SAFE Alliance’s A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Gala Dazzles

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Bobby Scheidemann

THE SETTING: A recent Saturday evening at Austin’s Fairmont Hotel was the setting for the annual SAFE Alliance Storybook Gala. The event attracted approximately 700 of Austin’s most notable sociables and philanthropists for an incredible evening of fun and fundraising.

THE STYLE: The prologue of this storybook affair began with cocktails in the foyer of the Fairmont. Here, the black-tie crowd socialized and mingled anticipating the fun ahead. As the clock struck seven bells, the doors opened wide to the Fairmont Ballroom where the audience went to view the next act of the evening.

As partygoers dined on a sublime multi-course meal, they were treated to the evening’s program. The emotionally-charged program featured touching videos and testimonials of how SAFE has positively impacted many citizens. The next scene of this story was the live auction, which raised over $500,000. Patrons bid on an impressive array of items including a VIP experience to The Ellen Degeneres Show and a private island getaway in Belize for fourteen guests. The fun continued well into the evening as guests danced the night away, creating a happily ever after for all who were a part of this fairy tale evening.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Michelle Long Held and Cindy Klatt, raised nearly $1.2 million dollars for the SAFE Alliance. The mission of SAFE is to end sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence through prevention, intervention and advocacy for change.