Dell Children’s Medical Center Gala Celebrates Three Decades
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography by Cheryl Bemis, Grover Steele and StoryCraft Studios
THE SCENE: The Austin Convention Center was the setting for a special evening three decades in the making – demonstrating how believing in an innovation can make an impact not just in their community, but reaching far beyond. With that in mind, it is only fitting that the theme of The 30th Annual Dell Children’s Medical Center Gala was titled Believe – and believe it did, bringing out over a thousand of Austin’s social elite for a special evening that reminds us why this city is such a special place to live.
THE VIBE: The evening began with the black-tie crowd greeting one another in the lobby of the convention center for a cocktail hour where the beverages flowed as freely as the conversation of the elegantly dressed Sociables. The action then moved to the main ballroom draped in thousands of fuchsia orchids elegantly designed by celebrity floral designer David Kurio. Here guests dined on a delicious three-course meal during the program, which included videos illustrating how Dell Children’s Medical Center impacts families throughout Central Texas and beyond.
The program continued during the live auction and fund-the-need cash donation portion of the evening. The live auction raised a whopping $235,000 and featured items ranging from a catered feast courtesy of the legendary and iconic Austin restaurant Franklin’s Barbecue to trips to places far from home including a seven night stay in Telluride complete with access to a private jet. The following fund-the-need fundraiser gave the opportunity to provide cash donations to Dell Children’s Medical Center, which the generous crowd did to the tune of over $400,000. After the program, multiple forms of entertainment were on hand including the local, award-winning band Memphis Train Revue. While the dancing began, other guests rolled the dice at the many tables of the pop-up casino or headed to The Four Seasons for the official VIP After Party ensuring the good times went on well into the night.
THE CAUSE: The event, chaired by Emily and Joe Price, raised over $1.5 million for the Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation, which raises philanthropic dollars in an ethical and strategic way enabling best care to reach the largest amount of children possible. Over the past three decades, the gala has raised over $17 million for Dell Children’s special programs and projects.