the time of blue jeans and backyard barbeques to the black-tie galas of today. With over 20,000 events recorded by word and photo, Godwin leads the leagues in rubber chicken consumption. As a constant witness to the power of publicity, he now seeks to enlist a legion of assistants by sharing his knowledge of the publicity process.
[gallery ids="1714,1715,1716,1717,1718,1719"] It seems entirely appropriate that the Wish Upon a Smile benefit in support of Austin Smiles was held at the home of the owner of one of the best smiles in Austin, Beau Theriot. Situated high on a hill above Lake Travis, the venue brought smiles of delight to all attending. Executive Director Kendyl Daugherty Richards was joined by Board Chair Forest Cook in greeting arriving guests. Beau's home is an astounding showcase of art and antiques, so guests had plenty to see before dinner and dancing to the music of Platinum and the Inside Out Steelband. Austin Smiles, The Austin Plastic Surgery Foundation, restores smiles and provides healthier lives through reconstructive plastic surgery for children in Central Texas and beyond who have complex birth defects. Austin Smiles collaborates with The Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Team at Dell Children's Medical Center to provide financial and program support for patients and their families. In Latin America, Austin Smiles takes a team of volunteer health professionals to various locations three times a year. During these week-long medical missions, the team transforms at least 50 lives. Founded in 1987, Austin Smiles has performed over 4,500 surgeries and uncovered countless smiles.
[gallery ids="1740,1741,1742,1743,1744,1745,1747,1748"] The 14th Annual Awards Luncheon, Champions for Children, benefiting the Helping Hand Home for Children is one that will be talked about for probably years to come. Event Chairs Suzy Balagia and David Roche led a great committee in creating a moment in time that was simply "gala perfection." They filled the ballroom at the Hilton Austin with a sold-out crowd, secured one of the world's great emcees in Ron Franklin, found an outstanding fellow for the invocation, Monsignor Bill Brooks from St. Theresa Catholic Church, and created a list of superb honorees. Those honorees included Carol and Tim Crowley for philanthropy, Steve Bewsey (LifeWorks), Lisa Brown (Community Volunteer), Chris Janawicz (Helping Hand Home), Courtney Riley (Settlement Home) and Maxine Roberts and Vicki Howard (Center for Child Protection). These are all amazing people who have earned their honors a thousand times over and above. Everyone present also had a chance to meet Lee Ann Kahlor and Dave Junker whose journey to complete their family by way of five adoptions. The finale which took this event way over the top was the keynote speaker, Elizabeth Smart. This young woman was kidnapped when she was only 14, suffered through 9 months of captivity and is now sharing her message with the world. Now 25 years old, Ms. Smart spoke with a passion, a courage and an intelligence that far transcends her years. She tied her story to the mission of the Helping Hand Home so exquisitely, that she could give lessons to speakers of much more experience.
[gallery ids="1690,1691,1692,1693,1694,1695,1696,1697,1698,1699"] Austin Community Foundation’s annual Celebration of Giving on October 16th was a winner! On the first evening of fall weather, more than 300 guests enjoyed a fun night at the Circuit of the Americas F-1 racetrack. The evening included a thrilling tour of the 250-foot tall Observation Tower overlooking the track, a sneak peek at a F-1 race car and cool jazz by Felix and the Bonobos. Later, during a hearty surf and turf dinner, Esther's Follies performed favorite skits, including a few humorous takes on the Austin Community Foundation. President & CEO Jim Pendergast premiered the organization’s new video focusing on the evening’s theme of “Generosity Multiplied” and followed with brief remarks, while displaying an old banker's desk drawer, on how a single estate gift, from Fannie Gray Leo in 1975, created the Austin Community Foundation and grown into $140 million in assets. Finally, it was time for the evenings awards. ACF Board of Governors chair Steve Shook presented Kelly White, CEO of Austin Children’s Shelter, with the Founders Award, for the organization’s courage and commitment to children in foster care in changing times. Jan Lehman, ACF Board of Governors member and chair of the evening’s event, then honored Luci Johnson & Ian Turpin with the Philanthropy Award for their family’s generations of giving and philanthropic leadership in our community. The event raised more than $100,000 for the Austin Community Foundation’s philanthropy and grantmaking work. Luci Johnson’s remarked "Few know Austin's community better than ACF. After all, the Austin Community Foundation is the arm for many Austinites’ philanthropy. You help so many do so much good. You do it all with no other motive than it's the right thing to do. You have been our invaluable ally in helping us give wisely to the causes we believe in. Thus it is the ultimate compliment to see that you who really know us still want to honor us." Ian Turpin’s added, "ACF is such an invaluable partner in helping Central Texans preserve their family’s dreams for countless local worthy causes. This helps to ensure that Central Texas continues to be a vibrant community with a conscience for all to embrace & enjoy." About Austin Community Foundation: Since 1977, Austin Community Foundation has helped caring people give more than $200 million in grants to make Austin the best place to live for everyone. We help people find creative and effective ways to give to the special causes dear to their hearts—or respond to our growing community’s changing needs. Your desire to give back plus our lasting commitment to Austin creates a positive impact. Together, we are generosity multiplied. For more information: www.austincf.org
[gallery ids="1669,1670,1675,1680,1679,1674,1673,1672,1671,1676,1677,1678"] All photos by Rebecca S. McEntee Hill Country Conservancy’s 7th annual gala, Hill Country Nights, was a sold out, record-breaking evening for conservation! Taking place in the lovely Brazos Hall, guests mingled to the tunes of the Mike Clifford Band, dined on Salt Lick BBQ, and raised over $250,000 for Hill Country conservation projects and the Violet Crown Trail!
[gallery ids="1661,1662,1663,1664,1665,1666"] Young Professionals for People’s (YPP) used their October networking event to spotlight People’s Community Clinic’s (PCC) Reach Out & Read program benefiting early childhood literacy. The light atmosphere of Parkside’s rooftop patio allowed guests to experience a delightful evening while supporting PCC’s efforts to promote literacy among Austin’s youth. Guests were granted admission by donating new or gently used children’s books, which are distributed to PCC’s young patients in the clinic lobby. With one-third of American children entering kindergarten lacking the full range of skills needed to be successful learners, PCC’s Reach Out & Read program strives to prepare children for a positive educational experience by providing them opportunities to read. By increasing positive parent-child literary interactions, Reach Out & Read helps parents develop their children intellectually. Language, words, repetition, and readinghelp stimulate and shape the brain for scholastic success. Reach Out & Read recognizes that children who begin school behind, stay behind, which makes early reading an important part of any child’s future. The YPP organization supports and promotes PCC through quarterly events. Each event allows young Austin professionals to network while supporting the community. Members’ efforts have helped 10,000 PCC patients receive much-needed health care. “Many of the families at People’s lack the resources and opportunities to provide their children access to reading material that is essential in their early formative years. This program is yet another example why the clinic is the ‘gold standard’ in public health by not only treating illness but also offering individuals access to other programs that help them live healthy, productive and fulfilling lives,” said Bailey Tipps, partner with the DEN Property Group and a YPP vice-chair who spoke at the event.
[gallery ids="1647,1648,1649,1650,1651,1652"] The 9th annual Ice Ball benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters brought quite the crowd to the Hilton Austin Hotel. Chief Executive Director Brent Fields was kept busy greeting guests as they arrived in a continuous flow. The evening included a wealth of activities beginning with a silent auction full of treasures, a long line of food stations featuring a collection of Austin's best restaurants and lots of friends to visit. After the live and silent auctions closed, it was dancing until dawn (more or less) to the music of Radiostar. All the fun supported the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters. They were justly proud of the fact that last year, 97% of the kids in the programs stayed in school, improved their grades and avoided early parenting.
[gallery ids="1638,1639,1640,1641,1642,1643,1644"] Dancing for dollars took on a new twist at the Pratham Austin Gala 2013. Gala Co-Chairs Swapna Reddy and Poonam Tripathy called upon some outstanding community citizens to perform Bollywood style--and the attending crowd got quite the treat. Dancing with great energy were--Sonia Kotecha, Dr. Harish Gagneja, Sheila Singh, Gita Oberoi Singh, Dr. Satish Chundru, Heather McKissick and Council Member Mike Martinez. The celebrity judges (Cookie Ruiz, Amanda Dugan, Prakash Mohandas and Rep. Eddie Rodriguez) rewarded the dancers with great scores. Keynote Speaker Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, dinner and more dancing filled the rest of the evening. Pratham was founded in 1994 to combat illiteracy in India and break the cycle of poverty for children with little access to education. Pratham now has a presence in 19 Indian states and reaches 1.5 million children annually. They do an extraordinary job with the funds entrusted to them and cited by GiveWell.
[gallery ids="1626,1627,1628,1629,1630,1631"] The 9th annual Ice Ball benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters brought a very full house to the Hilton Austin Hotel. CEO Brent Fields was on hand to greet guests as they arrived for an evening of dining, bidding and dancing to support the mission of "providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever." The live auction was very live indeed with auctioneer Gayle Stallings leading the bids ever higher.
[gallery ids="1616,1617"] A fascinating project is underway with help from Central Texans. SightsUnseen has ambitious plans to put glasses on the faces of those in need across the world. In countries such as the United States there is one optometrist for every 8000 citizens--in developing areas of the world, there is one optometrist for every 1,000,000+ citizens. Even if those people can get to the doctor, the cost of glasses is usually beyond their means. SightsUnseen will provide self-adjusting glasses to underserved areas of the world. Adspecs are the world's first fluid-filled universal glasses. The user can put on the glasses, press fluid reservoirs until they can see clearly and then snap off the reservoirs--and the glasses are set. They are now ready for all the opportunities clear vision can make possible--such as school and work. For more information, visit the website at www.sightsunseen.org.
Calendar of Events
- The Listening Room at Winflo Osteria Dinner and a Show with Dan Dyer
The Listening Room at Winflo1315 West 6th St. Austin, TX 78703 Thursday, January 16, 2014, 6:30 – 11:30pm On January 16th, The Listening Room at Winflo will be welcoming Dan Dyer for Dinner and a Show…
- Elizabeth McQueen Album Release Party
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue401 W 2nd St.Austin, TX 78701 Saturday, January 11, 2014, 10pm Celebrated Austin artist Elizabeth McQueen is proud to announce the release party for her forthcoming EP entitl…
- The Austin Review Launch Party
LIVESTRONG Foundation2201 E. Sixth St. Austin, TX 78702 Saturday, January 11, 2014, 6 – 9pm Come help us celebrate the launch of The Austin Review and be among the first to view and purchase the first…
- Austin Gives' 2014 GeneroCity Awards
The Four Seasons Hotel98 San Jacinto BlvdAustin, TX 78701(512) 478-4500 Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 11:30am – 1:30pm Austin Gives, a community program committed to encouraging and celebrating business p…
- The Goodnight Presents 2014 Casino Night – All Inclusive NYE Party
The Goodnight2700 W. Anderson LaneAustin, Texas Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 10pm 2014 Casino Night All Inclusive NYE Party 10pm – 2am $100 per person includes: 1 raffle ticket to win a trip to Las Veg…