HEARTWARMING SOUL

9th Annual Heart And Soul Luncheon Raises Funds For The Rise School Of Austin

By Rob Giardinelli   Photography by Cathie Parssinen and Todd White

THE SCENE: The Marriott Hotel in downtown Austin was the setting for fashionable fun benefitting a great cause. The 380 sociable and chic guests who attended the ninth annual Heart and Soul luncheon showcased the best of Austin and just how much heart this city has to share.

THE VIBE: As guests entered the foyer of the venue’s ballroom, they were greeted with many familiar, warm, and smiling faces. This created a great energy for attendees to bid on the dozens of luxury handbags, the perfect accoutrement for any stylish outfit, all of which were generously donated by an array of individuals and local businesses – including a Bulgari Evening Bag autographed by Academy Award-winning actor Reese Witherspoon.

The action then turned to the ballroom where guests dined on a delicious lunch, while Matt Swinney effortlessly emceed the program, which included a father/child fashion show. Featured guest Jack Ingram, a Texan country music star, personally escorted some of the child models down the runway.

THE CAUSE: The event, chaired by Tracey Marshall and Donna Stockton Hicks who served as honorary chair, raised a record-shattering $315,000 for The Rise School of Austin, which provides an inclusive and diverse educational environment for children ages six and younger, where both traditional learners and learners with mild developmental disabilities learn to thrive.

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