The 25th Annual Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, led by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Austin Chapter, brought a sold-out crowd to the Hyatt Regency Austin. Event Co-Chairs Kristi Katz Gordy and Eric Scott managed to interrupt the buzz of conversation to greet all those attending. A very special guest, Andrew Watt (National President & CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals) provided encouraging and motivating comments. Serving as Master of Ceremonies was Rebecca Powers, Founder of Impact Austin. From this point on, it was a bedlam of sustained applause for the honorees: Arlene Miller (Outstanding Fundraising Professional); Emily Moreland (Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser); Whole Foods Market (Outstanding Philanthropic Large Corporation); Pediatric Dental Professionals, Founder Danny Watts (Outstanding Philanthropic Small or Medium Corporation); Claire Labry, Karlie Franke, Bridget Black (Kelly Davidson Memorial Outstanding Philanthropic Youth); Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation/Organization); Austin American-Statesman Season for Caring Campaign (Special Recognition); Erika S. Herndon (Outstanding Philanthropist). The cumulative effect of this group is impossible to calculate–but the smiles of thousands are certainly a testimony to good works.
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.
Members and friends of the Women’s Fund of Central Texas gathered recently at the Four Seasons Hotel for the annual Power of the Purse Luncheon. From a beginning meeting in 2004 in Bettye Nowlin’s living room, they now fill the ballroom at the hotel. Event Co-Chairs Molly Butler and Jessica Weaver stayed very busy greeting guests before everyone headed in for lunch and the program. Seen smiling even wider than most were the 2015 Grant Awardees: Breakthrough Austin, CASA of Travis County, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Hope Alliance, The Junior League of Austin, Kids Vision for Life Central Texas, People’s Community Clinic, Saint Louise House and Wonders and Worries. Each received grants of $15,000 for programs that are focused on women and children. Adding to the focus on women and children were the comments of guest speaker, Mindy Montford.
“The Women’s Fund of Central Texas, founded in 2004, engages women of all ages to combine their resources to award grants annually to improve the lives of women and children in our community. A program of the Austin Community Foundation, the Women’s Fund also includes the Women’s Fund Endowment to provide for future needs.” Together they have awarded grants totaling over $1 million to programs that directly benefit women and children.
The Austin Convention Center was glowing in more ways than one at the recent LIGHT Gala benefiting Dell Children’s Medical Center. Gala Chairs Sabrina and Jay Brown led a stellar committee in creating a glorious evening of light and love for the Medical Center. Arriving early and staying late (really late for those attending the After Party at the Four Seasons Hotel!), the crowd proved reluctant to leave the silent auction and friends to move into the ballroom. Once inside, they were treated to the glory of flowers by David Kurio, amazing light ambiance and décor by ILIOS, and music by the Huston-Tillotson Choir and Anderson High School Band. The fireworks began in earnest with the live auction, dancing to Juice the Band and casino action. Support for the evening came from so many businesses and people that fairly small print was needed to fit them all on the program. Special thanks are due to AT&T, H-E-B, Audi North and South Austin, Christian Brothers Automotive, EZCORP, Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships, Chevron-Steve Perry and Julie Williams, and the Austin Vein Institute, Office of Christopher W. Brennig, M.D.
You know a cause is important when a full house gathers at 7 AM at Abel’s on the Lake. Supporters of the Austin Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation are entirely serious about working towards a cure for a disease that attacks every age, gender or group you can imagine. On this morning, Ron Oliveira served as emcee and enjoyed introducing the 2015 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees: Dr. Monty Tew (Medical Honoree); Skylar Green (Youth Honoree) and The Honorable Eddie Cavazos, former State Representative-Corpus Christi (Adult Honoree). Rep. Cavazos was particularly eloquent as he talked about the old mindset that arthritis simply was a part of being old. Finding a cure for arthritis would make retirement years easier, but having 18 month old babies diagnosed with the disease compounds the urgent need for a cure.
Research is the path for finding the cure. A report from Chris Nieto, Arthritis Foundation National Board of Directors member, specified how the Arthritis Foundation is “leading the way” with research grants. He was followed by keynote speaker Ron Franklin with comments on the qualities of leadership.
Ashton G. Cumberbatch, Jr., Corporate Chair for the 2015 Walk to Cure Arthritis-Austin, proved a very enthusiastic cheerleader in rousing the crowd to join in the walk. This year’s walk is set for April 25th at Concordia University with a welcome extended to all–including our four-legged friends on a leash. For more information, please visit www.walktocurearthritisaustin.org.
The annual gala benefiting Manos de Cristo is set for February 13th at the Moody Theater at ACL Live. Gala Chairs Beverly Chasse and Dr. Tony Pacheco have been busy putting quite the evening together. Have to have music at ACL Live, so they have lined up The Pictures to keep toes tapping throughout the evening. Ron Oliveira will serve as emcee–his work will include getting folks to leave the casino games for dinner, the program and live auction.
All the fun will have the very serious purpose of supporting the work of Manos de Cristo. More than 100 people visit Manos de Cristo each day to improve their education, oral health, or need emergency food and clothing. The dental clinic, over the past year, has tripled their capacity to increase their ability to serve. For more information, please visit www.manosdecristo.org
The 8th Annual Dancing with the Stars Austin set a new record with its fundraising at the Hilton Austin for the Center for Child Protection. Event Chairs Katie Jaffe and Venus Strawn were joined by Honorary Chairs Andra and Joe Liemandt in leading the committee and attending, sold-out crowd to a 7 digit total beyond last year’s record. They enjoyed extraordinary support from the private and business community with a special tip of the hat to Title Sponsor Lexus of Austin–who has been supporting the Center from the beginning. Emcee and Dance Director Sabrina Barker-Truscott had her work cut out for her in corralling the three judges: Ed Clements, Jeff Jumonville and Chuck Woolery. The repartee was fast and hilarious with Woolery bringing a gracious charm to the proceedings.
The celebrity dancers and their professional dance partners spent months practicing the routines and earned thunderous applause for their performance. They included: David Dunham & Sarah Berens; Donna Stockton Hicks & Angel Figueroa; Adam Zeplain & Amanda Warren; Cassie LaMere & Gary McIntyre; Sarah Meredith & Matt Stewart; Grant Foster & Bernadette Carmichael; Gene Austin & Taletha Jouzdani; Shelby Marquardt & Rowdy Dufrene; Francie Little & Albert Tailleur; Katrine Formby & Randy Ferguson. Katrine took home the disco ball trophy but every dancer was certainly in the competition.
Helping Hand Home for Children is pleased to announce that the 15th annual Champions for Children awards luncheon raised a record $500,000 to support programs for children who have suffered abuse and neglect. Gifts received on event day generated a record breaking $100,000 and qualified for an additional $60,000 of full matching gifts from the Carl C. Anderson Sr. and Marie Jo Anderson charitable Foundation, ECG Foundation, Nelson & Caroline Puett and Kathryn and Beau Ross. The event took place at the Hyatt Regency Austin‐ Zilker Ballroom and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey was this year’s featured speaker.
R.A. Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher, currently with the Toronto Blue Jays and in 2012 won the National League Cy Young Award. Dickey shared with a sold out crowd his story of suffering from sexual abuse as a child and struggling with suicidal thoughts as an adult. Following the luncheon, Dickey signed copies of his new children’s book about bullying called “Knuckleball Ned”.
The 2014 Champions for Children awards luncheon was presented by Don Hewlett Chevrolet Buick. Ron Franklin served as Master of ceremonies for the 15th year. Chairs for this year’s Champions for Children event were Amber Carden, Ed McHorse and Julie Metzger. Each year the event pays tribute to Austin community caregivers and volunteers for their exemplary work with children’s causes. The 2014 Honorees included; Carment Kiara founder of the Carment Kiara Youth Organization, Carla Cay Krull, volunteer with Helping Hand Home for Children, Kathleen Ridings with The Salvation Army and Dr. Allison L. Sallee founder of the Tejas Family Guidance Center. This year’s Philanthropic Honorees were Mary and Howard Yancy. They were recognized for their dedication and support not only to Helping Hand Home, but also to other community organizations such as People’s Community Clinic, SafePlace and Dell Children’s Medical Center.
About Helping Hand Home for Children
Since 1893 Helping Hand Home has provided a nurturing and therapeutic home for children who have suffered severe abuse and neglect. The Home offers therapy and psychiatric services, education, enrichment activities and foster and adoption services to over 225 children and family members each year. For more information, please visit www.helpinghandhome.org
PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Peary
A beloved tradition, the baby shower celebrates the pending arrival of a new family member, but sometimes the arrival is too soon. For parents whose babies are born into neonatal intensive care (NICU) with critical and special needs, their expectant joy is lost amid the anxiety, fear and stress of being a NICU parent. To honor all the families who have experienced life in neonatal intensive care and to provide new support and programs for families there today, Hand to Hold and its volunteers will hosted its first Baby Shower – Expecting a Bright Future for NICU Families. Guests enjoyed Baby Shower games with a twist as attendees competed to win fun prizes such as jewelry, spa treatments and fine dining gift certificates, all in the pastoral setting of the Austin Country Club on Lake Austin. One of Austin’s most admired runners, writers and a mother of three, Kristin Armstrong spoke about cultivating faith, hope and strength to sustain our families in challenging times.
The event was created by a committee of 24 Austin volunteers led by Jackie Price, Chair, and honorary chairs Carla McDonald, Melinda Garvey, and Meredith Bagan with Hand to Hold Founder and Executive Director Kelli Kelley.
There are 52 premature births each week in the Greater Austin Area – Travis, Williamson, Hays Counties (Texas Department of State Health Services, 2010). Five percent (5%) of all Texas babies are born with one of more birth defect (Texas Birth Defects Registry).
About Hand to Hold
Hand to Hold, a nonprofit organization serving NICU families nationwide, provides comprehensive navigation resources and support programs to parents of preemies, babies born with special health care needs and those who have experienced a loss due to these or other complications. Hand to Hold’s core service is matching experienced peer mentors with new parents who have had a child in the NICU to offer support and equipping parents with education they need to care for their baby, family and themselves. Hand to Hold was the 2012 recipient of the Becky Hatfield Family Support Award, given by the National Perinatal Association. All services are offered without charge. For more information, visit www.handtohold.org or call toll-free 855-H2H-NICU.
It was a sold-out crowd at the Four Seasons Hotel that chose to “dream” with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Austin at the Dreams Gala. Gala Chairs Gretchen and Matt Mitchell rejoiced with their committee members as the crowd poured into the hotel. With so many friends (and silent auction items!), it took considerable persuading to move everyone into the ballroom for dinner and the program. Dave Jarrott served as emcee and kept events flowing. Throughout the evening, the ZACH Pre-Professional Company amazed with their vocal renditions of numerous hits. Of particular merit were the comments of Bill Noble, Club Alumnus and Board Member. The fun continued into the wee hours at the After Party.
All the above was to support the mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Austin: “To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.” To learn more about the Club, please visit www.bgcaustin.org
The first real chill of the winter gave a brisk nudge inside for those attending Beauty Unveiled, benefiting Hospice Austin, at Brazos Hall. Already delighted with the warmth inside, guests were then astounded at the floral fantasy created by David Kurio and crew. Draped eucalyptus and pink orchids created the dinner venue of the season. Cuisine by La Condesa and wines by The Red Room Lounge more than lived up to the setting. Music, bidding and dancing continued well past the pumpkin hour resulting in outstanding support of the Hospice Austin mission.
Calendar of Events
- Celebration of Art FUN-Raiser
Art for the People 1711 S 1st Street Austin TX 78704 Friday, March 24, 6:30pm – Monday, March 27, 2017, 9pm Celebration of Art FUN-Raiser! Friday, March 24th (6:30-9:00p) Art of Celebration Group Exhi…
- MotoAmerica Livery Reveals presented by Treaty Oak
Container Bar 90 Rainey St, Austin, Texas 78701 Monday, March 27, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30pm The 2017 MotoAmerica off-season mystery will come to a climatic end at this time with the revealing of several tea…
- Parkside Projects’ Beverage Series: Amari Class
Olive & June, 3411 Glenview Ave, Austin, TX 78703 Monday, March 27, 2017, 6:30 – 10pm Join Parkside Projects at Olive & June for the 2nd installment of its Beverage Class Series – Amari Class,…
- Ella Goes to Round Top
Hotel Ella1900 Rio Grande StAustin, TX 78705 Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 9:30am – 10:30pm Hotel Ella and Texas Monthly are offering guided day trip packages to the 49th Annual Spring Antique Fair in Roun…
- Two Guys on Your Head: Are We Conscious Automata?
Cactus Cafe2247 Guadalupe St, Austin, Texas 78712 Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6 – 8pm In this exciting collaboration, the Ney teams up with KUT Radio to present Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and…