St. David’s Foundation’s Annual Toast Of The Town Party Series Offered Something For Everyone
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Matthew Fuller, Robert Godwin and Stacey Harrell
THE SCENE: Twenty themed parties, each drawing their own unique crowd making for the quintessential Austin type of event, proved there is something for everyone who supports the St. David’s Foundation. St. David’s annual Toast of the Town party series is designed to offer incredible experiences that perfectly capture the spirit of Austin: intimate, unpretentious and welcoming, all the while saluting the best and brightest of the upcoming generation of medical professionals who are fast making Austin a world-class medical destination.
THE VIBE: The “Austin-chic” attire was prevalent in all of the Toast of the Town experiences, each offering an array of opportunities and featured highlights. For those seeking incredible food and stimulating conversation, one could experience the Jazz Brunch at the top of the Austonian high-rise, the highest point in Austin, or go lakeside to the home of Kathy and Randy Taylor for an “intelligent” discussion on the role of global intelligence in a transforming society with former Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Bobby R. Inman.
If you were interested in experiencing history and culture, you could learn more about Lady Bird Johnson, Texas’ first First Lady’s granddaughter, Catherine Robb or enjoy an evening of dining while experiencing the sensational sounds of the award-winning Cordova Quartet at the home of Jannis and Robert Baldwin. For those wanting to learn more about the University of Texas sports world, they could experience a Smart and Strong evening with UT basketball head coach Shaka Smart and UT football head coach Charlie Strong at the home of Sandra and Joe Aragona, or learn more about the future of Austin with UT President Gregory Fenves sharing his vision for Texas’ largest and oldest institution for higher learning, at the home of Melissa and Kent Ferguson.
For those who simply wanted to experience an incredible one-of-a-kind party, the private airplane hanger of local philanthropist David Booth hosted a Studio 54 party where the crowd, dressed in their best 70s disco attire, danced to the incredible tunes of DJ Johnny Bravvo with a private jet in the distance – which undoubtedly would have even made Studio 54 founders Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager blush.
THE CAUSE: The series of parties, co-chaired by Tobie Funte Flannery and Julie Niedert, raised over $1.4M for St. David’s Dr. Neal Kocurek Scholarship, which awards high school seniors in Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop and Caldwell counties pursuing careers in the healthcare field. This year, 55 high school seniors were awarded with scholarships.