A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

A LIFELINE FOR CHILDREN

Dell Children’s Medical Center Virtual Gala Raises Over $1.6 Million

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Ben Porter Photography and Dell Children’s Foundation

THE SETTING: The top philanthropists in Austin and beyond recently enjoyed an evening of fundraising for one of the capital city’s most influential and beloved organizations. This year’s Dell Children’s Ball went virtual and featured over 2,000 philanthropists from 96 Texas cities and 42 states who accessed the occasion. The event included touching tributes and dazzling musical performances, which resulted in an incredible experience that those on hand will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: The fun commenced before the event even began courtesy of the city’s celebrity florist David Kurio, who provided a gorgeous Ball in a Box to the sponsors’ homes and VIP attendees. Guests dressed for the evening with a wide array of styles from Austin casual to fine cocktail attire that allowed revelers to bring the ballroom to them, even in a virtual environment.

 

The evening began with a virtual cocktail hour followed by the evening’s main program. Due to the generosity of the event’s lead sponsor, AT&T, guests were able to view the program from their homes at no charge, which created a welcoming space for all who attended. Highlights of the event included testimonials from two families whose children’s lives were saved due to Dell Children’s Medical Center care and a spirited fundraising appeal. The evening was capped off by a soulful, inspiring performance by Grammyâ award-winning artist, Lukas Nelson.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s event, steered by a committee featuring 21 of Austin’s most influential and philanthropic couples, raised over $1.6 million for Dell Children’s Medical Center. At Dell Children’s, 70% of children who receive care are uninsured or underinsured. The funds raised from the event help ensure that no child, regardless of income level, is turned away from receiving the world-class care Dell Children’s offers.

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THE STARS MUST GO ON

THE STARS MUST GO ON

14TH Annual Center for Child Protection’s Dancing With The Stars Goes Virtual

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Jeff Loftin, Haley Plotkin and MJ Routh

THE SETTING: Residences around Austin recently hosted small, socially safe gatherings in support of one of the cities most highly anticipated annual events. The Center for Child Protection took the 14th annual Dancing with the Stars gala online. The virtual event had over a thousand viewers, from Austin and beyond, glued to their screens for a night of dancing and fundraising. It proved that the show must go on, and in this case, the dance must go on, because the needs of our communities remain as urgent and important as ever.

 

THE STYLE: The small gatherings featured supporters wearing their favorite cocktail attire, while others opted to stay at home for a date night while dressed in their finest black-tie ensembles. As guests took to their screens for the evening’s program, they enjoyed the proceedings, which flowed with ease, thanks to emcees Glenn Ball and Holly Mills Gardner. Donors also received a welcome kit from the Center that featured ingredients for the event’s signature cocktail, The Tequila Tango, to help folks find their groove. Video instructions on how to mix them were provided by Society Texas’ own Lance Avery Morgan and Rob Giardinelli.

 

Patrons were then treated to eleven spectacular routines where viewers watched each duo Rip it Up on the dance floor, Vogue a pose, have Sweet Dreams of this Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and head out to the Wild Wild West. Each routine featured color commentary from celebrity judges Gary Little, JR Martinez, and Venus Strawn. Between dance takes, there was a live auction item, the highlight of which was Project Graduation, where donors had the opportunity to sponsor an event that allows for teens exiting the foster care system to begin their adult lives. The festivities were capped off by declaring the winners of the 2020 Dancing with the Stars, Julie Jumonville and Travis Herman, followed by an after-party featuring the tunes of DJ Hexum.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Tracey Marshall and Jenny Mason, raised over $685,000 for the Center for Child Protection. The Center is a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center. In 2019, it provided forensic interviews, medical exams, counseling, and interventions to help begin the healing process from trauma for nearly 3,000 abused children.

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THE AMAZING DANCING DOZEN

THE AMAZING DANCING DOZEN

The Center for Child Protection’s Annual Dancing with the Stars Features 12 Austin Celebrity Dancers

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

THE SCENE: Recently, the Center for Child Protection hosted its 12th annual Dancing with the Stars event presented by Lexus of Austin and Lakeway. This annual winter social mainstay, held at the JW Marriott, featured 850 notable and stylish Austinites for an evening of fun those on hand will not soon forget.

THE VIBE: This black-tie extravaganza began in the ballroom foyer of the JW Marriott for cocktails where Austin’s hip and chic mingled with other partygoers as well as the celebrity dancers. The festivities then moved to the ballroom where guests took to their seats and as they dined on a multi-course meal listened to personal video testimonials of how the Center for Child Protection has positively impacted the Austin community. Next was a spirited live auction where guests bid on a host of luxury items.

After the live auction, came the main event, the performances by the 12 celebrity dancers. Cheering on their favorites, the revelers were often brought to their feet by the show-stopping performances. Guests then voted for their favorite dancers before Kendall Beard McMinn was crowned the winner. Then, the action continued well into the night as guests danced the night away to the tunes of DJ Gatsby.

THE CAUSE: The event, chaired by Francie Little and Jenny Mason, raised $1.4 million for the Center for Child Protection. Over the past 25 years the Center for Child Protection has served as a first stop for children in Travis County who have witnessed violent crimes or have experienced physical or sexual abuse.

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