MILES OF SMILES AHEAD

MILES OF SMILES AHEAD

Manos de Cristo Celebrates 35 Years With Dazzling Share The Love Gala Honoring Dr. Tony Pacheco

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Marc Suarez

THE SCENE: Austin’s Fairmont Hotel was the recent setting for a night of fun and fundraising for a very worthy cause. Over 350 sociables, doctors, and community leaders turned out for Manos de Cristo’s annual gala. The evening featured a series of touching tributes and emotional testimonials, seamlessly blended in with dancing and fun, while creating a night that those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.

THE VIBE: The evening’s theme, Share The Love, was felt from the very second guests arrived in the foyer outside of the Fairmont ballroom for libations. Here, the cocktail-chic crowd cozied up to the bar to grab their favorite spirits and promptly went to mingle with other guests, all the while perusing an impressive lot of silent auction items as well as the opportunity to take photos at the festive photo booth to commemorate the evening. The action then moved into the ballroom for the main program. Emcees Yvonne Nava and Ron Olivera effortlessly kept the evening flowing at a brisk, fun pace. While guests dined on their multi-course meals that were perfectly paired with award-winning wines from Meierstone Vineyards, they were treated to heartwarming testimonials on how Manos de Cristo has positively impacted the Central Texas community.

Following the testimonials came a spirited live auction that featured top items such as “How do you spell green? Gruene or Verde” which included a stay for 20 guests at a waterfront home in Gruene and a five-night stay for six at a clifftop villa in Virgin Gorda. Next, Austin’s celebrity dentist Dr. Tony Pacheco was honored for his tireless work and donation of time and talent to the organization. The night was capped off with an after-party that featured a casino and live music by The Pictures, which kept the fun going well into the evening.

THE NON-PROFIT: The event, presented by Nicole and Ramzi Al-Rashid, raised over $445,000 for Manos de Cristo. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the organization provides low-cost dental care and educational opportunities for children and adults. Funds raised from this year’s event will Manos de Cristo’s programs which benefit over 30,000 Central Texans annually.