Ice Ball 2016 Raises Funds To Support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Work


It was a night of shimmering gowns, sparkling smiles and glittering ice as Austinites gathered for the 12th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Ice Ball.

The largest annual fundraiser for the organization was held on Saturday, August 20, at the Hyatt Regency Austin and raised half a million dollars to support the agency’s mentoring programs for local youth.  There was excitement in the air as 700 guests arrived to recognize, celebrate and support BBBS’ work to create life-changing friendships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors.

“This was another tremendous event that will contribute to our organization’s mission, which is to help kids succeed in life,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS. “Funds raised tonight and throughout the year will allow us to serve and support approximately 1,000 mentoring relationships. A big ‘thank you’ to those who attended for their support and participation.”

Guests enjoyed a number of pre-event activities including a silent auction, raffle, Kendra Scott Mystery Boxes and a seated dinner. A live auction featured trips to Paris and Bali, box seat tickets to a Spurs game, and a hunting trip to the King Ranch as well as an opportunity to fund mentoring matches directly during the ‘Fund A Friendship,’ paddles-up portion of the event.

A highlight of the night was the video story featuring Big Sister Shannon Mouser and her Little Sister Mykayla Reynolds whose mentoring relationship has lasted for 7 years and whose story serves as a poignant reminder regarding the difference that mentoring, and Ice Ball, truly make.

The emcee for the night was Shannon Wolfson, evening anchor and investigative reporter for KXAN, and the auctioneer for the evening was Gayle Stallings.

“We’re so grateful for all the support from the Austin community,” said Kate and Hector Perez, Co-chairs for the event. “Supporting kids in one-to-one mentoring relationships can make the difference for their futures. To see so many come out to support, contribute, advocate and celebrate the success of BBBS made the night truly successful. This is such a great party, but it’s also about helping kids in ways that affect the rest of their lives. Thank you Austin for making Ice Ball 2016 a huge success!”

Although the decorations have now been put away and the ice melted, for many children and families in Central Texas, the impact of this special night will last a lifetime.

Special thanks to our top sponsors: BB&T, Pamela and Will Hurley, Kate and Hector Perez, RSM, US Micro Products, Sam Bassett, General Motors, H-E-B, IBM, Maswell, Locke & Ritter, Connie and Bill Nelson, Pape-Dawson Engineers, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Foundation, and The XYZ Co.


See Shannon and Mykayla’s video story here

See Ice Ball event photos here

See MyEventIsTheBomb photos here

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Spotlight on Patty Morton – Special Events Manager


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ two major fundraisers are the Ice Ball Gala and the Bowl for Kids bowling marathon. Meet Patty Morton, special events manager at BBBS, whose job it is to coordinate the logistics involved in these two city-wide events, plus any third-party events scheduled to benefit the agency.

“I’m responsible for everything involved in executing our events, including securing sponsors, bringing in funding, dealing with vendors, working with committees,” Patty said. “Everything from start to finish. It’s a lot of stuff.”

There are a lot of details that go into any large event, but Patty doesn’t allow herself to get distracted from the main goal – creating events that are successful financially and that impact the organization as a whole. “At the end of an event I like seeing how much money we’ve raised,” Patty remarked, “and knowing how many children will be served because of what we’ve accomplished.”

Patty sees the work she does going hand-in-hand with the programs and services that BBBS provides. “Our events secure the funding necessary to run the mentoring programs,” Patty added. “Funds raised through our events allow BBBS to provide more children with mentors.”

While BBBS’ events are fun and glamorous for attendees, the behind-the-scenes activities involve a lot of hard work. “The toughest part is trying to find new sources of income, trying to diversify our funding and finding new businesses to approach,” Patty said.

To engage new businesses, Patty arms herself with stories of mentoring successes gained from her early career experience as a social worker and as a part of the BBBS organization for over 10 years. “When I sit down with a donor, many times they are familiar with us, but don’t necessarily understand what we do,” Patty explained. “So I describe the power of mentoring and how it can impact a child’s life. Then I try to relate it to someone who has made a difference in their life, because who hasn’t been impacted by a mentor? It’s just helping them make that connection.”

Patty was with BBBS in the New Jersey area for many years, but is new to the Central Texas agency and Austin, having been here just over 4 months.  “Right now it’s still exciting,” she said. “I’m enjoying more of an outdoor lifestyle than I did in New Jersey. I’m enjoying exploring Austin and Texas.”

Part of that exploration includes getting used to TexMex food and BBQ, going hiking, going to movies and trying to meet new people.

“I’ve been with BBBS for almost a decade and I feel like that’s unique for someone my age,” Patty added. “So many people change jobs every few years. But I really have a passion for what BBBS does and I love the organization. When I made the move across the country I was so thrilled to be able to stay with BBBS because I truly love the work we do.”