A gorgeous, sunny day heralded the arrival of excited guests at Ballet Austin Guild’s second annual spring fundraiser tea, “An Afternoon in Neverland,” named in a nod of support to Ballet Austin’s grand season finale, Peter Pan.
This year’s highly successful sold-out event was held inside the gorgeous Driskill Hotel, an Austin icon and key event sponsor. Guests of all ages arrived in their best tea finery and were ushered in by a cast of costumed characters portrayed by the Hill Country Players, drama students from Hill Country Middle School.
Partygoers enjoyed towers of luscious treats, an assortment of lovely teas, celebratory bubbly and enticing raffle baskets. During the event, Ballet Austin Sarah & Ernest Family Fund Artistic Director Stephen Mills introduced featured speaker and company dancer, Chelsea Marie Renner, who danced the role of Wendy in two performances of Peter Pan.
Chelsea shared that her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer wouldn’t have been realized had there not been vital scholarship opportunities along the way. She spoke of her family’s many struggles to keep her dancing. Her father owned a small print shop in Bozeman, Montana and often traded printing jobs for the dance academy in exchange for her tuition. As Chelsea’s talent and passion for ballet developed and greater but more distant opportunities came along, scholarships were her only hope to continue her training. Chelsea was the very first recipient of the Butler Fellowship Scholarship in 2006, allowing her to join Ballet Austin II prior to moving up to the company.
All proceeds benefited Ballet Austin’s Academy Youth Scholarship Fund, making classical ballet training available to any child with a passion and desire to learn, regardless of his or her family’s economic situation.
PRIME Living Magazine was proud to be a sponsor and supporter of this event.