Ice Ball raises more than $340,000

We always say that Ice Ball is “an evening that makes a lifetime of difference” – and we mean that in the literal sense. This year,  600 people attended, raising an amazing $340,000 for our kids. That number is enough to provide free mentoring services for hundreds of kids for an entire year.

The breathtaking ballroom at Ice Ball 2013!

The breathtaking ballroom at Ice Ball 2013! Photo Credit: Miguel Angel / Tribeza

Wow.

We could never thank our sponsors, guests, volunteers or friends enough – all those special people who ensure this one night has a ripple effect in our community. And what a night it was.

The evening kicked off in the VIP “Ice Lounge”  hosted by Kennedy Creative, with signature Ruby Red Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails and illuminated bars.

The VIP "Ice Lounge" Photo Credit: Visually Attractive

The VIP “Ice Lounge”
Photo Credit: Visually Attractive

After the Ice Lounge, the party continued upstairs, where the fiery Gayle Stallings of Fun Auctions got the crowd ready for fun! This was Gayle’s third Ice Ball, and she continues to shatter records and warm hearts.  Here, she is getting revved up with our bid spotters – who are real-life mentors here in Austin:

Together, the auction and “Fund A Friendship” donations raised an amazing $150,000!  Bidder paddles were up, and everyone was ready to start something BIG:

Our media friends were also there, including the Austinot, Michael Barnes, InFluential magazine, Austin Lifestyle, AW Media and TRIBEZA:

(If you went to the event, you also probably remember turning yourself into an animated GIF courtesy of PHHHOTO and My Event is the Bomb…)

Of course, the real star of the evening was former Little Sister Brooke Brock. She told her very personal success story of growing up in Austin, enduring a rocky childhood and ultimately achieving her dream of attending Texas A&M University. She turned and thanked her Big Sister Jessica for giving her the confidence and support to become the successful woman she is today. Her story even inspired a few folks to step forward and fund a friendship even though they didn’t make it to the event! Watch her story and video introduction from the event:

Next year’s Ice Ball will mark the event’s 10th anniversary – so stay tuned because it’s going to be cooler than ever!

Were you at the Ice Ball (or maybe last year’s)? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Life is about sharing new experiences : Hobie Day 2013

Even if you’re  like me (I get seasick looking at a cup of coffee) – you still love Hobie Day. It’s one of our most unique events and a favorite among Littles, Bigs and families. Nearly 100 Little Brothers and Sisters sailed the waters of Lake Travis last weekend, accompanied by their Bigs and family members.

Most would probably agree that life is about experiences — trying new things and opening your mind to possibilities. For our kids, Hobie Day is one of those times where they get to try something new: sailing on a beautiful Texas afternoon with good friends.

It was a gorgeous day on the lake, with free catamaran rides from our friends from the Austin Cats, and matches enjoying the sun on their faces and wind in their hair.

Brothers setting sail on a catamaran.
Photo credit: Michael Salum, Tilted Pix

Bury & Partners made Hobie Day possible this year, and Kind Snacks also made sure everyone got a healthy snack after taking a ride on the water – huge thanks to all of them.

If you missed the event, check out the short video below. We’re already looking forward to Hobie Day 2014 – are you? How many Hobie Days have you been to?

Krispy Kreme gives BIG this summer

This summer just got a lot sweeter. Jennifer and Randy Willard, the local owners of Krispy Kreme Texas locations, are dedicating the entire month of August to our kids. Not only will they be fundraising at their Austin and San Marcos stores, but they’ll also be giving a FREE donut to every Big and Little! 

Jennifer Willard, her team and yours truly at the Krispy Kreme off 183 — kicking off the month with a donut cake!

Krispy Kreme has partnered with us for years and they raise a lot of dough (pun intended). Their staff asks each customer to give $1 to support our kids  and they also accept donations at their “spare change buckets”.

Over the years, they’ve raised thousands of dollars — and their team will serve up more than 2,000 free donuts to our matches this month alone. (Note to Bigs: Coupons can be picked up at the office front desk, just stop on by!)

When I met Jennifer and the Krispy Kreme team today – they gave us a warm welcome and a glorious, custom donut cake! They were thrilled to be champions for the mission and we couldn’t ask for better partners.

If you stop by a Krispy Kreme location, please help us thank them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using hashtag #Krispy4Kids and mention @bigmentoring.

Free Donuts. Two of the most beautiful words in the English language. Every match will get two tickets for free donuts so they can enjoy an outing at Austin and San Marcos Krispy Kreme locations.