A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

Dell Children’s Medical Center Virtual Gala Raises Over $1.6 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Ben Porter Photography and Dell Children’s Foundation

THE SETTING: The top philanthropists in Austin and beyond recently enjoyed an evening of fundraising for one of the capital city’s most influential and beloved organizations. This year’s Dell Children’s Ball went virtual and featured over 2,000 philanthropists from 96 Texas cities and 42 states who accessed the occasion. The event included touching tributes and dazzling musical performances, which resulted in an incredible experience that those on hand will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The fun commenced before the event even began courtesy of the city’s celebrity florist David Kurio, who provided a gorgeous Ball in a Box to the sponsors’ homes and VIP attendees. Guests dressed for the evening with a wide array of styles from Austin casual to fine cocktail attire that allowed revelers to bring the ballroom to them, even in a virtual environment.

 

The evening began with a virtual cocktail hour followed by the evening’s main program. Due to the generosity of the event’s lead sponsor, AT&T, guests were able to view the program from their homes at no charge, which created a welcoming space for all who attended. Highlights of the event included testimonials from two families whose children’s lives were saved due to Dell Children’s Medical Center care and a spirited fundraising appeal. The evening was capped off by a soulful, inspiring performance by Grammyâ award-winning artist, Lukas Nelson.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s event, steered by a committee featuring 21 of Austin’s most influential and philanthropic couples, raised over $1.6 million for Dell Children’s Medical Center. At Dell Children’s, 70% of children who receive care are uninsured or underinsured. The funds raised from the event help ensure that no child, regardless of income level, is turned away from receiving the world-class care Dell Children’s offers.

THE STARS MUST GO ON

THE STARS MUST GO ON

14TH Annual Center for Child Protection’s Dancing With The Stars Goes Virtual

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Jeff Loftin, Haley Plotkin and MJ Routh

THE SETTING: Residences around Austin recently hosted small, socially safe gatherings in support of one of the cities most highly anticipated annual events. The Center for Child Protection took the 14th annual Dancing with the Stars gala online. The virtual event had over a thousand viewers, from Austin and beyond, glued to their screens for a night of dancing and fundraising. It proved that the show must go on, and in this case, the dance must go on, because the needs of our communities remain as urgent and important as ever.

 

THE STYLE: The small gatherings featured supporters wearing their favorite cocktail attire, while others opted to stay at home for a date night while dressed in their finest black-tie ensembles. As guests took to their screens for the evening’s program, they enjoyed the proceedings, which flowed with ease, thanks to emcees Glenn Ball and Holly Mills Gardner. Donors also received a welcome kit from the Center that featured ingredients for the event’s signature cocktail, The Tequila Tango, to help folks find their groove. Video instructions on how to mix them were provided by Society Texas’ own Lance Avery Morgan and Rob Giardinelli.

 

Patrons were then treated to eleven spectacular routines where viewers watched each duo Rip it Up on the dance floor, Vogue a pose, have Sweet Dreams of this Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and head out to the Wild Wild West. Each routine featured color commentary from celebrity judges Gary Little, JR Martinez, and Venus Strawn. Between dance takes, there was a live auction item, the highlight of which was Project Graduation, where donors had the opportunity to sponsor an event that allows for teens exiting the foster care system to begin their adult lives. The festivities were capped off by declaring the winners of the 2020 Dancing with the Stars, Julie Jumonville and Travis Herman, followed by an after-party featuring the tunes of DJ Hexum.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Tracey Marshall and Jenny Mason, raised over $685,000 for the Center for Child Protection. The Center is a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center. In 2019, it provided forensic interviews, medical exams, counseling, and interventions to help begin the healing process from trauma for nearly 3,000 abused children.

THE KINDNESS OF FRIENDS

THE KINDNESS OF FRIENDS

The Kindness Campaign Hosts An Evening Of Giving With Friends

By Rob Giardinelli      Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: Recently, The Kindness Campaign’s Friends-Giving event provided the opportunity for social VIP’s and philanthropists around Austin the ability to purchase a Gala-In-A-Box in celebration of the holiday season, which allowed many in Texas’ capital city to give in a safe, socially distant way. The festivities were capped off with a five-star spread at a private residence in Austin featuring The Kindness Campaign’s founder, Andra Liemandt.

 

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd adorned their favorite ensembles for the alfresco dinner held within the local social distance guidelines. Tables of four were set underneath single open-air tents that created the illusion of an extended family table, allowing families of four the opportunity to celebrate among others safely.

 

To make sure guests were safely able to enjoy the full extent of the evening, each tent featured a customized bar cart featuring whiskey, tequila, wine, and champagne. The intimacy of the evening was perfectly accented by the décor, which featured a soft color palette and warm lighting, which perfectly accompanied the cool yet comfortable Texas air.

 

After dinner, guests enjoyed additional socializing at one of the several plush and luxurious outdoor living rooms on the grounds, again for safe socializing. Fireplaces were placed between every other seating area that kept all guests warm and ensured the fun would safely go well into the night, capping off a magical evening guests will not soon forget.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event raised funds for The Kindness Campaign, which seeks to improve outcomes for young people by improving emotional health through the teaching of a positive self-image, empathy, emotional awareness, and community. This year, The Kindness Campaign donated a meal to a family in need for each Gala-In-A-Box purchased in support of the organization.

SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED

SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED

Performance by Grammy Award Winning Artist Seal Caps Off Andy Roddick Foundation Gala

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt Photography

THE SETTING: The Moody Theatre at ACL Live in Austin was the recent setting for the 14th Annual Andy Roddick Foundation gala. In total, over 2,000 philanthropists, sociables, and music lovers were on hand for an evening that combined two of Austin’s favorite past-times: fundraising and music.

THE STYLE: The stylish crowd began the evening with a VIP reception and cocktail hour. The 400 attendees of the main gala then moved into the orchestra level of the Moody Theatre for the main program. As guests dined, they were treated to videos showing the positive impact the organization has had on many youths in the Austin community. Next was the live auction, which included a tennis match with Roddick at the Billie Jean King US Tennis Center during the 2020 US Open in New York that went for over $150,000 to not one, but two lucky winners.

The patrons of the gala were then joined by 1,600 music lovers perched on the mezzanine level of the Moody Theatre to listen to a concert performed by Grammy Award-winning artist Seal. The legendary performer dazzled the audience with a mix of new tunes and classic hits that had the crowd on their feet throughout…capping off a night for the ages.

THE PURPOSE: The event raised well over $1 million for the Andy Roddick Foundation. The mission of the Andy Roddick Foundation is to provide high- quality learning and enrichment activities for at-risk students during out of school hours so children can discover their passions in life.

 

DANCING DAZZLE

DANCING DAZZLE

13th Annual Center for Child Protection’s Dancing with the Stars Gala Sizzles

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Jeff Loftin, Christina Murphy, Haley Plotkin and Ben Porter

THE SETTING: Against the backdrop of a picture-perfect winter evening, over a thousand of the most notable sociables and philanthropists descended on Austin’s JW Mariott Hotel for the 13th annual Dancing with the Stars. Hosted by the Center for Child Protection, the event is one of the can’t-miss social events of the season. This year’s gathering was no exception, featuring an evening full of fun and show-stopping dance routines, and a special appearance by JR Martinez, a winner of the ABC’s televised version of Dancing with the Stars.

 

THE STYLE: Friends and supporters of the 11 celebrity dancers donned their finest black-tie ensembles, with women choosing an eclectic mix of chic ballgowns with metallics, solid colors, and especially sequins being the most popular. Not to be outshined, the men also brought their finest eveningwear, with many sporting velvet tuxedo jackets, that helped create a festive environment.  

 

The evening began in the foyer of the ballroom for a breezy cocktail hour, where guests got to mingle and congratulate the celebrity dancers they were on hand to support. The action then moved to the main ballroom for the evening’s program. The event emcees, Glenn Ball and Holly Mills Gardner, effortlessly kept the audience engaged throughout the event with a mix of humor and witty banter. Following a moving video, highlighting the purpose of the Center for Child Protection, the live auction had bidders seize the opportunity to purchase an impressive array of items including luxury vacation packages to such exotic locales as Africa, Croatia and Thailand.

 

Then came the main event, the performances by the dancers themselves. One by one, each of the dancers strutted their stuff on the dance floor to iconic songs including Crazy in Love, Gonna Make U Sweat and I Will Survive that kept the audience on their feet throughout. After the dancing competition concluded, the audience vote was tallied with Brian Yacktman and his pro partner, Katrina Repka, were declared the winners. The evening was capped off with an after-party where partygoers danced into the wee hours of the morning to the tunes of DJ Johnny Bravo.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Francie Little and Jenny Mason, raised over $1.1 million for the Center for Child Protection. A nationally accredited children’s advocacy center that offers services ,including forensic interviews, counseling, and medical exams to children who are suspected victims of physical or sexual abuse as well as those who have witnessed violent crime.

 

ALWAYS CELEBRATE LIFE

ALWAYS CELEBRATE LIFE

Celebration of Life Luncheon Features Breast Cancer Survivors, Fashions From Julian Gold

By Rob Giardinelli Photography courtesy of Seton Breast Care Center and the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation

THE SETTING: The JW Marriott hotel in Austin was the recent setting of the Celebration of Life luncheon. One of the capital city’s most anticipated annual luncheons, this year’s gathering met the high expectations, with over 400 of Austin’s most notable sociables and philanthropists for a delightful afternoon of fashion, funand fundraising.

THE STYLE: The luncheon-chic crowd kicked off the festivities in style with champagne during a fun and lively cocktail reception, where the fashionable crowd had the opportunity to mingle with one another. The action then moved to the main ballroom for the program and fashion show. Emcee Lauren Petrowski effortlessly kept the audience entertained as they dined on a light lunch and heard words from key event leaders.

Next, came a series of fashion shows sponsored by Julian Gold and Webber Productions. The first show featured some of the over 120 breast cancer survivors and fighters on hand as they modeled their favorite looks down the runway. The second fashion show featured an array of the latest Julian Gold fashions that dazzled the fashionistas, capping off an afternoon of largesse and style.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Lara Burns Boyda with Fayruz Benyousef serving as honorary chair, raised funds for the Seton Breast Care Center and the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation, which provides awareness, education, and treatment to women who have breast cancer.