Mack, Jack & McConaughey 10th Anniversary Gala Raises Over $10 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt of Mill Photography Studio

THE SETTING: The Moody Theatre at the Austin City Limits Live venue was the recent setting for the 10th annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey gala. The star-studded evening featured close to five hundred of Austin’s most notable philanthropists, VIPs, and music lovers who turned out for a night for the ages, which included tributes, showstopping performances, and an eye-popping fundraising amount.


THE STYLE: The gala’s supporters, who scored an orchestra-level seat at the Moody Theatre, began the evening with an exclusive VIP cocktail party on the terrace. After posing for photos on the red carpet, guests sipped spirits while perusing a beautifully curated array of silent auction items that showcased the ever-popular sports collectibles and art categories.


The festivities then moved to the orchestra level where guests dined on a delicious multi-course meal, while they were treated to the main program, which featured touching tributes and words from the event’s leaders. The action turned into a highly spirited live auction where the top-grossing items included a golf trip throughout Ireland with legendary golfer Sergio Garcia (raising $350,000) and a private stay at a ranch in Cibolo Creek near Marfa (raising $3 million).


An additional 2,000 guests poured into the mezzanine level of the performance space for the evening’s entertainment…a concert by country music superstar Kenny Chesney. Music lovers rejoiced as they danced to his top hits, capping off an unforgettable evening those fortunate to be a part of will not soon forget.


THE PURPOSE: The event, hosted by Mack and Sally Brown, Jack and Amy Ingram, and Matthew and Camilla McConaughey, raised an astounding $10 million for a series of non-profits serving children in Texas that included Dell Children’s Medical Center, HeartGift, Just Keep Livin’ Foundation, and The Rise School Austin. To date, the Mack, Jack & McConaughey event has raised over $20 million and provided over 250,000 children with education, health, and wellness services.



St. David’s Foundation Toast Of The Town Party Series Dazzles With Twenty Events


By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Matthew Fuller Photography

THE SETTING: A score of Austin’s stunning venues were the recent settings of the Capitol City’s most beloved and popular spring social benefits. This year’s St. David’s Toast Of The Town featured twenty intimate gatherings at a delightfully eclectic mix of popular dining and entertainment locations…as well as in beautiful homes and estates. The happenings attracted over 600 of Austin’s most notable philanthropists and VIPs and featured delightful company, engaging conversation, and unforgettable moments.


[PG 2]: THE STYLE: Guests donned their favorite Austin-chic attire for a diverse series of events that would satisfy even the most discerning sociable. Sports fanatics could attend different athletic-themed events with The University of Texas head football coach Steve Sarkisian and his wife Loreal, the UT Baseball Coach David Pierce, or a private experience at the new Q2 Stadium. Music lovers could spend the evening with either Austin Symphony Orchestra Conductor Peter Bay, legendary Austin musician Roy Benson, or Texas-based GRAMMYÒ Award-winning musician SaulPaul.


Additionally, foodies had the chance to enjoy a champagne dinner featuring Jeffrey’s Sommelier Anthony Schlotzhauer at a home on Lake Austin or a fabulous dinner at Canje in East Austin. Fashionistas could discuss couture fashion with Project Runway alum Sergio Guadarrama. History enthusiasts had the opportunity to spend a one-of-a-kind evening with LBJ Foundation President Mark Updegrove or The University of Texas Chancellor James Milliken. And the legendary journalist Neal Spelce held court while hosting a conversation al fresco, sharing stories of his time in the press pool during the presidency of Central Texas native Lyndon Baines Johnson.


[PLACE ON PG 3:]Each individual party featured two common threads. The first was to hear from a Neal Kocurek Scholarship Alumni, who shared how the scholarship has positively impacted their life. Many of the scholarship recipients have been the first in their families to attend college. All the parties were capped off with a moderated chat with the guest of honor. The guests were able to ask questions after the talk, which kept the interesting conversations flowing well into the evening.


THE PURPOSE: The Toast of the Town party series, chaired by Chandra Hosek with Mary Katherine Stout serving as vice chair, raised over $577,000 for the St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program, which, thanks to a matching grant by St. David’s Foundation, raised the total to over $1.7 million. Each year the Neal Kocurek Scholarship Program, Texas’ largest healthcare scholarship program, awards $7,500 scholarships per year for up to eight years to Central Texas high school seniors looking to pursue careers in the medical field.



With most of the warm weather behind us, we look forward to finally wearing the cold weather creations from the Fall/Winter shows. While the collections were full of seasonally expected knits, outerwear, and leather, the overall collections felt unexpectedly opulent and ominous, accordingly to our fashion runway trend experts, THE EDIT ADISORY’S Krystal De Lisi and Ellen Mason.


Cozy textiles, such as fur and sherpa have made another cold weather comeback. This season brings the addition of sumptuous velvets and head-to-toe knits. Take these tactile textiles beyond outerwear by adding these textures to your blouses, skirts, dresses, and more.


This is the perfect time to embrace your goth and glamour with head-to-toe black looks that layer metallics, iridescent fabrics, and sequins. From Angelina Jole’s Maleficent to Emma’s Stone’s rendition of Cruella, your typical fairytale ending just may need to be revised.  


Underwear as outerwear has been trending for a while, but this is max. Feminine corsetry and bustier styling, similar to the trend back in the 80s, is in everything from gowns to suiting. Keep the leather and hardware glamorous and romantic by pairing them with sheer and shiny fabrics…as well as soft silhouettes.



Where to go, who to know…and what to have this fall? Look no further than these top recommendations as the vibrant fall season begins, according to our spectacular Society Texas editorial team who is always on the lookout for the new and different.

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue


The Brunch Scarf from August Morgan, who brought you the adorable linen cocktail napkins embroidered with charming quips, is perfect for plenty of other occasions, too. The fan-favorite August Morgan animals are on full parade and toasting the day with Bloody Marys and Sparkling Rosé.

At AugustMorgan.com.


The new power purse is small and colorful, according to Lovard, a Texas-based accessories company from mother and daughter Lee Gunn Falchi (Dallas) and Kate Falchi (Austin), who are the widow and daughter, respectively, of esteemed handbag designer Carlos Falchi. Their collection of iconic handbags made from exotic skins, leathers, and soon-to-launch vegan leathers, as well as jewelry, have been a hit for those who love the high design and approachable price point.

From $300. At ShopLovard.com.

Courtesy of Haute Hostess
Courtesy of Virgin Dallas


Native Texan and founder Elizabeth Swift Copeland, a Dallasite, planned and coordinated prominent events in Washington D.C. Now, she has founded her own event and catering company, The Fab Fête, that provides delicious handmade cheese soufflés overnighted directly to your doorstep­––then you pop it in the oven.

At TheFabFête.com.


We love that Dallas-based personal style expert Bobbi Schwartz has released Chic Casual Dressing: The Budget Guide, the second book in her Style Essentials series. The first book in the series, Build Your Ultimate Wardrobe, is focused on creating the foundation of an investment wardrobe, while in this latest addition, Schwartz has chosen to spotlight chic, casual dressing.

$9.99. At Amazon.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green
Courtesy of Restore 180


It’s that time again. Time for Chinati Weekend in Marfa. The weekend of open viewing of the permanent collection, special exhibitions, talks, and music is free to the public and has become an international destination. In the more than thirty years since 1987 when Donald Judd created the happening, it has grown to be an essential part of Chinati’s programming and a much-anticipated cultural event for the entire West Texas region. October 7­––9.

At Chinati.org.


SusieCakes, a well-known sweets destination in the Brentwood area in Los Angeles, is now serving up tasty goodness in Austin in Westlake. From cakes to pies, cheesecakes, and puddings, there is something happy and mouthwateringly delicious for everyone here.

At SusieCakes.com.

Courtesy of Discovery Green
Courtesy of Restore 180


House Ninja is a concierge service that helps busy Austin homeowners manage all their home maintenance and repairs. From quick fixes to repairs, plumbing, painting, landscaping, and much more. Simply text your personal House Ninja team and they handle it for you…from hiring a professional to managing the work. All for just $29 a month.

At HouseNinja.co.



The Texas Biomedical Forum Celebrates With Annual Gala


By Jake Gaines      Photography by Katie Clementson of Billo Smith Photography

THE SCENE: Nearly 500 guests attended The Texas Biomedical Forum’s 51st annual gala, The Enchantment of Spring, at The Argyle. A harpist played to welcome guests into the party as hors d’oeuvres and chilled towels were passed on silver trays to offset the heat, as guests made their way to the nearest bars for refreshments.  


THE STYLE: A shining star of the evening was the Ribbon Pull, an interactive and fundraising concept that was conceptualized by the gala team. Guests purchased the chance to pull a satin ribbon hanging from a beautiful tree to reveal a prize. The grand prize of the Ribbon Pull was a pair of diamond earrings donated by Kelly Wade Jewelers. Guests also perused and purchased tickets for the raffle packages.  


Guests then enjoyed a seated dinner that featured a decadent menu prepared by The Argyle, celebrating the abundance and gifts of springtime. Dinner began with a spring pea soup with cranberry coulis, followed by a salad duo of quinoa and chickpeas and a cucumber wrap bouquet. Next was the entrée consisting of a Pepper Bomb New York Strip with Béarnaise sauce, pesto potatoes, green bean and carrot vegetable bundle, and tomato provençal. The dessert of a lemon blueberry mascarpone dome with gold leaf capped off the delicious meal. Then, the Drywater Band entertained guests at the after party in the gorgeously appointed tent while Maverick Bourbon whiskey poured tastings at a table on the lawn. Additionally, three artists from Vogue Vignette of Austin were on-site sketching portraits of couples. Barbara Shorts, Verve Event Planning’s founding president, helped coordinate the gala’s festivities.


THE PURPOSE: Rebecca Nathan was this year’s gala chair, with Audra Kerr serving as co-chair and Amelita Mauzé as this year’s Forum’s president. The purpose of the Texas Biomedical Forum is to support the Texas Biomedical Research Institute through community relations, volunteer services, and fundraising. This funding has allowed researchers to apply for additional grant monies in excess of $75 million in subsequent awards for large-scale research projects, which equates to approximately twenty-three dollars in return for every dollar of Forum grants. The gala team is incredibly grateful to Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry for kindly donating all the crystal party favors that were hand-delivered by the gala team to every attendee in the days leading up to the event. 



With everyone returning to restaurants like never before, there are a plethora of new, beautiful ones to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Rob Giardinelli (Houston) and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio).


So Well Done Austin Salad


Located in Westlake, Neighborhood Vintner offers over 1,000 wine bottles for retail purchases at varying price points, along with wines available in the store by the glass, all of which pair exquisitely with their charcuterie menu. The locale is perfect for meeting a friend after work, as the first stop on a night out, or to obtain a last-minute host gift en route to a dinner party.

At NeighborhoodVintner.com.

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar


Dean’s Italian Steakhouse is a classic American steakhouse with Italian expression that has recently opened its first Texas location. Located downtown on the ground floor of the JW Marriott Austin, Dean’s offers the best cuts of steak, market fresh seafood, and house-made pasta…and a killer happy hour menu to boot.

At DeansSteakhouseAustin.com.

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas


Brought to Austin by Tex-Mex restaurant company Trudy’s, Trudy’s Del Mar recently opened in the former South Congress Café location. It offers a nod to its iconic predecessor by continuing its beloved brunch menu while serving unique and exciting seafood dishes inspired by traditional recipes from Mexican Coastal living.

At Trudys.com.


pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne dallas texas


Known for its take on Pan-Asian cuisine and craft cocktails, Alice recently launched new menu offerings. The refreshed menu by Ashkan Moeinearaghi, their executive chef, offers memorable dishes centered around sushi, sashimi, and nigiri plates.

At AliceDallas.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant


Located inside the Hilton Anatole, SĒR Steak + Spirits is a contemporary American steakhouse with unparalleled views of the Dallas skyline. They have reopened with a new executive chef, a globally- inspired menu, and a dining experience that ignites the senses.

At SerSteak.com.

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas


Running September 30–October 23, this year’s State Fair of Texas is themed Treats Of Texas and there’s no tastier treat than a Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog slathered in mustard. Get your Fletcher’s fix at one of seven stands scattered throughout the fairgrounds. Can’t make the Fair this year? They ship nationally through Goldbelly.

At FletchersCornyDogs.com.


Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden


A hit since it opened for happy hour and dinner service this spring, The Warwick recently added lunch to its stellar dining repertoire. The New American fare, with a Southern Twist lunch menu, features culinary classics such as Shrimp Po’ Boy and Cajun pasta, as well as a delectable Cobb salad.

At WarwickHouston.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café


Recently opened in Rice Village, Hamsa is a Modern Israeli restaurant featuring elevated classics from the Middle East. Shared plates are recommended, and the space also features a six-person chef’s table, called Yalla Yalla, where culinary connoisseurs can sample a curation of the chef’s top selections. At HamsaHTX.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston


Opening its first location in Houston, California-based Daddy’s Chicken Shack offers a wide range of scrumptious chicken offerings that are a fusion of American South and Southeastern Asian flavors. The menu also features breakfast and vegan offerings so the whole family can enjoy.

At DaddysChickenShack.com.


Salad from Jardin San Antonio


Sugar Factory American Brasserie, the eatery known for its over-the-top dishes and treats, has opened its second Texas location in downtown San Antonio. The world-famous, family-friendly, high-energy celebration destination has been designed to give guests an interactive experience filled with memorable moments.

At SugarFactory.com.

Los Azulejos San Antonio


The much-anticipated Carriqui at the Pearl aims to honor its past and usher in the next chapter with the very best offerings that create a space for joyful gathering. Named after the green jay of South Texas, it features fresh seafood from the Gulf, Rio Grande-inspired botana platters, pit-cooked barbacoa and brisket, a masa program, and a robust cocktail and beverage program.

At CarriquiTX.com

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio


Located at the Pearl, Full Goods Diner serves scratch-made, seasonally-driven food for breakfast and lunch. In addition, it serves comforting and familiar everyday food to connect the restaurant  to its central and South Texas roots of Mexican and American fare. The design also embodies the warm and welcoming environment with rich wooden accents, plenty of natural light, and a greenhouse-style entry.

At FullGoodsDiner.com.