It was the coolest event on one of the hottest nights in Austin as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ 14th annual Ice Ball Gala exceeded all expectations.
A sold-out crowd attended the special event emceed by Quita Culpepper from KVUE-TV and held at the Fairmont Austin on Saturday, August 25, 2018. Chaired by Ashley and Justin Yarborough, the black-tie affair was an elegant evening focused on raising funds to create more life-changing relationships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors.
“We were honored to have over 800 generous friends and supporters gather to make a big difference for children in this community,” said Brent Fields, BBBS CEO. “The unprecedented success of the event, with over $850,000 raised, will allow us to provide mentoring services to more than 700 kids who deserve the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. We’re thrilled at the confidence and trust the community has placed in us to continue providing our transformational services for children and families in Central Texas.”
As attendees arrived, they were welcomed into a vibrant pre-event gallery where they enjoyed opportunities to take event photos beside the gala’s signature ice sculpture, visit a pop-up shop filled with items from Kendra Scott’s new fall jewelry line, participate in a Big Board mini auction, and bid on numerous exclusive silent auction items.
A Dixieland band, Memphis Train Revue, led guests into the ballroom for the main portion of the evening where they enjoyed a delicious dinner, an exciting live auction, and a mission-centered ‘Fund A Friendship’ donation drive. New to Ice Ball 2018 was auctioneer Heath Hale and the Cowboys who got bidders fired up over a number of exciting auction packages including a UT tailgate party for 30 guests, a King Ranch hunt with Colt McCoy, a trip to the Burgundy wine region of France, a dove hunt in Argentina, a golf trip and 5-night stay in a baronial castle in Scotland, and a “choose your own adventure” package featuring trips to 20 different world-wide destinations.
A highlight of the evening was the match story featuring Big Brother Chris and his Little Brother Keontray. Their relationship provided attendees with a powerful example of the life-changing impacts that Big Brothers Big Sisters’ services have for children and adults alike.
A record-breaking $850,000 was raised—a $200,00 increase over last year—with donations still coming in and final numbers expected to exceed this early total.