CARING HEROES

CARING HEROES

Texas Alzheimer’s Association Honors DK Reynolds As Community Caregiver Of The Year 

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt of Mill Photography Studio

THE SETTING: The Four Seasons in Austin was the recent venue for the Hidden Heroes Caregiving Award Luncheon. The event featured over 200 of Austin’s most notable sociables and philanthropists to honor philanthropist DK Reynolds.

 

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd began the afternoon in the foyer of the Four Seasons, where guests mingled and enjoyed the opportunity to personally congratulate the guest of honor. The festivities then moved to the Four Seasons ballroom for the main program. Highlights of the event included a touching tribute video, words from the Texas Alzheimer’s Association Board President Dr. Char Hu, and a lively Q&A conversation with TAA Board Member Rita Hortenstine and Chief Director of the Center for Brain Health at The University of Texas at Dallas Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman. The program was capped off by honoring DK Reynolds for her tireless work and support as a humanitarian, philanthropist, and dedicated caregiver.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Sarah Beuerlein and Sheri Krause, raised funds for the Texas Alzheimer’s Association. The organization’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders through the advancement of research and enhance much-needed support for individuals, families, and caregivers inflicted by the disease.

LINKS TO THE FUTURE

LINKS TO THE FUTURE

Imagine Muny Raises Nearly $1 Million To Preserve Lions Municipal Golf Course 

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt of Mill Photography Studio

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect evening in Austin was the recent setting for an evening of fun and fundraising on behalf of saving one of the Capitol City’s most beloved institutions. A sold-out crowd featuring several hundred sociables, VIPs, and philanthropists descended upon the Moody Theatre at ACL for the inaugural Imagine Muny gala. It was an evening of touching tributes and dazzling performances, all in the name of Austin’s beloved Lions Municipal Golf Course.

 

THE STYLE: The Cosmic Cowboy chic attire assured a welcoming vibe for all who attended, which could be felt as partygoers ascended the stairs to The ACL Moody Theatre terrace. Guests mingled, caught up with friends old and new, and shared their favorite Lions Course tales…all the while wearing various interpretations of western attire.

 

The festivities then continued on the ground floor level of the theatre for the main program. As guests dined on delectable family-style barbecue, they were treated to a series of touching tributes of how the Lions Course has positively impacted the Austin community since its founding in 1924. Next came a spirited live auction, which featured highly coveted items including a Masters experience with Masters Tournament of Champions’ Ben Crenshaw and Sergio Garcia, diamond jewelry courtesy of Korman Fine Jewelry, and an unforgettable Aspen package. The evening was capped off with a star-studded concert featuring captivating performances by Ray Benson, Lukas Nelson, and Eric Church, as well as a special appearance by Jimmie Vaughan.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event raised nearly $1 million for the Muny Conservancy to preserve and enhance Austin’s Lions Municipal Golf Course. This is so it can become a central green space destination for Austinites, both old and new, to enjoy for generations to come.

LUCK OF THE IRISH

LUCK OF THE IRISH

Harry Ransom Center Hosts VIP Opening Of Women and the Making Of Joyce’s Ulysses Exhibit

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Chad Wadsworth

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect spring evening at The University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center in Austin was the recent setting of the VIP Opening Party of the much-anticipated exhibition, Women and the Making of Joyce’s Ulysses. The exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of legendary literary modernist author James Joyce and specifically highlights the previously unacknowledged role women had in making his literary masterpiece come to life. In total, over one hundred of the city’s most notable literary and artistic patrons turned out for this special evening.

 

THE STYLE: The crowd began the evening sipping cocktails and socializing with many conversations abuzz surrounding the legendary work of Joyce on display. Additionally, patrons could go back in time to the early 20th century and personally press their own postcard featuring an image of Joyce as a keepsake for the evening.

 

Guests were then treated to informal talks by the show’s leaders, including exhibit curator Dr. Clare Hutton, who dazzled the audience with her passion and knowledge of Joyce’s work. After the talks, patrons were able to view the 150-pieces in the exhibit, with Hutton personally taking several individuals on personal tours of the manuscripts, page proofs, and accounting logs from benefactor Harriet Shaw Weaver. These items perfectly demonstrate how women were instrumental in the making of one of the most important literary works of the 20th century.

 

THE PURPOSE: The Harry Ransom Center is a world-renowned archive collection of significant artists and writers with over 42 million manuscripts, five million photographs, and over 100,000 works of art in its archives, including many from the world’s most renowned artists, including E.E. Cummings, Robert De Niro, Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, and Jack Kerouac among many others. The Women and the Making of Joyce’s Ulysses exhibition is open to the public, free of charge, through July 17th at The University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center.

DANCING MACHINE

DANCING MACHINE

Center for Child Protection’s Dancing With The Stars Event Breaks Fundraising Record

 

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Estrella Chacon, Jeff Loftin, and Haley Plotkin

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect evening in Austin was the recent setting of one of the Capital City’s most anticipated events and, in the process, put an exclamation point on the fall social season. Over a thousand sociables, philanthropists, and VIPs descended upon the JW Marriott for the 15th annual Dancing with the Stars gala. Dressed to the nines, with pandemic protocol in place, the guests were treated to a night full of fun, showstopping dance routines, and, most importantly, fundraising.

 

THE STYLE: The festivities began during the early evening in the foyer of the JW Marriott, where patrons sipped cocktails while visiting with friends old and new, brimming with anticipation of the fun ahead. VIPs then headed to a special red carpet for pre-show Facebook Live interviews with Society Texas’ own Lance Avery Morgan and Rob Giardinelli. The black-tie crowd, always on trend, featured an elegant mix of solid and metallic evening gowns for the ladies, while the men sported dapper tuxedos and dinner jackets.

 

The action then moved to the JW Marriott Ballroom for the evening’s main program, where emcees Glenn Ball and Holly Mills-Gardner, effortlessly kept the festivities vibrant. As guests dined on delectable multi-course meals, they were treated to a series of emotional tributes and testimonials highlighting important work the Center for Child Protection does to help abused and neglected children in the Austin area. A spirited live auction followed, which included a raffle for a three-year lease of a 2022 Mercedes Benz C300 Cabriolet.

 

Then came the main event–a series of 11 showstopping dances by local celebrities and philanthropists and their professional dance partners that frequently brought the crowd to their feet. The winning duo, Pete Phillips and his professional dance partner Susan Kirklin, received the coveted mirror ball trophy for their dazzling turn to the iconic song Copa Cabana. The evening was capped off with dancing, where partygoers kept the fun going well into the evening, courtesy of tunes by DJ David Garza.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Julie Jumonville and Jenny Mason, raised over $2 million for the Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center. In 2020, the center provided over 1,700 forensic interviews, counseling, medical examinations, and interventions to help children in Central Texas begin the healing process from abuse and neglect.

COLOR YOUR WORLD

COLOR YOUR WORLD

Austin’s SAFE Alliance Hosts Hundreds At Annual Storybook Gala

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Mari Nelson and Ben Porter

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect Saturday evening in Austin was the recent setting of one of the Capital City’s most anticipated fall events. Over 500 sociables, philanthropists, and other VIPs descended upon the JW Marriott hotel for the SAFE Storybook Gala. The event, A Coat of Many Colors, unfolded like a classic fairy tale. The evening featured great friends, touching tributes, and most importantly of all–fundraising.

 

THE STYLE: The first chapter of this magical evening began in the foyer of the JW Marriott Austin for a lively cocktail hour. Here, the guests, many of whom donned colorful ensembles, sipped delicious drinks while getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones. Additionally, guests could peruse silent auction items, preview live auction items, and purchase raffle tickets to win luxury items that were being awarded to supporters.  

 

Turning the page, partygoers entered the JW Marriott ballroom for the main program. As guests dined on their delectable multi-course meals, they were treated to words from the SAFE leadership, as well as several emotional testimonials showcasing the positive impact the organization has on the community. Other highlights of the main program included a spirited live auction and honoring philanthropist Gary Walker with the Guardian Award for his tireless support of the organization. The evening concluded with an after party where guests danced the night away.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event raised nearly $800,000 for the SAFE Alliance. SAFE provides a stable and healing space to those who have lived through violence and abuse. Funds raised from this event will help provide assistance for essential services, including housing, prevention programs, and support services.

ART AL FRESCO

ART AL FRESCO

The Contemporary Museum Art Dinner Raises Over $1.7 Million

By Rob Giardinelli         Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect autumn evening at Austin’s Laguna Gloria was the scene featuring a night of fun and philanthropy. The 360 patrons, sociables, and VIPs on hand for the 8th Annual Contemporary Art Dinner were treated to a dazzling evening that those fortunate enough to attend will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: From the moment the patrons walked up to the gates of Laguna Gloria in their finest cocktail attire, guests knew they were in for a magical evening. The festivities began with a cocktail hour where partygoers gathered with friends on the beautiful Laguna Gloria grounds. Meanwhile, art collectors could be seen heading to the villa to preview works of art from internationally known artists in advance of the live auction.

 

Revelers then proceeded onto the central lawn for dinner al fresco and the main program. While attendees dined on a delectable, multi-course meal, they were treated to words from the event and organization’s leaders celebrating what was for many their first gala in Austin since the pandemic began. The action then turned to the main event…the live auction. Christy Williams Coombs, of Sotheby’s, headlined the auction for a seventh consecutive year. Included were works by Loie Hollowell and Adam Pendleton that each fetched over six figures. In addition, the paddles-up giving opportunity raised over $250,000 to bring a temporary and permanent outdoor installation for the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. The festivities were capped off with an after-party where the crowd danced the night away to songs performed by Riders Against the Storm.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Kristin Gish and Kathleen Loughlin, raised over $1.7 million for The Contemporary Austin, with the museum giving back $345,000 to artists from the live and silent auction proceeds. In addition, funds raised from the evening’s event will go towards The Contemporary Austin’s exhibition programs.