Seton Development Board’s Paint The Town Pink Gala Dazzles

By Rob Giardinelli – Photography by James French Photography

THE SETTING: The Four Seasons in Austin was the recent setting for the 42nd annual Seton Development Board gala. The evening featured over 400 of the capital city’s most notable philanthropists and sociables who were on hand for an evening full of fun and fundraising.

THE STYLE: The black-tie crowd began the evening with a cocktail hour in the ballroom foyer that spilled  onto the terrace, which was lovely on such a picture-perfect evening. Women were spotted in elegant ballgowns in  an eclectic array of black, metallic, and solid colors, including several who took the Paint the Town Pink theme to heart in many shades of the lovely hue. The men looked dapper as well in a mix of traditional tuxedos as well as ensembles featuring white, blue, and velvet dinner jackets.

The festivities then moved into the main ballroom where celebrity florist David Kurio transformed the space into a lush, pink oasis that had everyone in awe. As guests dined on a delectable, multi-course meal, they were treated to the evening’s main program. Highlights included the presentation  of the Daughters of Charity Mission Award to Mary Ann and Andrew Heller, a heads or tails auction that included a gift certificate to The Menagerie jewelry store, and a Tito’s tailgate package including a Traeger grill and a Tito’s cooler full of goodies. The night was capped off with dancing to toast the success of an evening that left everyone tickled pink.

 THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Acia Moody and Leigh Richards, raised over $450,000 for the Seton Development Board. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit capital projects, patient care, and technology at the Ascension Seton Breast Care Center. Since it was founded in 1977, the Seton Development Board has raised over $15 million for an array of Seton services and projects.


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Helping Hand Home Hosts Annual Crystal Deb Presentation And Gala

By Rose Betty Williams     Photography by James French

THE SETTING: The Helping Hand Society recently celebrated the 2019 Crystal Ball Brunch and  Fashion Show and black tie Debutante Presentation Gala at the Palmer Events Center. Thirty-two debutantes, their escorts and junior escorts were presented along with 165 ninth grade Helping Hand Girls and Boys and 41 First Grade Princesses.

THE STYLE: The fashion show was presented by Julian Gold and Webber Productions, and the brunch cuisine was provided by Catering by Rosemary, which also catered the Presentation Gala dinner. The debutantes and their fathers enjoyed the first dance followed by the capacity crowd of participant and Helping Hand Society member families, Helping Hand Home supporters, event sponsors, underwriters and friends dancing to the music of the Blind Date.

The 2019 Helping Hand Crystal Ball debutantes are: Lily Balagia, Julie Breeden, Ellie Brumley, Ellen Campbell, Abby Chambless, Marilee Cowden, Katie Chandler, Cate Davis, Abigail Downing, Carlisle Dunnam, Merritt Fish, MaryAlex Frishman, Tucker Garrison, Grace Gilmour, Elle Hansen, Suzanne Huff, Sophie Johnson, Mary Frances Kocurek, Olivia Late, Susie McCartt, Libby McFarland, Marina Monsivias, Frances Newton, Carter Nokes, Molly Pitts, Anna Louise Sanders, Anna Claire Smith, Ellie Strehli, Cameron Thompson, Josie Turlington and Cate Von Dohlen.

THE PURPOSE: This year’s gala was co-chaired by Stacy Turlington Dollar and Susie Meserole with a committee of more than 70 Helping Hand Society member volunteers, including HHH President Julie Metzger. The Crystal Ball is the largest fundraiser for the Helping Hand Home for Children. It raised more than $1.3 million dollars in support of the Helping Hand Home’s mission: to provide a nurturing and therapeutic home for children and to restore each child to a healthy family setting. The goal of the organization is to protect and restore the lives of victimized children so that those without hope may reclaim their futures.