Cindy Lind, Donna Stockton, Emily Greer, Venus Strawn, Nicole Grupp and Meg Bethune

Rise And School Heart & Sole Luncheon Features Down-Syndrome Advocate Megan Bomgaars

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Tyler Schmitt of Mill Photography Studio

Sarah Ciesla and Tina Donahoo

THE SETTING:The Fairmont Hotel in Austin was the recent setting of the 12thannual Heart & Soul Fashion Luncheon. One of Austin’s most anticipated annual luncheons, it featured nearly 300 of Austin’s most notable sociables and philanthropists for an afternoon of fun, fashion and an inspiring message.

Adam Huff and sons

THE STYLE:The Austin-chic crowd began the afternoon in the foyer of the Fairmont where patrons sipped cocktails while bidding on their favorite vintage and designer handbags, like Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, and many others on display at the silent auction. The festivities then continued in the Fairmont Ballroom for the program. As guests dined on their meals, they were treated by an empowering message from a special guests in for the event. Down-syndrome advocate Megan Bomgaars, star of the A&E Series Born This Way,brought the crowd to their feet with her platform Don’t Limit Me.

Megan Bomgaars and Kris Bomgaars

After Bomgaars’ speech, students of the Rise School participated in a fashion show, each of whom were escorted down the runway by their fathers, capping off an event that will resonate with the attendees for a long time to come.

Genevieve Padalecki and Marlene Magierski

THE PURPOSE:The event, chaired by Marlene Magierski and Genevieve Padalecki, raised funds for the Rise School of Austin, which provides an inclusive learning institution for children ages 12 months to five years by creating environment for gifted, traditional and developmentally delayed children to succeed to their maximum potential.