Ritz & Glitz

Austin Children’s Shelter Creates Roaring 20’s Glam at Annual Gala

By Rob Giardinelli
Photography By Ana Carolina Roberto-Hasty, Eric Moore, Innovative Photography and Visually Attractive Photography

It was a jazzy party that took everyone back to when things were simpler and good times roared. Austin’s Children’s Shelters annual gala took a 1920’s-inspired theme to a whole new level and the result was a fun and decadent night where guests were “Putting on the Ritz”. Co-chairs Shannon Schmitz and Andrea Valko created an amazing evening that raised over $450,000 for the vital Austin Children’s Shelter programs and services.

As guests arrived in their finest Prohibition-era garb, they were treated to a cocktail hour in a Hilton ballroom which was transformed into a Jazz Age parlor… complete with celebrity impersonators from Hollywood’s cinema greats, including Mae West, Groucho Marx and Humphrey Bogart. In the “parlor” guests took a sneak peak at some of the silent auction items, as well as pose for pictures in front of classic cars, which were generously offered up for the evening by vintage car collectors Bill and Pat Munday.

In the black and white ballroom for dinner, which featured period-era white feather centerpieces and candelabras draped in pearls, Austin’s Chief of Police Art Acevedo oversaw the evening’s festivities as guests bid on their favorite live auction items. They  were then treated to a performance by the talented Mandy Lauderdale and Charelston’d the night away to the classic ballroom tunes of the Nash Hernandez Orchestra, where one couldn’t help but think how their grandparents and great-grandparents may have done those same things in an era that is gone but certainly not forgotten.


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