The ice sculpture may have melted, but the 2015 Ice Ball Gala will impact children for years to come. A record $600,000 was raised at the largest annual fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas to support its mentoring programs for local youth. A capacity crowd of almost 750 guests attended the sold-out event in the Zilker Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Austin.
“It was the biggest, boldest, brightest Ice Ball event yet,” said Connie Nelson, Ice Ball Event Chair. “And what excites me most is that more children will now be helped as a result of this event.” There are over 600 children on the BBBS waiting list.
It was a night of sparkling ice sculptures, dazzling fashions, creative auction packages, food, and fun; a festive event with a serious focus as 100% of the funds raised will be used locally to create and nurture life-changing friendships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors.
“When you invest in Ice Ball, you’re investing in a child’s life,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS. “We use all of our resources to help children succeed and discover their talents so they can achieve their dreams and make a difference in the world.”
Featured among the night’s activities was a silent auction for prizes such as spa packages, golf vacations, culinary events at local restaurants, custom-crafted jewelry and sports memorabilia, including a signed baseball from Nolan Ryan. Live auction items included trips to Paris, Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. New this year was the “Ultimate Bobby Bones Package”, an opportunity to sit in on Bobby Bones’ top-rated morning show in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as a trip to see the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys offered by Colt and Rachel McCoy.
“The Gala is a significant event for BBBS,” said Fields. “After growing this event 300% over the last three years, I’m proud to say that Ice Ball 2015 experienced 20% growth yet again.”
A highlight of this year’s gala was recognition of the Walton-Allen family whose five children have participated in BBBS’ mentoring program over the past 19 years. This relationship is a perfect illustration of the work BBBS has done for over 44 years: that of creating lasting relationships that make a lifetime of difference.
“The success of the Gala is reflective of the impact of our work,” Fields noted. “It shows that what we do resonates with the community. They see how investing in our young people impacts the community as a whole in a positive way. We dream of a day when we have no waiting list and when we can meet the needs of all the children and families seeking our services. With the help of our generous donors and sponsors, we continue to get closer to that goal.”
See photos from Ice Ball 2015 here
BBBS would like to offer special thanks to the following sponsors:
Diamond Sponsor – BB&T
Platinum Sponsor – Padgett Stratemann & Co.
Gold Sponsors – Bury; Connie and Bill Nelson; Proper Wealth Management; and US Microproducts
Silver Sponsors – The Burt Group; Deep Eddy Vodka; Honest Dollar, Maxwell Locke & Ritter; Nichols Engineering; Pape-Dawson Engineers; Wells Fargo; WSGR; and XYZ co.
Bronze Sponsors – Austin Revitalization Authority; Sam Bassett; Bixby Zane; CMIT Solutions; Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody; HotSchedules; JMT; Kate and Hector Perez; Plains Capital Bank; the HT Group; and the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.