The Ice Ball 2017 Host Committee: Having A Ball

Written By Big Brothers Big Sisters

Christine and Blake Absher, Ice Ball 2017 Event Chairs

Christine and Blake Absher, Ice Ball 2017 Event Chairs

As the Texas summer heats up, there’s one cool thing you can count on – Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2017 Ice Ball gala set for August 26 at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Austin. The Ice Ball Host Committee has been hard at work making plans and preparations for this major event – one of the largest fundraisers for the organization.

Christine and Blake Absher are chairing this year’s Ice Ball gala and have been involved with the organization off and on since 2008. “Our connection with BBBS began in Austin when I was a Big Brother for about 4 years,” said Blake, Austin market president of BB&T, the Diamond sponsor of this year’s event. “We moved to Houston for a few years, and then, when we returned to Austin, we knew we wanted to be involved with BBBS in some way. The Ice Ball Host Committee sounded interesting, and we’d never done anything like that before.”

Now, having been involved with Ice Ball for several years, Christine and Blake felt the moment was right to become even more involved in the event. “2017 is a great time to be event chairs,” Blake continued. “The agency has great momentum, the organization’s program metrics are at an all-time high, and we’ve been groomed for the last couple of years to further carry the Ice Ball baton.”

In accepting the leadership role, they’ve found themselves working with a great team. “The Ice Ball Host Committee is made up of an extraordinary group of people,” said Christine. “And they’ve become family. They are creative and selfless, giving out of the goodness of their hearts. They’ve been so inspiring and their enthusiasm is contagious. For many of them, this is their first connection with Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are raising money for a cause they’ve just come to care about, and they’re doing it so well.”

Team members heartily agree. “The members of the committee are focused, engaged and eager to contribute to the success of this year’s event,” said Connie Nelson. She and her husband Bill have been a Big Couple since 2011, worked as bid spotters for the Ice Ball that year, and subsequently served as Ice Ball Chairs in 2014 and 2015.

“Bill and I are honored to be serving on this year’s Ice Ball Host Committee,” Connie remarked. “The Ice Ball is SO important! It’s the largest BBBS fundraiser and monies raised help get kids off the waiting list and into the life-changing mentoring relationships they deserve. Guests attending the Ice Ball walk away with greater appreciation for everything BBBS does for Central Texas’ youth. Our 2017 chairs, Blake and Christine, are natural leaders with a passion for BBBS.”

Lauren Petrowski, news anchor for Fox 7, shares that passion for the agency and the event as well. “I look forward to the Host Committee meetings, seeing the other committee members, and knowing we’re making great things happen,” she said.

Lauren served as a Big Sister for 5 years and is still in contact with her Little Sister. “I was fortunate to have two loving, supportive parents growing up. Not every child has that, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the same opportunities to be happy and successful in life. Even with two parents, many kids can benefit from having additional positive influences in their lives. That’s what BBBS provides through mentorships, and I’m honored to help support an organization that does that.”

“As part of the Ice Ball Host Committee, it is also incredible to see the community and local businesses stepping up to help BBBS.”

Joanna Just of RSM, a Gold sponsor for the event, adds, “Ice Ball is a signature event that has grown over the years. To see where the event started and what it has become, is astonishing.  Ice Ball supports the wonderful things that BBBS does for children in our community.”

Not only is the team working to raise more dollars, new community connections are being made as well. “There are a lot of new people involved in this year’s event,” Christine continued. Blake agreed, adding, “We have a significant number of new donors. We are grateful for donors who’ve supported this event for years. It’s also a testament to the 2017 Host Committee members’ efforts that they have reached out to their own personal networks and friends to establish new relationships on behalf of the gala and BBBS.”

“I appreciate how the committee members have come together to support this event personally because of their dedication to Big Brothers Big Sisters’ work,” Joanna added.

This year’s Ice Ball not only has new sponsors, it also has a new location at the J.W. Marriott. “There’s an excitement and a freshness with the new venue and the move downtown,” Christine said. There are also new live auction packages and new programming.

And make no mistake, it is a fun night for all involved. “It is such a fabulous night. Without a doubt, you’re going to have a good time,” Lauren said. “But for me, I love to see the room full of hundreds of people all coming together because they care about kids in our community having the best opportunities, and the brightest futures, possible.”

“The Ice Ball is the coolest place to be in August,” Connie added. “Great food, entertainment, incredible silent and live auction packages, and so much more. Bill and I love seeing friends at the Ice Ball year after year, and meeting new people who will enjoy a wonderful evening and learn more about BBBS!”

How does the Ice Ball differ from other galas around town? “Every dollar raised impacts children and families here in our community,” said Christine. “The fundraising is so local.” “It’s all about supporting underprivileged youth, having a positive impact on children’s lives, and educating people about BBBS” Blake added.

After months of planning and preparation, the night itself is a culminating celebration. “The event is a crescendo of a lot of work,” Blake said. “At the gala itself you reminisce about what everyone has done to make the event happen. I enjoy visiting with all of these amazing people and sharing what we’ve done collectively. It’s like going and seeing 800 of your closest friends,” he laughed.

In a word…

“Ice Ball is unforgettable,” said Lauren.

“It’s amazing,” said Joanna.

“It’s inspiring,” said Connie.

Don’t miss this cool, spectacular, life-changing event set for August 26, 2017 at the J.W. Marriott.

Ice Ball 2017 – Night of Event Information #1!

ICE BALL EVENT DETAILS!

The big night is just around the corner! Here is the information you’ll need for a night of fun!

Saturday, August 26 // 6 p.m.

JW Marriott, 3rd Floor Registration

110 East 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701

Dress: Black Tie Optional

PARKING:

The JW Marriott is offering discounted valet parking for $25 and discounted self-parking in the JW Marriott garage on Brazos for $15. Both allow for easy access to the JW Grand Ballroom.  We suggest using ride shares (Uber, Lyft, Ride Austin) to bypass the wait and ensure you arrive on time.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

Pride Parade kicks off at 8 p.m. from the Capitol, proceeds down Congress and then marches through the Warehouse District on 4th Street/Bettie Naylor to Republic Square Park. So leave early and ride share to avoid delays.

BIG Board live bidding starts at 7 p.m. and you must be present to bid.  BIG Board is a mini live auction located in the silent auction area.  You won’t want to miss this!

WHEN YOU ARRIVE:

Be sure to visit the registration tables on the 3rd floor to receive your table assignment and Bidder Number.  Don’t forget to Express Pay at registration! Express Pay is like opening a tab at a restaurant and the best part is you don’t have to wait in line at the end of the night to check out.

Also, if you want to buy Heads or Tails cards, Kendra Scott Mystery boxes or Diamonds Direct raffle tickets (and you will definitely want to do that), you will need to Express Pay or pay cash.

QUESTIONS?

Patty Morton

512-807-3615 or

pmorton@bigmentoring.org

Ice Ball 2017 Gala to Benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters

BBBS_IceBall2017_Ad_Influential

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas (BBBS) will hold its largest annual fundraiser, the Ice Ball, on Saturday, August 26 at the JW Marriott (110 E. 2nd St., Austin, TX 78701) from 6 p.m. to midnight. This year will mark the 13th annual Ice Ball which allows the organization to raise critical funds to support its mentoring programs. Last year, the Ice Ball raised over $500,000 for Central Texas kids and 100 percent of the funds were used locally to create and nurture life-changing friendships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors.

“We believe that children deserve every opportunity to succeed in life and that, as adults, it is our responsibility to provide them with the support they need to thrive,” said Brent Fields, CEO, BBBS of Central Texas. “When you support the Ice Ball, you’re investing in a child’s future.  Every dollar raised is used to support new and existing mentoring relationships that help our kids become successful adults.”

Each year, unique experiences and luxurious items are auctioned at the Ice Ball. This year’s auction will include custom packages and exciting trips. Last year, more than 700 guests attended the event to support BBBS, and the organization is expecting an even larger crowd this year.

“We’re on pace for another successful, signature event and looking forward to a great time to support our kids,” said Fields.

Tickets, table reservations and sponsorships are available at www.AustinIceBall.org. Discounted early bird tickets are available through June 30. 

 About Big Brothers Big Sisters:

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 1,000 children in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties every year. For more than 46 years, we’ve matched children ages 6–16 with caring adult mentors who offer encouragement and support to each child. BBBS depends on donations to help recruit volunteers and to build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Last year, more than 98 percentof the children served by BBBS remained in school, and avoided early parenting.  In 2016, BBBS also promised over $338,000 in new college scholarships to 275 Little Brothers and Sisters via the agency’s Promising Futures Scholarship Program.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas

www.BigMentoring.org • 4800 Manor Rd., Building K • Austin, Texas 78723 • 512.472.5437

BBBS’ Bowl for Kids Raises $150,000

The Force to help kids was strong as over 1,000 participants took to the lanes February 26-28 and raised more than $150,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas at this year’s 33rd annual Bowl for Kids event. It was an “otherworldly” occasion as bowlers donned their favorite sci-fi costumes and participated in this year’s space-themed ‘Galactic Bowl.’ Funds raised go directly towards helping BBBS provide children with caring, committed mentors and life-changing mentoring services.

‘The Moore-tians’ at Bowl for Kids (Photograph courtesy of Christina Harding?

‘The Moore-tians’ at Bowl for Kids (Photograph courtesy of Christina Harding?

It was space-aged fun that provided down-to-earth results for kids and their families. “There were a lot of wacky costumes, but participants were serious about generating support for children in Central Texas,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS. “With 600 children on our waiting list, the support that Bowl for Kids provides makes a critical difference in our ability to serve children and families in our community and we rely on that support year-round.”

Teams and costumes included The Jetsons Lucky Strikes, the Toy Story Aliens and Darth Vader, among others. The common connection between them all was that of having fun and helping kids.

Anne Teel bowls for BBBS’ kids (Photography courtesy of Christina Harding)

Anne Teel bowls for BBBS’ kids (Photography courtesy of Christina Harding)

“Many BBBS matches were on hand to enjoy the event as well,“ said Lauren Portley, BBBS’ vice president of development. “It was great seeing Bigs and Littles and their families bowling together and enjoying this time that our sponsors made possible.”

The Force awakens at Bowl for Kids 2016 (Photography courtesy of Christina Harding)

The Force awakens at Bowl for Kids 2016 (Photography courtesy of Christina Harding)

Participants representing the banking, architecture, engineering and construction industries and the American Society of Civil Engineers showed up in full force, as did teams from the legal, gamers and designers, and media fields. Highland Lanes hosted the event over the course of the weekend. To participate in Bowl for Kids, teams of up to five members raised at least $625 each. The teams then participated in a themed bowling party which included food, beverages, t-shirts and prizes.

For more information, or to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Brenda Lindfors, vice president of marketing and communications, at 512-807-3612.

 

 

 

33rd Annual Bowl for Kids Event

Bowl-a-thon to Benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters

Bowl Long and Prosper! Get set for some space-age fun as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas kicks off its Bowl for Kids event on February 26. This year’s theme is “Galactic Bowl.” Many supporters from the Austin area will unite as they raise money, dress up in space-related costumes, have some fun, and show off their bowling skills in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Teams will meet at Highland Lanes, 8909 Burnet Road, starting on Friday, February 26th and bowl in two-hour sessions through Sunday, February 28th.

“Grab your sci-fi costume and join us for fun that’s out of this world,” said Brent Fields, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. “Bowl for Kids is one of our signature annual fundraisers. It’s a great way to have a fun-filled weekend, and also make a lasting difference in a child’s life. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Bowl for Kids is an annual bowl-a-thon where participants fundraise and then enjoy a themed bowling party which includes food, drinks, souvenirs and prizes. Five players who have donated or pledged $625 total, or $125 per person, make up one team. Teams who raise or pledge $1,250 are designated Very Important Bowlers (VIBs) because their contribution funds a child’s mentoring relationship for an entire year. All teams are destined to have an action-packed day bowling for a good cause.

Register online, form a team and fundraise, or just make a donation! Go to www.bowlforkidsaustin.org.

Whether you’re a bowler, donor or a sponsor, you ensure that more BBBS kids are paired with mentors – and that their lives are changed for the better, forever.

Get Ready for Ice Ball 2014 Benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters

 

About The Ice Ball

Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for the brightest gem of Austin’s charity events, the 10th anniversary Ice Ball, featuring hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, icy cocktails, live auction and entertainment in the newest ballroom in downtown Austin. One hundred percent of funds raised are used locally to create and nurture life-changing friendships between at-risk youth and caring adult mentors. Come spend an evening that will make a lifetime of difference for a child.