Dancing With The Stars Austin Raises Record Funds For The Center For Child Protection
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography by Jeff Loftin, Dale Murphy and Farid Zarrinabadi
THE SCENE: On a splendid Sunday evening, nearly 1,000 guests converged on the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin for an evening of fun, laughter and friendly competition. Why? It was the 8th annual Dancing with the Stars gala, a mainstay of the city’s social scene, as attendees were treated to an evening of choreographed performances for a very worthy cause.
The evening began in the foyer of the hotel’s ballroom with a cocktail hour where VIP’s mixed it up with the 10 “localebrity” dancing stars who were about to share their terpsichorean talents on the dance floor. The festivities then adjourned into the ballroom, where guests dined while viewing a video of how the Center for Child Protection helps the residents of Austin and Travis County. Then, a silent auction was held featuring such packages as a New York Fashion Week Experience, a week in Snowmass and a VIP Austin experience – all told the silent auction raised over $400,000. The evening continued with the dance performances with an audience-voted winner and concluded as everyone converged on the dance floor dancing the night away to spins by DJ Johnny Bravvo.
THE VIBE: The crowd, clad in their Sunday’s black-tie finest, had one thing in mind – a good time. The crowd was on their feet as the ten celebrity dancers and their professional dance partners Cha-Cha’d, Fox Trotted and Lindy Hopped into our hearts to win the coveted mirror ball trophy, which ultimately was awarded to restaurateur and philanthropist Katrine Formby and her professional dance partner, Randy Ferguson.
THE CAUSE: Presented by Lexus of Austin, this year’s “tour de dance”, co-chaired by Venus Strawn and Katie Jaffe raised over $1.2 million dollars for the Center for Child Protection, which provides a safe haven for Travis County children who are the victims of abuse and neglect.