THE ARTS AND THE
G I V I N G C I T Y A U S T I N
What makes our version of The Nutcracker the most successful in the country? Community, philanthropy and you.
A healthier Central Texas starts here for you and your family.
Learn how you can support a healthier community at setonfoundations.org
G I V I N G C O N T E N T S Nov/Dec 2012 Issue 13
Editor-in-Chief Monica M. Williams
26 STAYING POWER
Design DJ Stout Carla Delgado Pentagram Design
In its 50-year history, thousands of dancers have taken the Austin stage to perform “The Nutcracker.” And generations of us have enjoyed it. But the real beauty of the ballet goes beyond the stage. What puts Ballet Austin’s production among the most resilient in the country?
Sales and Marketing Director Rick Rondeau Contributors Michel Hudson Cecily Johnson Kenneth Mack Arlen Nydam Jamie Maldonado Rebecca Persons Beth Perkins Allison Sass
Jay B Sauceda
5 EDITOR’S LETTER
P H OTO G R A P H S B Y J AY B S A U C E D A A N D B E T H P E R K I N S
6 BRIEFS New look for creative nonprofit, a search for a leader and more. 10 HAPPENING NOW Komen needs you, how Austin ranks, Joshua Bingaman, Feast of Sharing and more.
32 A HISTORY OF SURVIVAL Is the fight against AIDS is finally over? Twenty-five years after its birth, how AIDS Services of Austin faces new enemies: funding cuts and complacency. Cover photo by Jay B Sauceda
37 GIVE BETTER How to give back this holiday season. 44 COMMUNITY
GivingCity Austin is available online. To request print copies, please send an email to info@ givingcity.com. 2012 Copyright GivingCity Austin. No part of this document may be reproduced without permission. Support GivingCity Austin! GvingCity Austin is a fiscal sponsorship of the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations. To see membership and sponsor levels, please visit GivingCityAustin.org. Checks may be made to GivingCity/TANO, 8001 Center Park Dr, Austin, TX 78754. Dnations to GivingCity/TANO are tax-deductible.
46 PROFILE A super-mom gives away 30,000 coats. Nov/Dec 2012 3
G I V I N G I T B A C K EDITOR’S LETTER
WE NEED A LEADER
If we’re going to make any progress in Austin philanthropy, it’s not going to be because the masses decide to step up. It’s going to be because a leader steps up and shows the way. Austin philanthropy is hurting for a leader. Somone who can articulate the needs of the community and help us visualize the future; someone who will gather the best people and organizations to address the needs and lead them toward real solutions. (Not someone who will play it safe, call upon the same old figure heads and come up with a press release campaign based on old relationships and old money.)
We need someone who asks not only the new millionaires to give but someone brave enough to also ask the unasked populations — Hispanics, East Siders, high-tech employees, college students, dads from the suburbs, hipsters, musicians... all the people everyone assumes doesn’t care or can’t afford it. (They do and they can.) We need someone who won’t rush to defend nonprofits when they come up short yet who will stick up for them when others focus on the rare cases of nonprofit malfeasance. And when the shit really does hit the fan, like in a disaster, we need someone who can give all of us a clear, stepby-step action plan. Who is this person or organization? Is there someone brave enough to do this in Austin now or will we have to wait for them to move here? Is it you? Be brave. It might be you.
MONICA Editor-in-Chief I’d love to hear from you. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or online at GivingCityAustin.org to comment. Or just send me an e-mail message at monica@ givingcity.com.
Nataly’s better! In the previous issue we told you about Nataly, the 11-year-old Austin girl diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Many of you donated to The Care Communities to help Nataly’s family, and we wanted to tell you she’s finished her treatments and doctors believe she’s free of cancer. She’s even grown her hair back! Thank you for almost $1,000 in donated funds and items. Your support meant so much to her family. Nov/Dec 2012 5
G I V I N G N E W S COMMUNITY
A CREATIVE NEW LOOK
A Leadership Search Continues
With its unique blend of arts and education, Theatre Action Project decided its name didn’t reflect what Richard Slaughter
we are and what we do,” says Karen LaShelle, execu- The Austin Community tive director. “Plus it’s an exciting name that makes you want to know more.” ¶ Last June it was awarded $103,600 from Impact Austin to launch an expansion of its work with post-incarcerated youth. It is also launching more after-school programs, a new Pre-K program in partnership with Susan Marcus and New World Kids and professional development workshops in partnerships with MindPOP. it also will pilot an LGBTQ Youth Theatre program this spring in partnership with OutYouth and UT-Austin. ¶ “The applications of our unique blend of arts and education are limitless,” says LaShelle,“and we thrive on pushing ourselves to keep reaching more communities each year.” Want your own Creative Action T-shirt? Visit CreativeAction.org
Leslie Sweet, community affairs for H-E-B and Creative Action supporter, models the nonprofit’s new T-shirt.
Foundation is one of those umbrella organizations in Austin whose health and success is vital to the community at large. So when its most recent president, Jeff Garvey, resigned in April 2012 after just 10 months on the job, that raised some eyebrows in the nonprofit community. Garvey was hired to replace Ken Gladish, ACF’s previous president, who left to lead the Seton Foundations after almost three years, in October 2010. MariBen Ramsey, ACF’s other top executive, had filled in as interim. Before that, ACF had only had one other president, Richard Slaughter. In fact, during its entire 35-year history, ACF has only had three perma-
nent presidents, two of them in the past four years. Now there’s interim president Jim Pendergast, a former telecom executive from San Marcos, who joined ACF in May 2012. At the time, ACF said the search for a new permanent president would start in September 2012, but as of November ACF board president says the search committee is still “developing and refining the search process.” ACF handles about $100 million in philanthropic assets, including donoradvised funds and some property. Hundreds of people, businesses and organizations use ACF services to help them manage, grow and give away their funds every day. Its financial stability, donor services and community leadership are its stock in trade. Aside from the turnover in its leadership, ACF recently implemented staff reductions, fee increases and policy changes. But Pendergast says all of this will put ACF on the right track. “Every organization experiences changes from time to time and ACF is no exception,” says Pendergast. “I think it’s a healthy thing.” Will ACF ever have enough to make grants from its own fund again? “We have continued making annual endowment matching grants and expect to be in a position to increase the scale of that initiative in 2014.”
C R E AT I V E A C T I O N P H O T O G R A P H B Y A R L E N N Y D A M
it really was. “Creative Action better describes who
Nonprofiteers charge up the crowd with a flashmob at the opening keynote of the Texas Nonprofit Summit.
NONPROFIT PROS CONVENE TO LEARN In September more than 700 nonprofit professionals gathered in Austin for the Texas Nonprofit Summit. Hosted by Greenlights and One Star Foundation, the conference featured discussions on
To celebrate its 25 years, the Christi Center decided to do something different. “We’d never really had a celebration before,” says executive director Cara Fox. As a nonprofit that provides free, ongoing grief support services to anyone adjusting to life after the death of a loved on, Fox says most of its gatherings are remembrances, which are usually not fundraisers. “I heard about Music Doing Good from my mom,” says Fox, whose mother is a professional fundraiser in Houston. The nonprofit performance group uses original music, video, spoken word and classic songs to communicate the mission of other nonprofits. Music Doing Good came down and spent a day and a half interviewing staff and clients on video. Then for the performance they intermixed clips from the interviews with songs like
“You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Lean On Me” and “Calling All Angels,” as well as a song written specifically for The Christi Center called “It Comes In Waves.” “They were just incredible,” says Fox. “I was flooded with emails from people. For a lot of people, it was the best event Christi Center has ever done.” Fox says the event was as much a friend-raiser as it was a fundraiser. Fifty percent of the attendees were new to The Christi Center and the event, held at Hill’s Cafe and also featuring a live performance by Johnny Dee’s Rocket 88s, raised more than $30,000 after expenses. “This was an all-out celebration. Our mission is peer-based so our people form lifelong friendships; they become beacons of hope to others. We laugh a lot.” Learn more at MusicDoingGood.org and FortheLoveofChristi.org
fundraising, board training, social media, volunteer leadership and most other aspects of nonprofit work. ¶“This year’s Texas Nonprofit Summit was created on the theme of ‘inspiring allies and im-
CHRISTI CENTER PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOHN R. ROGERS
pact’ and inspire it did,” says Evelyn Galante of Greenlights. “We have never seen an audience more captivated than with Dr. Tererai Trent’s story, more engaged than throughout the incredible session presentations, and more enthusiastic than during our flash mob. A fantastic two days left attendees re-invigorated around individual missions and working together as a nonprofit sector.” Learn more at TexasNonprofitSummit.org
Nov/Dec 2012 7
B R I E F S
Putting a Mission to Music
G I V I N G N E W S FUNDRAISERS
AUSTIN ON STAGE Two kick-off events, an anniversary and a celebrity speaker highlight the summerâ€™s events.
Topfer Opening Night Celebration
Capital City Village Celebration Capital City Village celebrated its first anniversary at Laguna Gloria.
The new Topfer Theatre at ZACH kicked off its opening in a big way with performances across the theaters.
Jessica Pierce and Haley Montgromery; Wendy Topfer and Lisa Rosenbaum; Mort and Bobbi Topfer. 8 GivingCityAustin.com
Michael Wilson, Beth Jaster, Kay McHorse and Drew Sawyer; Vicki Aycock, EmyLou Sawyer, Don Cook and Peggy Pickle.
B R I E F S
For more social photos visit KeepAustinGiving.org
Dancing with the Stars Kick-Off
The Center for Child Protection kicked off its Dancing with the Stars event with an evening in the elegant setting of Nieman Marcus.
At the Hospice Austin 7th Annual Beauty of Life event, almost 1,000 people gathered for the Four Seaons luncheon featuring Kathryn Stockett, author of acclaimed bestseller The Help.
Sabrina Barker-Truscott and Nancy Nichols; Eric and Maria Groten, event co-chair; event co-chair Mary Tally and Rusty Tally.
Suzy Balagia, Evan Smith and Amber Carden; Susan Johnson and Marjon Christopher; Megan Lyon and Kimberly Johnson. Nov/Dec 2012 9
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! On November 2, a group of 375 generous Austinites came together to celebrate and invest in the futures On November 2, a group of 375 generous Austinites came together to celebrate and invest in the futures of our city’s great kids. And had a fabulous time doing so. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this
of our city’s great kids. And had a fabulous time doing so. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this
On November 2, a group of 375 generous Austinites came together to celebrate and invest in the futures record-breaking evening for the & Girls Clubs. record-breaking evening forBoys the Boys & Girls Clubs.
of our city’s great kids. And had a fabulous time doing so. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this record-breaking evening for the BoysBarton & Girls Clubs. TITLETITLE SPONSOR GUARDIAN Creek Country Café Café Julie Barschow SPONSOR GUARDIAN Barton Creek Country Magnolia Magnolia Julie Barschow Virtus Virtus PrivatePrivate WealthWealth Virtus Virtus Real Estate Estate TITLEReal SPONSOR Management Management
Carlos Carlos Ancira Ancira Alan Blake Alan Blake GUARDIAN Steve Burt Steve Burt Virtus Private Wealth Carlos Ancira Rosemary & Dr. John Rosemary & Dr. John Virtus Real Estate Alan MENTOR Sibley Sibley ButlerBlake MENTOR Butler Management Steve Burt Harriett & Ken Choffel Harriett & Ken Choffel Karen & George Casey Casey Karen & George Rosemary & Dr. John Sean Cusack Sean Cusack EZ Corp EZ Corp MENTOR Sibley Butler PatrickPatrick Flynn Flynn Healthcare HardenHarden Healthcare Harriett & Ken Choffel Karen & George Casey Susan Susan Henricks Henricks Labs SiliconSilicon Labs Sean Cusack EZ Corp Brock Purslow Brock Purslow Patrick Flynn Harden Healthcare Terry Young June &June Terry&Young HEROHERO Susan Henricks Silicon Labs Adjacent Technologies Brock Purslow Adjacent Technologies LIVE AUCTION LIVE AUCTION Tom Ausley June & Terry Young HERO RobbieRobbie & Tom &Ausley CONTRIBUTORS Broaddus & Associates CONTRIBUTORS Broaddus & Associates Adjacent Technologies Melanie & Ben Barnes Buffington Capital LIVE AUCTION Melanie & Ben Barnes Buffington Capital Robbie & Tom Ausley Suzanna Choffel Holdings CONTRIBUTORS Suzanna Choffel Holdings Broaddus & Associates County Line BBQ Calendar Club & Ben Barnes CountyMelanie Line BBQ Buffington Capital Calendar Club Patrick Flynn Cappello Group Suzanna Choffel PatrickHilton Flynn Orlando Holdings Cappello Group Tracy & Mike Coffin County Line BBQ Hilton Orlando Club Tracy &Calendar Mike Coffin Bruce Hughes Peggy & Robert Davis Patrick Flynn Bruce Hughes Cappello Group IKEA Peggy & Robert & Davis Fulbright Jaworski, LLP Orlando IKEA Hilton Tracy & Mike Coffin Kruger’s Diamond Fulbright & Jaworski, Hester Capital LLP Bruce Hughes Peggy & Robert Davis Kruger’s Diamond Jewelers HesterManagement Capital IKEA Fulbright & Jaworski, LLPJewelers Peg & Dan Listrom Management Hicks Family Charitable Kruger’s Diamond HesterCharitable Capital Peg & Dan NakiaListrom Hicks Family Foundation Jewelers Management Jud Newcomb Mickey & Jamie HoltzmanNakia Scrappy Foundation Peg & Dan Listrom Hicks Family Charitable Scrappy S&M Jud Imports Newcomb & Gary Keil MickeyBecky & Jamie Holtzman Nakia Foundation Maline & Michael Quist Gayla &Keil Mark Kiester S&M Imports Becky & Gary Scrappy Jud Newcomb Mickey & Jamie HoltzmanMaline & Michael Quist Lynn & Larry Meyer Gayla &Becky Mark&Kiester S&M Imports Gary Keil SILENT AUCTION Rusty Morrison & Lynn &Gayla Larry &Meyer Maline“LITTLE & Michael Quist Mark Kiester AND Catherine&Cotman SILENT AUCTION Rusty Morrison Lynn & Larry Meyer BLACK BOX” Morrison, Friedrick & AND “LITTLE SILENT AUCTION Catherine Cotman Rusty Morrison & CONTRIBUTORS Spinn BLACK BOX” AND “LITTLE Morrison, Friedrick & Catherine Cotman Noble Strategic PartnersCONTRIBUTORS Abel’s onBOX” the Lake BLACK Spinn Morrison, Friedrick & PriceWaterhouseCoopers Abuelo’s CONTRIBUTORS Noble Strategic Partners Abel’s on the Lake Spinn Schlosser Development American Constructors Noble Strategic PartnersAbuelo’s PriceWaterhouseCoopers Abel’s on the Lake Corporation Arbor Car Wash PriceWaterhouseCoopers Abuelo’s Schlosser Development American Constructors Sendero Healthcare AT&T Executive Schlosser Development Arbor Car American Corporation Wash Constructors Leslie & Marty Scirratt Conference Center Corporation Arbor Car Wash Sendero Healthcare AT&T Executive Stephens Insurance and Hotel Sendero Healthcare AT&T Center Executive Leslie & Marty Scirratt Conference Superior Health Plan Barbeques Galore Leslie & Marty Scirratt Conference Center Stephens Insurance Linda & Dick Thompson and Hotel Bartlett’s Stephens Insurance and Hotel Superior Health Plan Barbeques Galore Time Warner Cable Superior Health Plan Barbeques Galore Linda &Youngblood Dick Thompson Bartlett’s Tire & Linda & Dick Thompson Bartlett’s Automotive Time Warner Cable Time Warner Cable Youngblood Tire & Youngblood Tire & Automotive Automotive 10 GivingCityAustin.com
Club Club Moonshine Patio Patio Karen & George Casey Casey Moonshine Karen & George BeckerBecker Vineyards Bar & Grill Terrell Terrell Gates,Gates, Event Chair Vineyards Bar & Grill Event Chair Barton Creek Country Nyle Maxwell Magnolia Café Julie Barschow Blue Bridal Gary Keil Blue Bridal Nyle Maxwell Gary Keil Moonshine Patio Karen & George Casey Body &Club Soul&Works Michelin Tires Tires Mark Kiester Body Soul Works Michelin Mark Kiester Becker Vineyards & Grill Terrell Gates, Event Chair Kay & Dr. Broaddus Honey Spa Spa Amanda Stovall KayJim & Dr. Jim Broaddus Milk & Bar Milk & Honey Amanda Stovall Nyle Maxwell Gary Thompson Keil JulietteBlue BuckBridal Modesty Hair Studio Linda Hank Juliette Buck Modesty Hair Studio Linda Hank Thompson Body & Soul Works Michelin Tires Mark Kiester Lynn Butler Lynn Butler NeimanNeiman MarcusMarcus Kay & Dr. Jim Broaddus Milk & Honey Spa Amanda Stovall Calendar Eldridge Adam Burden Calendar Club Club Nancy Nancy Eldridge Adam Burden Juliette Buck Modesty Hair Studio Hank Thompson Carmelo’s Therapeutic Massage AndrewLinda Andrew Bost, Auctioneer Carmelo’s Therapeutic Massage Bost, Auctioneer Lynn Butler Neiman Marcus Paco’s Tacos AT&T Executive Chuy’sChuy’s Paco’s Tacos AT&T Executive Calendar Club Nancy Eldridge Adam Burden Cigar Palace Painting a Twist Conference Center Cigar Palace Painting with a with Twist Center Carmelo’s Therapeutic Massage Conference Andrew Bost, Auctioneer David Yurman – Steakhouse Club Staff David Yurman Perry’sPerry’s Steakhouse BGCAABGCAA Club Executive Staff Chuy’s – Paco’s Tacos AT&T The Domain & Grille Brian Beaulieu The Domain & GrillePainting with a Twist Brian Beaulieu Cigar Palace Conference Center Discover Chiropractic PF Chang’s PF Chang’s Chris Patunas Discover Chiropractic Chris Patunas David Yurman – Perry’s Steakhouse BGCAA Club Staff Limos Promise Pizza Photography ElegantElegant Limos Promise Pizza Photography The Domain & Grille Brian Beaulieu Dr. Bill Estes Maline & Michael Quist Chris Tyson Dr. BillDiscover Estes Chiropractic MalinePF & Michael Quist Chris Tyson Chang’s Chris Patunas Mike Etie REI Debbie Armijo Mike Etie REI Elegant Limos Debbie Armijo Promise Pizza Photography EZ Corp Robin Jackson Diamantina Casiano Dr. Bill Estes Maline & Michael Quist Chris Casiano Tyson EZ Corp Robin Jackson Diamantina Firestone Photography Dick Thompson Mike Etie REI Debbie Armijo Firestone Photography Fleming’s Prime Ruth’s Chris SteakhouseDick Thompson Erika Gonzalez EZ Corp Robin Jackson Diamantina Casiano Fleming’s Prime Ruth’s S&M ChrisImports Steakhouse Erika Gonzalez Steakhouse Elizabeth Roden Firestone Photography Dick Thompson Steakhouse S&M Imports Elizabeth Roden Robert Fowler Amy Silvey Erica Gallardo Taft Ruth’s Chris SteakhouseErica Gallardo Erika Gonzalez RobertFleming’s FowlerHillsPrime Taft Great Country Club Amy Silvey Leslie & Marty Scirratt Greg Hamilton, Travis Steakhouse Club S&M Imports ElizabethTravis Roden Great Hills Leslie & Marty Scirratt Greg Hamilton, Grey Country Rock Golf club Spontuneous County Sheriff Robert Fowler Amy Silvey Erica Gallardo Taft Grey Rock Golf club Spontuneous CountyJeff Sheriff Heritage Tree Care Sports Clips Daily Great Marty Scirratt Greg Hamilton, Travis Heritage TreeHills CareCountry Club SportsLeslie Hilton Austin Clips & BBQ Stubb’s Jeff Daily Michael Israel Grey Rock Golf club Spontuneous County Sheriff Kristi Holthouser Jackson – Sketch Hilton Austin Stubb’sTexas BBQ Rowing Dock MichaelZack Israel Heritage Tree Care Sports Clips Jeff Daily Home Depot Texas Stars Artist – Sketch Kristi Holthouser Texas Rowing DockHockey TeamZack Jackson Hilton Austin Stubb’s BBQ Israel House Pizza The Little YogaTeam House Artist Michael Holli Lopez Home Depot Texas Stars Hockey Kristi Holthouser Texas Rowing Dock Zack Jackson – Sketch Hut Mary Tucker Jennifer Knight House Hula Pizza The Little Yoga House Holli Lopez Home Depot Texas Stars Hockey Team Artist Hut’s Hamburgers Twin Creeks Country Club Joe Stallone Hula Hut Mary Tucker Knight House Pizza The Little Yoga House Jennifer Holli Lopez Hutson’s Clothing Uchi Uchiko Kelley Carmon Hut’s Hamburgers Twin Creeks Country Club Joe Stallone Hula Hut Mary Tucker Jennifer Knight Jack Allen’s Kitchen University of Texas Kelly St. Julien Hutson’s Clothing Uchi Uchiko Kelley Joe Carmon Hut’s Hamburgers Twin Creeks Country Club Stallone JamesKitchen Avery Jewelry Athletics Leo Santana Jack Allen’s University ofUchiko Texas Kelly St. Julien Hutson’s Clothing Uchi Kelley Carmon Brian Jones Water 2 Wine Lindsey Wolf James Jack AveryAllen’s Jewelry Athletics Leo Santana Kitchen University of Texas Kelly St. Julien Kendra Scott Jewelry Whole Earth Provisions Mandarin Flower Co. Brian Jones Water 2Athletics Wine Lindsey Wolf James Avery Jewelry Leo Santana Gayla & Mark Kiester YMCA of Austin Tere & Gary Mayne 2 Wine KendraBrian ScottJones Jewelry Lindsey Wolf Whole Water EarthYoung Provisions Mandarin Nancy Lamb Terry RobFlower FowlerCo. Scott Jewelry Whole Earth Provisions Mandarin Flower Co. Gayla &Kendra Mark Kiester YMCA of Austin Tere & Gary Mayne Laura Elizabeth Jewelry Sandy McIlree, Emcee Gayla Kiester YMCA of Austin Tere & Gary Mayne Nancy Longhorn Lamb & Mark Steakhouse Terry Young SPECIAL THANKS Rob Fowler Susan Martin Nancy Lamb Terry Young Rob Fowler Laura Elizabeth Jewelry Sandy Susan McIlree,& Emcee Cindy Lopez Michael Meyer Gala Committee Members Laura Elizabeth Jewelry SPECIAL Emcee Longhorn Steakhouse THANKS Susan Sandy MartinMcIlree, Maggiano’s SWANK Audio Visuals Mark AlbersTHANKS Longhorn Steakhouse SPECIAL Susan Martin Cindy Lopez Susan & Michael John Tullis Meyer Gala Committee Members Cindy Lopez Susan Michael Meyer Gala Committee Members Maggiano’s SWANKUnique Audio&Design Visuals and Events Mark Albers Maggiano’s SWANK Audio Visuals Mark Albers John Tullis Our GREAT Kids! John Tullis Unique Design and Events Unique Design and Events Our GREAT Kids! Our GREAT Kids!
G I V I N G N E W S SURVEY
SPECIAL NEEDS ADULTS
B R I E F S
Where We Stand
Are we more or less generous than other cities? A hard look at our rank now. In 1997, Austin ranked an embarrassing 48th out of the 50 biggest metro areas for donations to charity. But according to an update to that study, released earlier this year, we moved up in 2008 to 32nd in the country. Good news, right? Well, before you pop the cork take a closer look: While we moved up in rank, we actually gave less. In 1997 we gave a mere 5.8 percent of our discretionary income to charity, but eleven years later we gave 4.2 percent, more than a whole percentage point less that what we’d given before. This places Austin below Portland, Charlotte and Los Angeles, not to mention Dallas, Houston and San Antonio for charitable giving. For a city proud of its top rankings in other categories (tech start-ups, veggie-friendly, music, fitness), how can we rank higher for local giving? PRISCILLA CORTEZ Fundraising consultant, Bacon Lee & Associates “We need to continue to support those organizations that are shedding light on why it’s important to create this culture of philanthropy and what it can do for our city. I also think people underestimate other people’s capacity for giving. There are segments out there that are waiting to be asked.” DAN GILLET CEO, Kimbia, online giving tool “From our perspective, we know that online giving is on the rise and that a nonprofit’s online donations platform can help increase its reach across the Web. The second opportunity will be in peer-to-peer fundraising. When we start to make it easier for more people to give, we’ll see giving become an important part of our society.” LES GAGE Philanthropist, former city council member and owner of Gage Furniture “Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see people giving as much. But, golly, we do have quite a few volunteers out there. We see them commit to volunteering, but they don’t commit to giving money. But we’ve got to start someplace. We’ve got to teach people that giving is important, not just to the community, but that it’s important to your soul. It’s one of those great things you get to do in your life. It just feels so wonderful to try to help someone.” RACHEL MUIR Manager, Blackbaud, fundraising software “The challenge today is to understand how nonprofits connect with donors. Then once they reach donors, how can they continue to nurture that relationship? At the end of the day, we know that people will give again if they know their gift made a difference.”
BUY ART, SUPPORT SPECIAL ARTISTS Last month, the Arc of the Capital Area’s Building Bridges event included an auction of several dozen original art pieces created by adults and children with developmental disabilities. ¶ While all those pieces were snapped up, don’t worry: There’s lots more where that came from! ¶ If you’ve never been to the Arc of the Arts Studio and Gallery, prepared to be amazed and moved. Paintings, sculpture
lovely to incredible, and most
Arc of the Arts Holiday Art Show & Open House
of the work is priced to sell.
Dec. 5, 6 - 8 pm 6717 Burnet Rd.
and folk art pieces range from
Nov/Dec 2012 11
G I V I N G I N A C T I O N HEALTH CARE
When an uninsured Sheila Boyer found a lump in her breast, a Komen-Austin funded resource stepped up to save her. Now she’s giving back.
N O W From the night she first discovered the lump in her breast to today, free of cancer, recovering from months of treatments, Sheila Boyer has had the support of patient navigators like those from the Breast Cancer Resource Center. They paid for her mammogram, sat Help Sheila’s Cause with her through the biopsy and connected Of every donation made to her to Medicaid. Though Komen Austin, 75 percent of it Boyer had a job at the stays in Austin to help women time, it did not come like Boyers. You can donate with health insurance. to the Komen Austin Race for Without that help, it’s the Cure through Nov. 30, and likely Boyer would not to Komen Austin anytime. have received those Visit KomenAustin.org. treatments. 12 GivingCityAustin.com
This past fall, Boyer’s 31-year-old daughter formed “Team Sheila B. Blessed” to run the Race for the Cure on Nov. 4, to benefit Komen Austin. Seventy-five percent of all money donated to Komen Austin stays in Austin to fund breast cancer resources like the BCRC. In fact, Komen Austin has funded BCRC for 11 years and funds 9 other organizations that offer breast health programs in the Austin area like Samaritan Health Ministries, Community Action Inc., and Planned Parenthood of the Texas Capital Region.
The misconception that Komen Austin does not fund the local Planned Parenthood may be one reason why race donations were down 50 percent. The attention the national organization got from a decisive decision earlier this year has impacted donations to local Komen affiliates across the country. In Austin, that means Komen is at risk of funding only half of the breast cancer services in 2013 as it did in 2012. “Can you imagine having to tell a woman she can’t get a lifesaving mammogram, or worse, tell her we don’t have the money to pay for her treatment?” says Christy Casey-Moore of Komen Austin. “Unfortunately, we may have to.” Boyer says she and her family will do their part. “My experience motivated us to give and to reach out to our community to give.” As Boyer points out, with one in eight women diagnosed every day, “the money raised is going to touch so many lives like mine,” adding, “I know I’m a blessed person.” Learn more at KomenAustin.org.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMIE MALDONADO
H A P P E N I N G
RETURNING THE FAVOR
December 1, 2012
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Rags to Wags is Austin Humane Society’s largest fundraiser with proceeds saving the lives of Austin’s homeless animals. This fun-filled evening will include a seated dinner, live and silent auctions, and a show featuring AHS dogs! Don’t miss out! Sponsorships start at $500 or individual tickets are only $125. Get yours today at ragstowags.org.
Benefiting Nov/Dec 2012 13
G I V I N G I N A C T I O N EVENTS
FALL FUNDRAISERS With concerts, golf, races and galas, there’s something for everyone this season. 1
2 DECEMBER 4
An Evening with Eliza 1
Dozens of Austin artists have fulfilled the musical wishes for Swan Song, a nonprofit that organizes private concerts for people facing a terminal illness. Eliza Gilkyson is one of those artists, and she’s also agreed to perform at its annual fundraiser at the Gibson Showroom. Learn more at SwanSongs.org
More Than a Game
There are probably hundreds of golf tournaments in Central Texas every year, but none have the synergy of The First Tee’s More Than a Game. The nonprofit leverages all the great character-building lessons from golf to help more than 4,000 kids build selfesteem, self-worth and a love of the game. The tournament offers players a chance to play with celebrities at the gorgeous Barton Creek Resort. Learn more at TheFistTeeAustin.org
Lights of Love
More than 4,000 people will participate in Lights of Love, the annual 5K run that takes place in the dark at Mueller Hangar that benfits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin. But while the race is just for fun, the real competition heats up online. Teams submit photos, photo boards and video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to compete for extra fundraising dollars, all toward the overall prize for top fundraising team. Learn more at RMHC-Austin.org
11 Heartbeats and Heroes at
2 The Black & White Gala at
AT&T Conference Center. Ben-
1 Rags to Wags Gala at Four
AT&T Executive Education and
efitting Championship Hearts
Seasons Hotel Austin. Benefit-
Conference Center. Benefitting
ting Austin Humane Society.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin
H A P P E N I N G
1 The State Dinner at LBJ Presi-
area. bgcaustin.org 11 Eleven Eleven: An Evening
dential Library. Benefitting The
3 Putting on the Ritz Austin
of Extraordinary Fashion at The
LBJ Foundation. lbjlibrary.org
Children’s Shelter Gala at the
Driskill Hotel. Benefitting Hos-
Hilton Austin Hotel. Benefitting
pice Austin and their Pet Peace
2 2012 Dancing with the
the Austin Children’s Shelter.
of Mind Program. hospiceaustin.org
Stars Austin at Hilton Austin. Benefitting The Center for Child
N O W
12 More Than A Game-Celeb-
4 2012 Komen Austin Race for
rity Golf Tournament at Barton
the Cure Downtown. Benefit-
Creek Resort. Benefitting The
7 5th Annual Lights of Live 5k
ting Susan G. Komen Foundation.
First Tee of Greater Austin.
and Kids K at Mueller Browning
Hangar. Benefitting The Ronald
8 Barkanalia at Camp Lucy.
12 The World Premier of ‘In her
Austin and Central Texas.
Benefitting PAWS Shelter and
Shoes’ at Stateside Theater.
Humane Society. barkanalia.org
Benefitting Dress for Success
McDonald House Charities-
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR GIVINGCITY AUSTIN
8 10th Annual Big Reds & Bubbles at The Driskill Hotel.
14-18 A Christmas Affair, The
UPCOMING ISSUES AND
Benefitting The Wine & Food
welve Days of Christmas at the
EVENTS IN 2013:
Foundation of Texas. winefood-
Palmer Events Center. Benefit-
ting the Junior League of Austin. jlaustin.org
8 Lone Stars and Angels Party
Jan/Feb: Resolve to Get Involved March/April: Businesses Giving Back
at The Bob Bullock Texas State
17 Smokin’ Flames BBQ and
History Museum. Benefitting St.
Can Run at Cowboy Harley-Da-
Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
vidson. Benefitting Capital Area
Food Bank. starcrazyevents.com
July/Aug: The New Philanthropists
9 4th Annual Charity Bash Live
17 The Roots of a New Begin-
Sept/Oct: Step Up and Volunteer
Auction at Ballet Austin. Ben-
ning at Emma S. Barrientos
efitting Center for Child Protec-
Mexican-American Cultural Cen-
tion and Seedling Foundation.
ter. Benefitting Serie Project.
10 Artreach Fair Trade Festival
Nov 28- Dec 24 Blue Genie Art
you can connect with others
at 8332 Mesa Dr. Benefitting
Bazaar at Marchesa Hall & The-
who care about our community.
Fair Trade Artisans around the
ater. Benefitting Travis County
Become a member of GivingC-
Center for Child Protection.
ity Austin today for invitations
May/June: Your Best Fundraiser Ever
Nov/Dec: Austin’s Biggest Donors Each issue will launch with a fun event where, as always,
10 6th Annual Hill Country Nights at Texas Disposal Systems. Benefitting Hill Country Conservancy. hillcountryconservancy.org
Nov/Dec 2012 15
G I V I N G I N A C T I O N COMMUNITY
H-E-B Feast of Sharing
With guest and volunteers coming from all across Central Texas, it’s a party at Palmer every year. Photographs by Arlen Nydam Each year more than 13,000 people line up outside Palmer Events Center for the annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing. Turkey, stuffing, green beans, roll and pie, all plated and served by hundreds of volunteers, many of them H-E-B employees. A family finds a table, and an alert volunteer raises her hand to let servers know who needs food, drink, dessert. Kids kneel in their seats, soaking in as much of the scene as they can. When the meal arrives, they scrape their plates happy to have a warm meal in this joyous holiday atmosphere. Anyone can come — and everyone does. Last year guests included families, elderly couples, “one percent” protestors, police officers, homeless people and plenty of people who could have easily afforded a fancy meal downtown but chose Feast of Sharing instead. Coordinated by the unsinkable Tamra Jones of H-E-B, the event also features local celebrities, performers, musicians and a family fair featuring crafts, nonprofit booths and free books for the kids. Now in its twenty-third year in Austin, H-E-B hosts Feasts of Sharing in more than 20 communities across Texas.
H A P P E N I N G
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Nov/Dec 2012 17
w .GiveR alty.com | 512-3 8-4 83 Buying or Selling a Home? Hire us and we will donate $1875.00 to your favorite nonprofit*. At Give Realty our clients and community come first, thatâ€™s why we have donated over $206,000 to the causes our clients are passionate about. *based on a $250K sales or purchase price. Must be a 501(c)3 in good standing.
Change your address, Change the world.TM 18 GivingCityAustin.com
www.GiveRealty.com | 512-338-4483
G I V I N G I N A C T I O N PHILANTHROPY
THE NEW GIVING CAMPAIGNS The campaigning isn’t over, and now it’s for Austin! Here’s a breakdown of three major campaigns happening now and how you can get involved. UNITED WAY CAMPAIGN
KEEP AUSTIN GENEROUS
“Our goal for Amplify Austin is really focused on new givers.” — Patsy Woods Martin of I Live Here, I Give Here WHAT A 24-hour online giving frenzy aimed at raising $1 million for 300 local nonprofits.
— Christa Berry of United Way WHAT A three-month media campaign in online, radio, print advertising and on CapMetro buses to garner and inspire increased philanthropic giving in Austin. WHEN Late September to early December WHO United Way partnered with Creative Suitcase and several in-kind media donations including 3M, The Austin American-Statesman and Google. WHY To remind the local community of its role in encouraging giving. WHAT YOU CAN DO Use United Way’s “Impact Calculator” to determine what impact your donation would have on the community. Visit Hands On Central Texas for opportunities to get involved. Donate to any nonprofit in Central Texas. Learn more at UnitedWayAustin.org
WHEN March 4-5 WHO I Live Here, I Give Here.
“Giving isn’t just about giving online, giving big sums of money, it’s really about giving in the easiest of ways with the things you do every day.” — Leo Ramirez of MiniDonations WHAT A week-long campaign corroborating with the Trail of Lights to raise $1 million to give away to local nonprofits, and simultaneously register thousands of volunteer hours. The total amount raised will be given away in its entirety in the form of $1,000 MiniDonations credits to randomly chosen participants who will then donate it to the nonprofit of their choice. WHEN December 15-23 WHO MiniDonations WHY To engage every member of the community in giving while demonstrating the ease of incorporating philanthropy into the lives of Central Texans.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Support Keep Austin Generous by making tax-free donations. Create your own Keep Austin Generous event. Recruit businesses. Offer 50-cent donation opportunities to customers. Donate at least one percent of your pre-tax earnings. Volunteer for Keep Austin Generous Events. Volunteer at KAG Experience at the Trail of Lights. Volunteer at the KAG Race. Volunteer as a software developer. Become a sponsor. Learn more at KeepAustinGenerous.org
WHY To inspire Central Texans to invest more in our community, while generating hundreds of first time donors and re-connecting with those who have donated before. WHAT YOU CAN DO Donate to one or more of the 300 registered nonprofits. Become an ambassador by setting up a fundraising page to promote any of the registered nonprofits. Participating nonprofits can attend training sessions to cultivate more donations and get the most of the Amplify Austin experience. Donate toward awards given to nonprofits throughout the event. Media sponsors advertise event. Businesses can become “donation stations,” where donors can make their contributions on Amplify Austin day. Learn more at ILiveHereIGiveHere.org
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“We’re reminding people that it’s a great opportunity for them to give back to the communities, even if it’s not with United Way, as long as they are giving back to a local nonprofit that they believe in.”
H A P P E N I N G
BY REBECCA PERSONS
G I V I N G I N A C T I O N YOUTH SERVICES
The Big Reveal Photographs by Arlen Nydam, Cecily Johnson and Kenneth Mack Home. It’s the one thing that’s been beyond the grasp of most of LifeWorks clients. The one thing they’ve needed and longed for their whole lives. But when a LifeWorks client is finally on her own, she often must balance a job, school and a young child. Keeping that balance is hard enough, never mind finding the resource to turn a bare apartment into the kind of home she’s always dreamed about. That’s what makes the Home Improvement Challenge so special. Volunteer designers partner with volunteer leaders from eight corporate and community teams to makeover the apartments of eight LifeWorks clients. Planning happens weeks in advance. The volunteers fundraise to buy the paint, furniture, fixtures. And all the remodeling has to be done in eight hours. Apartments are emptied, walls are painted, belongings organized, new and refurbished furniture is moved in, all while the client waits off-site for the big reveal. Learn more about how LifeWorks volunteers are changing the lives of young families at LifeWorksAustin.org
“You guys deserve this,” says Jenny Cokins, volunteer interior designer. “The way you’ve changed your life for the better, for you and your son. You deserve it.” 20 GivingCityAustin.com
“I’m not going to leave this apartment for a week,” says client Lidia Simmons. “I feel like a celebrity right now, but it’s just me and my son.”
H A P P E N I N G
“It’s been an amazing experience,” says Ingrid Butts, who lead her team of 3M co-workers. “The look on her face makes it so worthwhile.”
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G I V I N G I N A C T I O N
PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMIE MALDONADO
BUSINESSES GIVING BACK
THIS IS PROGRESS Joshua Bingaman — entrepreneur, father, philanthropist, designer and East Austin’s eternal optimist — gives his all to people and community.
“It’s the mix of people. I mean, you come here and see CPAs, rock stars, artists, hermanos, families.... They all come together and it’s not because of coffee. It’s because Progress gives them a reason to come together.”
coming out of its gangs and punks past and had been mostly written off by other businesses. While the store got street cred for its shoe selection, it also built a community by hosting events, raising money for local causes and inviting anybody in the neighborhood to join in. And they did. “The only reason I fueled off of the store was the people,” says Bingaman. With the goal of franchising the store, Bingaman and his wife Sarah set out for Austin. But instead of opening a store, Bingaman opened a coffee shop. “People told us to check Austin out,” remembers Bingaman. “We didn’t know why we would want to be here. But we both fell in love with the city and the opportunity we saw it to be.” At a time when everyone seemed to be opening a little coffee shop in East Austin, Progress stood out. Bingaman had created that same Subterranean scene from the Mission District here on East 5th Street.
“It’s the mix of people,” says Bingaman. “I mean, you come here and see CPAs, rock stars, artists, hermanos, families.... They all come together and it’s not because of coffee. It’s because Progress gives them a reason to come together.” Bingaman is a generous businessman, perhaps overly generous. He confesses to sneaking cash into the backpacks of his employees. He hosts fundraisers and concerts for local causes and artists. His sells roasted coffee beans that benefit local nonprofits like Project LOOP and the Sustainable Food Center. He puts his heart and soul and personal resources into Progress and keeping that community alive. But he still really digs shoes. While traveling to Istanbul years back to reconnect with extended family, Bingaman discovered a shoemaker that still made boots by hand. He connected with that ethos and created HELM Boots, picturing a shoe store built around
the same values as Subterranean and Progress, one that cherishes people and honors their contributions. Bingaman probably puts more money, time and soul into Progress and Helm than he can afford... at least by other people’s standards. “I consider myself successful if I’m surrounded by good people and not too much debt,” says Bingaman. “I’ve always found this cycle of self-support, I’ve always thought that tomorrow will meet tomorrow’s provisions.” Learn more at ProgressCoffee.com
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Joshua Bingaman left home in Oklahoma for Los Angeles to be a musician. In L.A. he wrote songs, sang and performed, and he even recorded a couple of albums. But he wasn’t long for L.A. and he joined his older brother in San Francisco where they decided to make something out of their love of sneakers. They opened Subterranean Shoe Room in the Mission District. An unlikely store in an unlikely place. Yes, he loves shoes. But it was the store that changed him. The Bingaman’s created a friendly oasis in the working-class neighborhood, which was still
H A P P E N I N G
BY MONICA M. WILLIAMS
At St. David’s Foundation, helping create a healthier Central Texas is our job. And we sure do love our job. It takes funding, hard work, and initiative to build a healthy community, and that’s the mission of St. David’s Foundation. As a joint owner of St. David’s HealthCare, the Foundation achieves its goals by investing the proceeds from the hospitals back into the Central Texas community. In 2012, the Foundation will give more than $39 million to the community through grants to numerous agencies, local safety net clinics, and the highly acclaimed St. David’s Dental Program. By funding initiatives in six key areas – Healthy Aging, Healthy Futures, Healthy Living, Healthy Minds, Healthy People and Healthy Smiles – St. David’s Foundation focuses on improving the health and health care of all Central Texans today and for years to come. Learn more at www.stdavidsfoundation.org.
Impact. Community. Health.
A Candid Look at Austin’s Nonprofit Scene Keep Austin Giving – an online social column by Austin photojournalist Robert Godwin – shares news and photos of the nonprofit events you attend. So whether you are in the photos or want to share them, Keep Austin Giving is your source.
Check out the latest happenings at keepaustingiving.org.
Nov/Dec 2012 25
BY MONICA M. WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAY B SAUCEDA
STAYING POWER THE COSTUMES OF BALLET AUSTIN’S “THE NUTCRACKER” HAVE SEEN HUNDREDS OF REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES ON DOZENS OF DANCERS. AND YET THEIR BEAUTY HASN’T FADED.
50 Years The Golden Anniversary season of Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker runs Dec. 8 to 23. For tickets visit BalletAustin.org 26 GivingCityAustin.com
In fact, they grow more beautiful with age, partly because we get to know them better with each performance but also because their resilience proves their inner strength. Each costume has been engineered to last a very long time. In a way, the costumes are a symbol of “The Nutcracker” itself, particularly Ballet Austin’s version. In the past 49 years of its performance, more than 1.5 million people have seen the local production of the “The Nutcracker,” and this year — its Golden Anniversary — it’s likely to see many sell-out performances. In fact, last year Ballet Austin’s production of “The Nutcracker” filled more seats than any other production of “The Nutcracker” in the country. Its resilience proves its inner strength, for “The Nutcracker” is more than a ballet; it’s an economic engine for the community. And a lasting Austin tradition.
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Previous: Toy Soldier
IMPACT The Arts Community Ballet Austin has contracted with the Austin Symphony Orchestra for the music for 30 years. Ballet Austin pays about $125,000 to the Austin Symphony Orchestra annually for its services, for “The Nutcracker” production alone. Each season, “The Nutcracker” employs 32 dancers plus artistic staff, 52 musicians, 30 crewmembers and 25 administrative staff. Each performance employs 52 local musicians and a conductor for 13 performances and 2 rehearsals.
HOLLIS GASTON MOTHER OF LEAH GASTON, ONE OF TWO DANCERS TO PLAY “CLARA” IN THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY PRODUCTION
“Leah has been dancing with the Academy since she was three years old, and now as a senior in high school she gets to be one of two ‘Clara’ dancers. It really is the pinnacle of all her training and sacrifice. “We spend a good portion of our life at Ballet Austin. Since she’s been in ‘The Nutcracker’ 10 times, it’s become a very special part of my family. The fact that she’s in the 50th anniversary performance makes it so much more special. “Some of her best friends are friends from ballet, and she wants to pursue it as a professional. I want her to follow her dream but I know it’s not a terribly easy life. But it became a passion for her years ago, and it’s really clicked for her since then.”
More than 200 children dance in “The Nutcracker” every year.
The Audience 13,500 students attend “The Nutcracker” school shows each year from 140 schools and 25 school districts. 2,000 clients from local social service nonprofits who attend the “Night of Community” performance for free. Ballet Austin donates 200 tickets for auctions and raffles at events across the city.
ANTHONY J. CORROA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
“The Nutcracker has made a huge impact on the symphony for many years. People may not know this, but ASO has to guarantee a number of performances for the musicians and help them continue to work throughout the year. Ballet Austin supplies some of the performance so that ASO doesn’t have to and we can keep costs down. “The number of people that are actually getting work from The Nutcracker is a huge accomplishment for any ballet company. It really is one of the crown jewels for the community. “When you look at the entire company, you really have to look at the leadership of Cookie Ruiz and Stephen Mills, two of the most brilliant leaders of any arts organization. That leadership helps sustain the type of excellence in the arts that exists in Austin. I think the efforts we’re making to try to keep musicians gainfully employed in this community speaks volumes.” Nov/Dec 2012 29
FOUNDER OF LA CORSHA HOSIPITALITY GROUP, WHICH TRANSFORMED THE DRISKILL HOTEL AND WILL OVERSEE THE CONSTRUCTION AND MANAGE THE SEAHOLM PLAZA HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN AUSTIN.
“For many people who come downtown to see ‘The Nutcracker,’ it’s rare to experience the ballet or a live symphony or The Long Center or even downtown Austin. So there are people who make an evening out of it, enjoying dining and entertainment before and after the show. “It would be really hard to overstate the impact on the quality of life that ‘The Nutcracker’ makes, not just for those of us who live here but also for those who want to move here. Businesses come here because they want to relocate their employees and their families to a city that has the kind of facilities and entertainment options that Austin has. And I think Ballet Austin helps us have it all. “If ‘The Nutcracker ‘were to go away, clearly the holidays would be less enjoyable for many people. It’s a tradition. “But it’s exciting to know that ‘The Nutcracker’ is doing just the opposite. It’s something that reinvents itself every year. Financially, Ballet Austin depends on it. But we need to realize how much the community depends on ‘The Nutcracker’, too.”
The Local Business Each season, The Nutcracker supports employees from The Long Center, Sterling Events, security, parking and valet, resulting in more than $850,000 income for these businesses alone. Audience members travel from Travis County, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Burnet and beyond. “The Nutcracker” brings in an estimated halfmillion dollars in hotel and dining revenue to downtown Austin businesses each year.
Ballet Austin Ballet Austin’s production of “The Nutcracker” was the first in Texas and remains its longest running production today.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF WORLDWIDE OPERATIONS FOR SILICON LABORATORIES
“I go to the ballet because I love the choreography and the artistry, but I go to ‘The Nutcracker’ because I want to feel like part of the community. There’s an excitement about being part of something that all of Austin can enjoy as a way to kick off the holiday season. It has become part of our environment. It’s an honest tradition. “I’m not sure what makes Austin’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ so successful, but I know people who saw it when they were children, whose parents and grandparents saw it and whose children will see it. And that’s what it takes. The dancers spend hours rehearsing, but they couldn’t perform without an audience. The audience is what creates that excitement and that experience.” 30 GivingCityAustin.com
Ballet Austin has the highest percentage of houses sold among dance companies nationwide, at 90.4% of each house sold. Each season, “The Nutcracker” accounts for about 50% of Ballet Austin’s ticket revenue, 25% of its total earned revenue and almost 20% of its total gross revenue.
CHINESE TEA PERFORMER
Those Resilient Costumes There are 200 total costumes for The Nutcracker. The most expensive costume is the bad guy’s: The Rat King costume costs $6,000. 120 loads of laundry are done each season to wash the costumes. Dancers go through 400 pairs of shoes for “The Nutcracker”, and the Sugar Plum Fairy often goes through more than one pair of pointe shoes in a single performance. Nov/Dec 2012 31
BY JESSIE TORRISI PHOTOGRAPHS BY BETH PERKINS
HOW WE SURVIVE AIDS
Twenty-five years after AIDS Services of Austin opened its doors, the fight against AIDS continues — and it’s as tough as ever.
Six years after the first cases of AIDS were reported in the United States, thenPresident Ronald Reagan would still not address it. In 1985, panicky Texas health officials proposed to quarantine people with HIV.
So when AIDS Services of Austin (ASA) opened its doors in 1987, it was one of the first service centers for people with HIV not just in Austin, but across the country. It was not uncommon then to see people outside ASA’s doors brandishing signs that read, “God created AIDS.” In the beginning it was all ASA could to to help people with HIV – oftentimes, gay men who were estranged from their families – die with dignity. Today, thanks to new drugs and treatments, ASA focuses on helping people live with HIV rather than die from it. Its daily work is to teach people to manage the virus, mitigate side effects, and face the mountain of bills and bureaucratic forms that accompany doctors’ visits, housing aid and employment needs. HIV has become survivable. But HIV, the cause, has become less popular, and that has lead to a decrease in funding for ASA. Earlier this year, it lost $55,000 from the United Way and doesn’t yet know how it’ll plug the hole in this year’s budget. Another loss of $150,000 from federal budget cuts means ASA may have to cut back on programs or help fewer people. All of this while 6,000 people in Central Texas are HIV positive... and the need for services increases every day. Despite 25 years of saving lives, will ASA find itself reliving its history?
A second chance “It made me realize that even though people react out of ignorance, with education, they can become compassionate.”
It’s been more than 15 years since Paul Scott almost died from HIV. The disease had wasted his body to 100 pounds. He had fevers of 107 for days at a time. The doctor called his parents and told them to come, that he would not last through the night. Somehow Paul hung on until 1996 when physicians administered a protease inhibitor that worked in a way no drug before had. Six weeks later, he was snorkeling in Hawaii, wondering what to do with the life he’d won back. Before HIV, Paul was hardly an activist. He was a litigation lawyer in Tennessee. “No one in my law firm knew I was gay, he says, “or HIV-positive.” A colleague had even advised Scott to not shake the hand of another man who was HIV-positive. But that changed as soon as Paul took medical leave. Someone in the firm outed him. “There was a judge that spent his whole day calling every law firm in the city about my status.” He couldn’t bring himself to go back to work, so Paul started volunteering, doing HIV prevention work, and he eventually opened up a primary care clinic in Chattanooga. Andthe colleague who’d been afraid to shake a man’s hand stopped him in the gym one day, wanting to know how he was doing. Today, Scott is the executive director of ASA, where the main challenge is building bridges with communities that have been the last to receive services — particularly African-Americans and Latinos. “The biggest fallacy is to think AIDS Services of Austin can go into any community and be the cure or the voice of education. You have to build trust first.” Nov/Dec 2012 33
“My generation was raised to believe that you get married, you have children. If you’re gay, that’s not an option. But we still had that upbringing. So women chimed in and helped. It was from a spirit of, I’ve got to do something to help my brothers who are dying.”
In the 1990s, Sue Campion taught AIDS awareness in the Bible Belt. She was working at a center for developmentally disabled people when she realized its clients were having sex. “I was in Abilene where you couldn’t even talk about HIV,” she says. “I felt it was my role to educate the staff that worked with them.” She didn’t set out to be an advocate for people with HIV, but later, when her ex-husband became infected, she was forced into the role. “I’m gay, but I wasn’t out at the time,” Sue explains. “I called ASA seeking services for my ex-husband, my best friend, out of desperation.” She spoke to ASA’s founder for 20 minutes, and he was a much-needed sympathetic ear. “Just that simple act of kindness, I thought gosh, I’m going to volunteer there,” she recalls. A few years later, she did. Then she joined the board of ASA, and finally the staff as ASA’s chief programs officer. In the early days, volunteers ran programs. “There really was a lesbian response. My generation was raised to believe that you get married, you have children. If you’re gay, that’s not an option. But we still had that upbringing. So women chimed in and helped. It was from a spirit of, I’ve got to do something to help my brothers who are dying.” 34 GivingCityAustin.com
Twentythree year old Tyrone Rivers belongs to the fastest rising population of people with HIV – young people of color. Growing up, Tyrone’s family didn’t talk about being gay or HIV, but he did get the “use protection” speech. Homosexuality was silently acknowledged in his large, tight-knit family. On the streets, in school, however, it was a different story. “I hear a lot of talk about HIV as ‘the disease.’ It disgusts people,” he says. A week after getting diagnosed, Tyrone came to ASA. “I was seeking guidance: Was there going to be a life-plan for me? Was there going to be a date set when I’m dead?” He fell into a deep depression. It was the week before Christmas. He had just dropped out of school. He remembers thinking, ‘Where do I go from here?’ But eventually, Tyrone started group therapy at ASA, where he sees a case manager to strategize how to stay healthy and make enough money to move out on his own. Tyrone is a success story. Since July, his viral load has been undetectable though he battles stomach pains from the medicine. He plans to go back to school, is optimistic about falling in love, and is honest with his sexual partners. But for the rest of his life, he’ll have to deal with HIV. There are several theories about why it’s so hard to bring infection rates down. One is that no matter what educators or advocates say, kids will be kids – to be young is to feel invincible. Others point to studies showing youth, when they’re rejected by family as many queer youth are, will take extra risks, even see HIV as a badge of belonging. Tyrone believes fear of not being loved drives a type of denial. “In the moment, you’re not thinking. You do things that you normally wouldn’t do. You can be easily persuaded because you want to get to that point regardless of what it takes.” Information, he warns, “is only as good as the person who’s listening.”
Learn More An estimated 6,000 people live with AIDS and HIV in Central Texas. About 1 in 5 are unaware of their status. ASA provides services to more than 1,500 people and HIV prevention education to more than 10,000 people in Central Texas. Visit ASAustin.org to learn more. Nov/Dec 2012 35
MAKE AUSTIN A GIVING CITY MAKE AUSTIN A GIVING CITY MAKE AUSTIN A GIVING CITY MAKE AUSTIN A GIVING CITY MAKE AUSTIN YOUR DONATIONS HELP SUPPORT OUR MISSION TO MAKE AUSTIN A GIVING CITY.
Become a member now and get your GivingCity T-shirt. GivingCityAustin.org
G I V I N G I D E A S COMMUNITY SERVICES
G I V E B E T T E R
N Y N Y N Y N Y N
SPIRIT Don’t fight the urge to help others this season — everybody’s doing it! In fact, donations
at the end of the year account for 40 percent of all donations made! So get out there, give back and volunteer. But get started …these opportunities fill up fast. Nov/Dec 2012 37
G I V I N G I D E A S COMMUNITY SERVICES
GIVE THANKS CANstruction Austin
November 10 at Barton Creek Mall Canstructionaustin.org
El Buen Samaritano Hands for Hope Thanksgiving Basket Event November 17 at El Buen Samaritano Campus ElBuen.org This community-wide event gathers donations of traditional Thanksgiving foods and distributes them to Austin families in need.
iACTâ€™s 28th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration November 18 at University United Methodist Church InterfaithTexas.org A free, family, potluck event. Bring your favorite dish to share.
21st Annual Thundercloud Turkey Trot November 22 at Auditorium Shores Thundercloud.com The largest five-mile race in Texas is hoping to reach their goal of over 20,000 runners this year, all to benefit Caritas.
Operation Turkey Thanksgiving Day at three locations across Austin OperationTurkey.com Help out on Thanksgiving morning by cooking food, sorting donations, and delivering dinners to those in need.
In this unique food drive, competing teams create impressive structures using only canned food! All food is donated to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.
ToysforTots.org Drop-offs accepted at ToysRUs stores. Last day to donate is Dec. 22.
Brown Santa BrownSanta.org The Travis County Sheriff’s raises money by hosting a 5K run, a motorcycle ride and accepting your donations. Families needing assistance can visit several application sites.
Orange Santa UTexas.edu/Events/OrangeSanta Students, faculty and staff drop off toys around campus.
Blue Santa BlueSanta.org Municipal employees adopt families and you help by donating items, donating money or volunteering. Families needing assistance can visit several application sites.
Salvation Army Angel Tree Program USS.SalvationArmy.org Select and shop for a child in need from the Angel Trees found at the Barton Creek Mall, Lakeline Mall and Hill Country Galleria.
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade ChuysParade.com Chuy’s celebrates 25 years of this totally Austin parade. Bring a toy, sponsor a float or make a donation for this Dec. 1 event.
Nov/Dec 2012 39
B E T T E R
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
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G I V I N G I D E A S COMMUNITY SERVICES
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Family Eldercareâ€™s Holiday Giving Drive FamilyEldercare.org
B E T T E R
Make the Holidays brighter by sponsoring gifts for seniors and adults with disabilities who would otherwise not receive gifts this Holiday Season.
GIVE LOVE Bastrop Adopt-A-Family AdoptAFamily.us The families displaced by the Bastrop wildfires still need help. Gather friends to make their holidays brighter this year.
Holiday Wishes: Partnership for Children PartnershipsforChildren.org Sponsor a child in the care of Child Protective Services and purchase gifts on their holiday wish list. Donations and volunteers also needed.
Foundation Communities Holiday Assistance
LifeWorks Holiday Help LifeWorks.org
Adopt a youth or a family, sponsor a holiday party, donate gift cards or host a backpack drive.
FoundCom.org Sign up to sponsor a family or donate items from the wish list of this organization that offers affordable housing to families in need.
H-E-B Spirit as Big as Texas Food and Toy Drive HEB.com Drop off non-perishable foods and new toys at participating stores and H-E-B will donate all contributions to local area food banks.
The Christmas Bureau of Austin CBofAustin.org Register to adopt a family thatâ€™s applied for assistance. You get to talk to the family and find out what they need. Every gift counts!
SafePlace Sponsor a Family SafePlace.org The holidays are a difficult time for people and families fleeing abusive homes. You can sponsor a family or shop for the shelter.
G I V I N G I D E A S FUNDRAISING
BY MICHEL HUDSON
SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS Across the city, moms (and dads) are raising serious cash for schools. Can nonprofits learn a thing or two?
CREATING COMMUNITY This is where PTAs shine. A school has a sense of place, and the built-in constituency — parents, teachers, administrators and neighbors — creates a collaborative community. The Caldwell Elementary School PTO and campus leaders sit down in May of each year to go over the campus “wish list,” with the PTO providing $10,000 to $20,000 in resources for teachers and students.
PTAs know how to make a winter wonderland out of crepe paper and glitter. With PTA volunteers, creativity is key. 42 GivingCityAustin.com
Every year PTO and PTA (parent-teacher organizations or associations) volunteers produce wildly successful fundraising events and campaigns, some of which would rival those of a nonprofit fundraising event professional. Could parents know something they don’t? Here are some of the things PTAs do right.
PLAYING TO VOLUNTEER STRENGTHS Since PTAs are almost exclusively volunteers, they’ve learned to take advantage of people’s skills. In fact, since almost none have a staff, volunteers are their greatest resource. Every volunteer on a PTA event committee is put to work. WORKING ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET Just like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney could put on a full Broadway-level show in a barn, PTAs know how to make a winter
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GARNERING GRASSROOTS SUPPORT Although many nonprofits are great at this, PTAs are, by definition, grassroots. They “work
where they play” and generate support where they live. Diana Dworin, a former president of the Davis Elementary PTA, started a fundraiser for a science lab at the school, and collected a significant amount just by the “sheer force of her charm.” She hooked the fundraiser onto other events throughout the year by setting up a booth each time to communicate the value of the project. Barton Hills Elementary School has done an amazing job of getting local support for their carnival: They recruit alumni to serve as booth volunteers, raise monetary and auction donations from families, and receive donations for their Food Court from over 20 area stores and restaurants like Pei Wei, Olive Garden, and HEB. Having students participate in the fundraising process is another great way to get support. How many parents can turn down their child’s pleas to “buy the plate I decorated” at the auction?
Some Lessons from the Pros Most PTAs could learn a thing or two from nonprofit professionals. Here are some areas with room for improvement. Soliciting Major Gifts If it takes at least three asks to get one donation, no matter what size, it follows that you need to focus on soliciting large donations to be more effective. Nonprofits know this; unfortunately, PTAs have a long history of asking for $5 here and $20 there. With budgets for schools being cut every year, support from PTAs is more important than ever. When Reynolds was involved with McNeil High School’s band booster club, she said they needed to raise enough money annually — around $55K-$60K — to pay for letter jackets, a band trip, sheet music and even salaries. As she remarked, “They’re not just funding ‘fluff’ anymore.” Stewardship Nonprofits usually have a system in place for gift receipts, mainly because they have to for tax purposes. Because buying tickets to a school carnival or bidding on items at an auction aren’t really tax-deductible, many PTAs don’t even bother to keep track of the majority of their supporters. They may send receipts to the busi-
nesses who provide items or services, but that’s generally where it ends. Stewardship is more than just a receipt for a gift, though; it’s making the donors feel good about their gifts so they will want to continue to support the cause. Nonprofits do a good job of creating ads to thank event sponsors, and they sometimes hold “Thank You” dinners for major donors. While these are expense items, without an immediate payoff, they know it is a necessary component in the solicitation cycle. Marketing Ask a PTA leader what they’ve done for marketing, and most will point to the fliers they send home and the marquee in front of the school. Very few tap into traditional media outlets or try to get publicity outside their schools. But they should. When they’re competing for sponsors and donations from area businesses, awareness of their good works is key to the success of PTAs. Nonprofits may not be great at marketing, but they know they need to tell their story. Nov/Dec 2012 43
B E T T E R
wonderland out of crepe paper and glitter. Creativity is key with PTA volunteers, and it’s often amazing how they can pull together supplies for an entire event for less than $200. Laura Mohammed, who has been a volunteer with both Davis Elementary and Murchison Middle School, remembers a “call to arms” to create confetti eggs. Not only did they supply the event for very little money, they had fun doing it. Storage often is an issue for PTAs, too, so “disposable” or “borrowed” are well-used adjectives for them. “You’ll always be told something can’t be done,” says Sharon Reynolds, a 15-year veteran of volunteering in her sons’ schools, “but you have to think outside the box.” If it’s a good idea, “you have to come back with ‘How can we make this happen?’”
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DAWN BREYFOGLE COATS FOR KIDS 2012 CHAIR Thousands of coats, thousands of volunteers ... but this supermom is up for the job. The sheer numbers of Coats for Kids would scare almost anyone. Every year, 30,000 coats are donated to the annual coat drive, and every year those coats are sorted and distributed by about 2,500 volunteers, 300 of them kids. More than 17,000 people walk through Palmer Events Center in 7 hours to pick out coats for their children. About 1,500 of them stop by the community fair offering services and information from 20 nonprofits. Yes, there are many balls in the air. But Dawn Breyfogle, volunteer chair of this year’s event, is in her element. “Giving back to the community has always been important to me,” says Breyfogle. “I was even a candy striper in To donate the seventh grade!” Coat collection runs from Nov. 12 - Dec. 5 Donors deliver Don’t worry about their coats to any Jack Brown Cleaners. A $15 donation Breyfogle – the 2012 helps buy one winter coat. Coats for Kids isn’t her first rodeo. In fact, To volunteer Breyfogle has been on Various shifts are available to help sort and prepare the CFK committee for coats for distribution during Sorting Week, December 4 five years. But she says – 7. Youth Sorting Night will be held on Dec. 4. her new role as chair certainly is a more chalTo get a coat lenging ride. After all, Distribution Day is Dec. 8, 8am – 3pm. CFK is the largest single46 GivingCityAustin.com
day giving event for children in Central Texas and the second largest coat distribution project in the United States. To date, Coats for Kids has distributed over 650,000 coats to needy children. “My job is to make sure that I assist with all the different roles, but the sorting week managing thousand of volunteers is really the toughest job,” says Breyfogle. Volunteers come from all walks of life, but the youth volunteers are the most special says Breyfogle. Last year a group of homeless teens volunteered from Pflugerville. The teens participate in a program that requires them to do community services. “They had no idea they got to pick out a coat, too. They were so excited,” remember Breyfogle. “It all makes you so excited and proud to be part of the program.” As the date approaches, Breyfogle actually gets less nervous. “I’m not as stressed. Everyone is doing their part, volunteers are signing up, schools are getting the information. Everything is falling into place!” Learn more at JLAustin.org/Coats
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Find your cause and get involved! Featuring Ballet Austin, AIDS Services of Austin, The Christi Center, Austin Community Foundation, HEB, Jo...
Published on Nov 1, 2012
Find your cause and get involved! Featuring Ballet Austin, AIDS Services of Austin, The Christi Center, Austin Community Foundation, HEB, Jo...