ANIMAL KINGDOM

ANIMAL KINGDOM

PetSet Celebrates With Virtual Gala Watch Party

By Jennifer Roosth      Photography by Quy Tran

 

THE SETTING: Even a global pandemic could not stop animal lovers’ kindness, as they rallied around a hybrid format of fundraising. Part virtual gala, part V.I.P. watch party on the much-loved Annie Café & Bar’s outdoor patio, PetSet’s first virtual Fierce and Fabulous Gala raised nearly $200,000 to support the Greater Houston area’s animal welfare groups.

THE STYLE: Animal lovers from Houston and across the country logged onto their device of choice to tune in to the soirée, hosted by Great Day Houston’s Deborah Duncan and Johnny Bravo Holloway. Meanwhile, Tena Lundquist Faust and Tama Lundquist, Houston PetSet’s co-presidents, celebrated the occasion by hosting a small patio gathering at The Annie Café & Bar. Personalized touches such as food and beverages prepared by Event Elementz and styled by local non-profit design house, Magpies and Peacocks were delivered to the homes of donors to coincide with the event.

 

The virtual program also included special guest appearances by Dr. Stephen Klineberg, founding director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology, at Rice University, and America’s Got Talent Season 13 semi-finalist Christina Wells, who added an emotional touch to the show with her performances of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors and Mariah Carey’s Hero.

 

THE PURPOSE: The evening’s program kicked-off with a peek into the homes of supporters enjoying the watch parties across the city. The twin sisters then took the mic to thank their guests for joining them to support the cause. Together, the crowd of competitive contributors enjoyed the heartfelt program shining a light on positive animal welfare in Houston. This event not only marked a success for animal welfare but also showcased the resilience of the Houston fundraising community.

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LIVING HISTORY

LIVING HISTORY

Austin History Center Hosts Annual Angelina Eberly Luncheon

By Rob Giardinelli       Photography by Jim Innes and Anne Wheat

THE SETTING: Pre-COVID-19, over 260 of the Capital City’s most notable philanthropists and business leaders, descended upon The Austin Club for the Angelina Eberly Luncheon. One of the most popular annual luncheons in Austin, the afternoon was full of fun and storytelling, creating a history-loving experience. 

 

THE STYLE: The business-chic crowd began the afternoon in the foyer of the venue with a coffee reception against the backdrop of piano music, which added to the sophisticated elegance in the air. Guests then ascended the staircase to the main ballroom for the next phase of the festivities.

 

While dining on a delicious multi-course meal, attendees were treated to an engaging program.  Highlights included celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Austin History Center Association, with remarks from AHCA president and former mayor Lee Cooke. The event was capped off with a presentation where attendees learned about Austin’s origins and Mirabeau B.  Lamar’s vision for how Austin would be the seat of Texas.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Charles Peveto, raised funds for the Austin History Center, which seeks to enrich the memory of Austin and Travis County. Proceeds from the event went towards the funding of the Austin History Center, which is located inside the world-renowned Austin Public Library. 

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BEYOND ANY WISH

BEYOND ANY WISH

Make-A-Wish Of Central And South Texas Celebrates 35 Years In The Region

 

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Emmy Baysden, Rick Cortez Photography, Mary Holguin, Belinda Lee and Lexie Yut

THE SETTING: Before COVID-19, the Four Seasons in Austin was the setting that celebrated a notable milestone of one of the city’s most beloved philanthropic organizations. Close to 400 of Austin’s most notable sociables and V.I.P.’s were on hand for the Make-A-Wish of Central and South Texas’ 35th-anniversary gala. The theme of the evening’s event, Beyond The Glass Slipper, was the perfect way to describe a magical, memorable night in Texas’ Capital City.

 

THE STYLE: The cocktail-chic crowd began the evening in the ballroom foyer and patio, where after posing for pictures on the red carpet, they were treated to a lively cocktail hour. Guests mingled and sipped spirits while perusing an impressive array of live auction items. Then, the action moved to the ballroom for the main program.

 

Inside the main ballroom, as attendees dined on a delectable multi-course meal, they listened to a series of heartwarming testimonials of critically ill children, who had received wishes beyond their wildest dreams. The evening continued with a spirited live auction, which included bidding on a piece of artwork, by Jaylah Martinez, a Wish Kid, who recently succumbed to a rare form of cancer. The fun concluded with a lively after-party where guests danced the night away, perfectly capping off a fairytale night.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Abby Argo and Kendell Kelton, raised over $640,000 for the Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas organization. The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant wishes to children with critical illnesses, which research has shown can give them a higher chance of survival.

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VIENNA FANTASIE

VIENNA FANTASIE

Austin Opera Guild Hosts Annual Serenata Wine Dinner & Auction Gala

By Rose Betty Williams                Photography by Marjorie Kamys

 

THE SETTING: Pre-COVID-19, Austin Opera Guild and Austin Opera celebrated the 10th annual Serenata Wine Dinner & Auction at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin with dinner, dancing, and live performances in an evening glittered with Viennese music, cuisine and a memorable tribute to event honorees Elisabeth and Steffen Waltz. 

THE STYLE: Television personality Ron Oliveira emceed Serenata that began with a red carpet welcome replete with eye-catching human statues posed as opera characters, hors d’oeuvres, a cocktail hour and bidding on the silent auction. Once guests were seated in the ballroom, two professional dancers wowed the crowd with a dramatic and colorful waltz. Austin Opera’s General Director & CEO Annie Burridge, Austin Opera Board President Jeff Kodosky and Austin Opera Guild President Cathy Collins thanked event co-chairs Suzanne Breitbach, Paula Damore, Michael Garza and Roger Kahlbau, Austin Opera supporters, event sponsors, underwriters, auction donors, Guild members, and attendees for their tireless efforts and generosity. Serenata featured a stunning performance by opera soprano Alexandra Loutsion followed by a four-course wine dinner, the presentation honoring the Waltzes, the live auction and dancing to the music of The Grooves. 

THE PURPOSE: In addition to the event chairs, the 2020 Serenata committee was comprised of committee chairs Tina Barrett, Megan Bjorkman, Kim Cade, Jennifer Davis, Jim Green, Sue Hoke, Barbara Johnson, Jessica Jones, Monica Servidio and Sharon Sneed and more than 30 Austin Opera Guild volunteers. This is Austin Opera’s largest fundraiser, each year raising more than a quarter-million dollars in support of AOs goal to produce live opera performances for the community and to provide excellent music education to school children. Austin Opera reaches 30,000 community members annually, including 14,000 children through in-person programming, plus thousands more through new digital offerings.

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GOOD FOR THE SOLE

GOOD FOR THE SOLE

KidneyTexas Celebrates 21 Years Of The Runway Report

By Cynthia Smoot       Photography by Dana Driensky, Daniel Driensky, Danny Campbell, Sharon Adams, Maurice Ballew

 

 

THE SETTING: Sandy Secor, the president of KidneyTexas, Inc., event chair Sharon Ballew, and honorary chair Jolie Humphrey, shouldered the responsibility to take this year’s event virtual, and their gamble paid off with the latest incarnation of The Runway Report. The video opened with a nod to the meaning of the theme Our Sole Mission: Transformations that featured butterflies, having transformed from caterpillars, fluttering away, symbolizing a fresh perspective on life. Scott Murray kept the energy alive as the program’s emcee.

 

The event’s honorees and award-winners, included Lorraine Meenan, Mary Miller, and Richard Dickerman, M.D.  Also recognized were Barbara Bigham, Patricia Cowlishaw, Emilynn Wilson, Patty Jo Turner, Carole Murray, Patty Caolo, and Nancy Carter.

 

THE STYLE: The entire event was virtual and streamed to all ticket holders, underwriters, and sponsors. Table hosts at certain levels had champagne, a floral table centerpiece, and lunch provided by Preston Hollow Catering delivered to their home or business for their guests. Teams of society photographers dropped by many host’s homes and captured photos of the fun, virtual event.

 

The PURPOSE: Funds raised at the KidneyTexas event will provide funding to improve methods of treatment, the search for a cure and prevention of kidney disease, and other kindred or contributory diseases, as well as develop adequate provisions for the care of persons suffering from such conditions.

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POUNDS OF PREVENTION

POUNDS OF PREVENTION

The Power of Prevention Shares Inspiring Stories

By Cynthia Smoot         Photography by Thomas Garza

 

 

THE SETTING: K&L Gates presented the Power of Prevention, an in-person program featuring former LPGA golfer, Laura Baugh, that benefited the Recovery Resource Council. The enthusiastic supporters gathered at the Hyatt Regency to hear Baugh share her experiences as a young mother touring with the LPGA, her struggles with fame and alcoholism, and her recovery journey to today’s 24-years of sobriety.

 

THE  STYLE: This was one of the very first in-person events to be held since the pandemic shut down the social scene earlier this year. From temperature-taking to hand sanitizing stations, every precaution was taken to ensure the safety of guests, including theater-style seating to allow attendees to socially distance. Tilda and Ty Beasley, the event chairs, welcomed the event’s attendees and shared the reasons for their leadership. Michael Molthan, host of M2 the Rock, was the program’s emcee. Robin Bagwell and Lauren Gillette issued a challenge for donations.

 

THE PURPOSE: The Power of Prevention event supports the services the Recovery Resource Council provides to North Texans who struggle to afford and access high-quality mental healthcare, including outpatient and referral services for addiction and substance abuse disorders, counseling for veterans and their families, housing and basic needs assistance for the homeless, and prevention education for at-risk children and youth.

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