Change Sings At The SAFE Storybook Gala
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Konstantin Belyshev and Justin Rouhier
THE SETTING: The Omni Barton Creek Resort in Austin was the recent setting for a night of fun and fundraising. Over 600 attendees were on hand for the annual SAFE Storybook Gala. The cocktail-attired crowd began the evening with drinks in the foyer outside the venue’s ballroom. Guests were encouraged to wear their favorite attire to showcase their musical flair as a nod to the theme of the evening, Change Sings. As partygoers sipped on their favorite spirits, they had the opportunity to peruse silent auction items, receive a personalized poem courtesy of Typewriter Rodeo, and mingle with other revelers.
THE STYLE: The festivities then moved into the ballroom for the main program. As guests dined on their delicious multi-course meals, they were treated to highly impactful testimonials from the organization’s leaders and those who have benefitted from SAFE’s services. Next came a spirited live auction with many fabulous items, the highlight of which was a private in-home dining experience with Uchiko’s Tyson Cole, which sold twice for $30,000 each.
The evening was capped off by giving the SAFE Guardian Award to Frankie Fowler, who was recognized for her tireless contributions to the organization. Upon receiving the award, she was surprised by an onstage performance by the Austin Chapter of the Texas Gospel Choir, whose beautiful songs brought tears to the eyes of many, and the crowd to their feet, ending the evening on a high note.
THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Pamela Benson Owens and Diane Land, raised over $900,000 for The SAFE Alliance. Funds raised from the event will provide services for children and adults of abuse, including shelter, face-to-face and digital support, advocacy, prevention, and educational programs.