By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Sterling Coats and Haley Plotkin

Center for Child Protection’s Play Bingo Dazzles

The crowd at PLAYBINGO

THE SETTING: A beautiful fall afternoon was the recent setting for one of the city’s most anticipated fall competitions. Not U.T. Football, yet rather bingo. A sold-out crowd featuring 1,200 of the city’s most notable sociables, philanthropists and VIP descended upon the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Austin for the 19th Annual PlayBingo Ladies Luncheon for a day of fun, prizes, and most of all…fundraising.

Belinda Hannah, Keely Dall, Michelle Atkins, Lyn Vogt, Jamie Sorrentino, Amy Beard, Anne Doctor, Christol Farris, Dillon Womack, Gerri Skutta and Jennesa McBride

THE STYLE: The festive-chic attire created a welcoming environment for all who attended. Before the main event, revelers were able to peruse the over 125 silent auction items up for bid which included fine jewelry, designer handbags, items from local merchants, vacation packages, and much more. In the crowd, many coordinated outfits were spotted as many dressed in specific themes with their tablemates.

Melissa Cason

The festivities then moved into the ballroom to PlayBingo. Emcee Jim Spencer effortlessly kept things moving a brisk, fun pace as the games were played. In total, eight games were played with the winners taking home prizes from such luxury brands as Neiman Marcus, Lake Austin Spa & Resort, and Diptyque. Guests left the venue wanting more and already brimming with anticipation for the 20thanniversary of the beloved event next year.

Silent Auction items

THE PURPOSE: The event, hosted by the Friends of Christopher Guild, raised over $1 million for The Center for Child Protection. Funds raised from the event will go towards providing services including forensics, therapy, medical and educational services for abused children as well as children who have witnessed violent crimes.



By Lance Avery Morgan        Photography courtesy of Landry Distillery


With the holidays rapidly approaching, aren’t we’re all seeking the perfect gifts and drinks to serve at holiday dinners, parties, and events? Or, to present as host gifts? The easy solution has been created in the spirits-giving department. We recommend the quality-crafted, premium cocktail using Austin-born Landry Distillery’s signature, Landry Stakes, small batch bourbon whiskey…and Landry Oaks, a rye whiskey double. Each is the perfect drink that gives the comfort of the holidays for any occasion as well as a coveted holiday gift to share with your friends, family, or even your holiday party host.

It all had to begin somewhere with Landry Distillery. The multi-family generation founder and third-generation owner of racing-class quarter horses, Zach Landry, bonded with his grandfather over Quarter Horse racing and how they both considered a good whiskey their favorite drink of choice. Following in his grandfather and uncle’s footsteps, Landry is a devoted bourbon aficionado who has a reputation for gifting friends with limited-edition bottles. After watching the success of thoroughbred focused limited-edition bourbons and contemplating the Landry brand story for many years, he used his entrepreneurial spirit to fill that missing space on the shelf by founding Landry Distillery.

We know that Zach Landry has worked hard for years to craft a bourbon and rye formula that he could make his family proud.  “For the price, it’s as good as any whiskey you can buy,” shares Zach Landry. In November 2021, Landry Distillery’s first two products, Landry Oaks and Landry Stakes, hit the shelves as the first whiskey brand to celebrate the spirit of Quarter Horse Racing. “There’s nothing in the spirits world fostering a relationship with Quarter Horse Racing,” continues Landry. “I’ve always wanted to build my whiskey brand around the dream paying homage to many of the great Quarter Horses.”

The predominant flavor of Landry Oaks Rye is oak wood sugar and peppery grain and leaves the taster with an inviting finish of a peppery rest on the tongue that develops into a caramel and rye bread taste. The Landry Stakes Bourbon’s predominant flavor is a mixture of brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon and surrounds the palate with flavors of wood sugar and a cinnamon and ginger finish.


Landry’s Stakes Bourbon provides us with a perfect holiday cocktail called the Casey’s Shadow. This cocktail contains 2 oz of Landry Distillery’s signature Stakes Bourbon, ½ oz Lemon Juice, 1 ½ oz Demerara Syrup, ¼ oz Allspice Dram, 2 Dash Jerry Thomas Bitters, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 5 Cloves, 1 Star Anise, and a Lemon peel. To create this cocktail, all it takes is mixing the ingredients in a mug with about 6 oz of hot water and finishing it off with a Lemon peel, Cinnamon Stick, and Star Anise.

This holiday season we recommend that you join Zach Landry and his grandfather in their love for sharing a premium whiskey by gifting and drinking Landry Distillery’s signature products. Landry’s fine products can be found at Twin Liquors, Spec’s Wine and Spirits, Total Wine and Spirits, King Liquors, and many independent retailers across Texas. (ABV 45%; MSRP $59.00/750ml). For more information, visit



The Domain Hosts Starlight Soirée with Special Musical Guest Plush

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Ready Set Jet Set

Holidays at The Domain Austin

THE SETTING: The Domain in Austin was the recent setting where several hundred turned out for the shopping destination’s event, Starlight Soirée. Held on a picture-perfect autumn evening, it featured several hundred foodies, sociables and music lovers for good food, great company, and excellent music.

Fleming’s at The Domain Austin

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd began the evening under the beautiful trees along Century Oaks Terrace. Guests were able to get into the spirit of the evening by sampling various cuisines and cocktails that The Domain offers to patrons every single day. Establishments such as Fleming’s really got into the spirit of the evening by having a different delectable morsel each hour with the first hour of the event by featuring a crab cake appetizer, the second hour featured a New York Strip and Tater Tots main course, and the final hour featuring a Chocolate Butter Cake for dessert.

Plush Performs

Additionally, partygoers shopped at favorite boutiques including Lily Pulitzer and Texas-based Kendra Scott, who generously donated a portion of sales during the evening to Ballet Austin. For those looking for a nice keepsake for the evening, a beautiful flower bouquet from Burlap and Twine was offered. The festivities were capped off by local band, Plush, whose show-stopping performance allowed revelers to dance the night away in the beautiful, fall air.

Burlap and Twine

THE PURPOSE: A portion of the funds raised from the evening benefited Ballet Austin. The critically acclaimed Ballet Austin, one of the fifteen largest ballet companies in the United States, features original performances including celebrating the 60th anniversary of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, where each individual performance features an Austin notable as Mother Ginger during the holiday season.



By Lance Avery Morgan

Leaders aren’t born that way. They develop and that development is an ongoing opportunity. In fact, we’ve found a new book that can help your own leadership skills.

Authentic Leadership: Embracing Your Archetypal Gifts is a transformational non-fiction book identifying the many outdated behaviors that impact how we show up authentically as a leader whether you lead people or innovation.

The tome offers examples of modeling to identify, activate and integrate these gifts. So, it’s a guide to navigate current leadership evolution. This paradigm shift will change our future innovation, interaction, relationships, and teams.

This book offers ways to:

  • Bring awareness of the state of leadership evolution.
  • Educate on outdated behaviors with tips to activate consciousness.
  • Bring awareness of authentic leadership gifts that may relate to the reader.
  • Provide real life examples through my own stories and observations.
  • Offer stories of how real leaders practice authentic leadership gifts.

To order the book, visit and to follow Angie McCourt on Instagram, visit @Angie_mccourt



Italian Cultural and Community Center’s Annual Fashion Show And Luncheon

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Michelle Watson

Erika Myers and Owen Conflenti

THE SETTING: A beautiful, sold-out crowd of more than 300 guests recently gathered at the River Oaks Country Club, for the Italian Cultural & Community Center Annual Fashion Show and Luncheon. They were delighted to see a runway packed with chic Italian fashions from Neiman Marcus and a dazzling display of raffle prizes, including glittering baubles from Tenenbaum Jewelers. È stato fantastico!

Rose “Rosie” Carrabba and Johnny Carrabba

THE STYLE: Themed Celebrating the Jewels of Italy, the event offered amusements for guests, including an Italian aria performed by soprano Bailey Bower, a silent auction, Prosecco sipping, and the fashion show, which Jeanne Ruberti produced.

Hannah Swiggard and Chiara Casiraghi

Honoree Rosie Carrabba was introduced by her proud Italian son, restauranteur Johnny Carrabba. He had the audience laughing and crying as he voiced his admiration for all the roles Rosie plays as wife, mother, grandmother, restaurateur, and Houston icon. Rosie thanked the audience and her son, while the crowd roared with laughter at her humor and humility, before a video tribute from her friend Steve Tyrell.

Sandra Porter and Gina Gusemano Leck

THE PURPOSE: Sandra Porter and Gina Gusemano Leck chaired the event. KPRC TV 2’s Owen Conflenti served as master of ceremonies, and the Italian Center Executive Director Erika Myers was already wondering aloud how the organization would top this event next year. All luncheon proceeds benefitted the center’s scholarship programs for college students studying here and abroad in Italy. Bellissimo!

Chris Hendel and Katherine Warren