Ascension Seton’s EASB Havana Nights Breaks Fundraising Record

By Rob Giardinelli       Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: Camp Mabry in Austin was the recent setting for the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board’s Havana Nights event. One of the city’s most anticipated spring social events, this year’s gala included a bevy of sociables and philanthropists. Guests were treated to an evening of food, music, and fun in the evening that had a tropical atmosphere.


THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd sported a fun mix of bright, beautiful colors and classic white ensembles that created a vibrant, welcoming environment for all. As guests arrived during the cocktail hour, partygoers sipped spirits from one of the many generously stocked bars and sampled bites from several Havana-inspired food stations featuring delectable bites including empanadas and Cuban sliders.


The action then moved to the open-air tent that was erected on the grounds of Camp Mabry for the main program. As the attendees continued to sample the delicious Cuban fare, they were treated to words from the organization’s leaders like EASB President Caroline Smith, as well as touching tributes and testimonials, including a mission video that highlighted a year in the life of an NICU nurse. Emcee and media personality Anne Hudson Andrews effortlessly kept the evening moving along at a brisk pace and foregoing a live auction, helmed a mobile give to raise more funds. The night was capped off with an after party where revelers danced the night away to the tunes of popular, Texas-based band, Memphis Soul.


THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Lauren Smith Ford and Katie Owen, raised a record $1.5 million. The proceeds that were raised from the event will support programs, building and equipment needs for Mother/Baby services, and The Marialice Shivers and Dell Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Kathryn Frances Walker Center for Neonatal Intensive & Family Support at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin.



Amber and Al Koehler Host An Evening Of Holiday Cheer


By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Ben Porter Photography

THE SETTING: The home of Al and Amber Koehler in Austin was the recent setting for an evening of merriment and revelry. The several hundred who attended the holiday party for the ages were treated to an evening of festive holiday spirit…and spirits, great friends, and live entertainment. The fête was the perfect mix of adult fun and childlike joy. In fact, guests look forward to it all year long.


THE STYLE: The holiday-chic crowd sported a mix of cocktail dresses, sportscoats, and holiday-inspired ensembles that created a welcoming environment for all. The duo, always the consummate hosts, provided a wide range of exciting experiences for their guests, ensuring there was something for everyone to enjoy. While some cozied up to the bar for their favorite cocktail or grabbed a nosh at one of the plentiful food stations, others aimed their sights toward the gigantic inflatable snowball where they could have their picture taken to remember the evening.


The Austin event would not be complete without live music, of course, and guests were in for a special night as they listened to a lively performance by Skyrocket. Those who stayed into the wee hours of the morning experienced an unforgettable musical surprise…an impromptu performance by musician Lukas Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, capping off a memorable night of celebration.

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