Helping Hand Home For Children Debs Presented With Gala, Brunch & Fashion Show

By Rose Betty Williams
Photography by Jane Flynn, Robert Godwin, and Janet Scott

THE SCENE: It was an evening of white dresses and white tie when the Helping Hand Society hosted its 71st annual Crystal Ball at the Palmer Events Center in Austin with approximately 3000 in attendance. Twenty-seven lovely debutantes, all college freshmen, took their bows, accompanied by their escorts and junior escorts. The festivities began with a mimosa and champagne bar followed by brunch by Catering by Rosemary; then the presentation of the 1st grade Princesses; the spectacular runway Fashion Show by Julian Gold and produced by Webber Productions; and the introduction of the 9th grade Helping Hand Girls and Crystal Ball debutantes.

The black tie presentation gala, themed A Spring Evening in Austin, started with cocktails and the silent auction followed by the presentation of the debutantes, escorts, junior escorts and Helping Hand Girls and Boys, dinner, and then dancing to the music of Suede. Amy Erben and Lucy Weber, the 2014 Auction Co-Chairs, launched the Crystal Ball’s first-ever online silent auction in addition to the on-site gala auction. The Crystal Ball also featured a raffle for three incredible estate items: a diamond tennis necklace, a full-length mink coat, and a men’s Rolex watch.

THE VIBE: The 2014 Helping Hand Crystal Ball stunning debutantes presented were: Gabrielle Rose Black, Kathryn Elyse Bowman, Jerika Victoria Brito, Emily Katherine Brown, Cali Ann Capela, Riley Kelly Cunningham, Hannah Charlotte Dale, Kaleigh Elizabeth Downing, Taylor Meghan Doyle, Lauren Elizabeth DuPont, Mabry Elizabeth Franklin, Emily Frances Gerhart, Whitney Elizabeth Hewlett, Morgan Greer Katz, Anna Sue Kimball, Cailyn Carroll-Jane Lewis, Kathryn Keeton McClellan, Kathryn Anne McDonald, Emma Avril McNamara, Claire Elizabeth Metzger, Byrn Anne Rathgeber, Giuliana Gabriella Richetta, Michelle Lyn Schuler, Sara Charlotte Shaw, Taylor Leslie Sutton, Lauren Shizuko Viernes and Margot Frances Warren. Also participating were 140 9th grade Helping Hand Girls and Boys and 32 first grade Helping Hand Princesses.

THE CAUSE: Hope Happens Here. The Crystal Ball Gala is the largest fundraiser for the Helping Hand Home for Children, which provides a place to heal for children who have suffered unimaginable abuse and neglect. This year’s event, co-chaired by Terri Von Dohlen and Beth Plater, raised more than $1million that will support therapeutic treatment services, education and enrichment activities for children living at the HHH. The mission of the HHH is to provide a nurturing and therapeutic home for children and to restore each child to a healthy family setting. Children, whose young lives were once filled with fear, pain and chaos, are learning to trust adults to take care of them and reclaim their childhood.


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