Are You Ready for the Ice Ball 2018?

Ice Ball 2018

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ brightest gem, the Ice Ball Gala, includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, auctions and live music in downtown Austin. This annual event allows the organization to raise funds to create life-changing mentoring relationships for children and families in Central Texas.

The 2018 gala will take place at the Fairmont Austin hotel on August 25, 2018.

Visit to learn more!

Your Invitation to the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert and Live Stream

We invite you to be a guest at the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert and Live Stream benefiting Austin Child Guidance Center.

Austin Originals Benefit Concert
Ticket Options:

Mezzanine Seat – $150

VIP Ticket – $300

Duet Table – $400

Emerging Donor – $500

ACL Balcony – $25-$35

The Austin Originals Benefit Concert at ACL Live at the Moody Theater is an annual fundraiser that brings together community leaders and supporters of Austin Child Guidance Center (ACGC) to raise money for children’s mental health services.

This year Bob Schneider will take the stage as the headlining act for the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert & Live Stream on August 18th, 2018 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater.

The evening will feature an Austin Originals Tasting Grove reception area with food bites from local Austin favorites including The Steeping Room, Uchiko, The Austin Artisan, Bufaline Due, Gregorio’s, Gusto, Roaring Fork, Kellie’s Baking Co., Fixe, Max’s Wine Dive, and Juliet; live and silent auctions; and additional musical performances by Casey McPherson, Nakia, and James Junius.

This year’s emcee is Terry Lickona and event co-chairs are Andrea Ames of A&D Insurance Advisors and Madeline Hollern of Austin Monthly Magazine.

During the show, the Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award will be presented to two outstanding individuals dedicated to improving outcomes for children. Read more about Award Finalists.

The Piazza Center Plans to Raise over $10,000 for Breast Cancer Resource Centers | May 10

On May 10, 2018, Dr. Rocco Piazza of the Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery will be hosting the fifth annual Cocktails & Curiosity Gala to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas (BCRC).

An avid supporter since 2010, Dr. Piazza has seen firsthand, the life changing services the BCRC provides to those with a breast cancer diagnoses. Staffed by breast cancer survivors, the non-profit aims to reduce mortality rates from breast cancer, and to become a centralized resource for information, education, and support, empowering those with a breast cancer diagnosis to become knowledgeable participants in their healthcare.

The event will take place on May 10th at the scenic Headwaters Central in Dripping Springs from 5:30-8:30pm. Guests can expect lovely cocktails, bites from Rocco’s Grill and entertainment by jazz crooner, Ken Slavin, along with over $10,000 in raffle prizes and a chance to meet and learn from BCRC representatives. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased here.  All event proceeds and additional monies raised will go to support the great work of the BCRC.

Diamonds Direct Raises $100,000 for Komen Austin at Big PINK Give Event

Diamond Direct’s Custom-Designed Breast Cancer Pendants Raise the Stakes in Silent Auction, Greatly Increasing Funds Raised for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research

Diamonds Direct, one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies, Tuesday announced it raised $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen Big PINK Give event held April 6 at Hotel Granduca in Austin. The event raised more than $300,000.

“This is the fourth year we have been honored to sponsor this inspiring breast cancer awareness and fundraising event,” said Diamonds Direct Vice President Anat Adi-Atias. “We have all been touched by cancer in some way, and it is deeply rewarding to have an opportunity to contribute to the vital work Komen Austin is doing to make a lasting impact on the Austin breast cancer community.”

About 200 guests attended the Big PINK Give, a sold-out gala that began with a champagne reception under the stars, followed by dinner and a program featuring inspiring remarks by individuals directly impacted by breast cancer. The evening culminated with an opportunity to give by participating in a live auction.

Diamonds Direct has been a sponsor of the event for the past four years and this is the second year for them to create two custom-designed breast cancer ribbon pendants encrusted with diamonds and pink sapphires, each weighing more than 2.5 total carats, to be auctioned to the highest bidder. In concept, the winner would receive both pendants, keep one and give the other to a survivor at Komen’s “Race for the Cure” event in September. Last year, following the same concept, Diamonds Direct raised $30,000 for Komen, and the winner gave them both to survivors at the September race.

At this year’s Big PINK Give, the contest for the pendants reached a fever pitch, with two bidders each offering $50,000. Encouraged and cajoled by the inimitable Cowboys Auctioneer, Health Hale, they each decided to purchase one pendant for $50,000, doubling the amount of funds raised to $100,000. Both bidders generously decided to forego taking a pendant home and will donate them both to survivors at this year’s “Race for the Cure.”

“This incredible event was made possible by our partners, and Diamonds Direct stepped up once again, creating two breathtaking pieces that brought an astounding $100,000 to our cause,” said Suzanne Stone, executive director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. “We are so grateful to our guests and our generous bidders, as well as to event chairs Amber Gonzales and Jennifer Elliott. We also want to thank Heath Hale of Heath Hale Auctioneers in Lakeway for the masterful way in which he handled the auction, greatly increasing the funds we raised that evening.”

About Diamonds Direct

Diamonds Direct is one of America’s largest and most successful jewelry companies with 15 locations in the U.S. Each location offers loose and mounted diamonds, a multitude of engagement ring mountings by America’s top designers, diamond and gemstone fashion jewelry, wedding bands, pearls and much more. The company backs its products with industry-leading guarantees and warranties, including their unprecedented 110% lifetime upgrade. Diamonds Direct is a socially responsible company that thinks globally and acts locally. The company ensures all diamonds are ethically sourced via the Kimberly Process and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local philanthropies and cultural organizations that are critical to the communities Diamonds Direct calls home. For more information, visit

About Komen Austin

Susan G. Komen® Austin is an Austin-based nonprofit committed to saving lives locally and fighting breast cancer globally. Komen Austin is the only local breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts – education, screening, treatment, follow-up care, survivorship support, advocacy and research. The organization serves the women and men in the city’s five-county area battling breast cancer by removing barriers to care for the uninsured and underinsured. Of the funds raised annually, Komen Austin invests 75 percent in local community health grants and educational initiatives, and 25 percent in global research studies to find cures for breast cancer. Since 1999, Komen Austin has invested more than $11.7 million in breast health services and educational efforts in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Additionally, it has given more than $5.4 million to fund global research studies to find cures for breast cancer. Komen Austin encourages the local community to help save lives and end breast cancer forever by participating in year-round fundraising efforts and our signature events – the Susan G. Komen® Austin Race for the Cure and the Big PINK Give. For more information, visit

Breakthrough Students Inspire Incredible Generosity at Champions Celebration!

 Rhiannon and her family "I don’t think I would have graduated college without Breakthrough. Even more importantly, I don’t think I’d know who I was meant to be. Their unwavering kindness has helped me find my calling. This spring, I am applying to graduate programs to become an Occupational Therapist so I can give back and help others who have been devastated by disabilities and illness." - Rhiannon, Breakthrough College Graduate

Rhiannon and her family
“I don’t think I would have graduated college without Breakthrough. Even more importantly, I don’t think I’d know who I was meant to be. Their unwavering kindness has helped me find my calling. This spring, I am applying to graduate programs to become an Occupational Therapist so I can give back and help others who have been devastated by disabilities and illness.”
- Rhiannon, Breakthrough College Graduate

On the evening of Tuesday, April 10, nearly 300 Austinites gathered at Austin’s New Central Public Library for Breakthrough’s 13th Annual Champions Celebration. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for our event chairs, Karey and Chris Oddo, the outreach committee and everyone who attended, donated, and shared in our celebration of Breakthrough’s mission and our trailblazing students and families.With the help of matching gifts from long-time supporters Neil Webber and the Topfer Family Foundation, together, we raised $246,000 of our $250,000 goal to support this year’s 1,600 Breakthrough students on their path to becoming first-generation college graduates!

A special thanks to our wonderful speakers— Breakthrough college graduate, Rhiannon Aleman, and Breakthrough Board Trustee Ricky Green, for sharing their inspirational journeys of defying adversity to pursue their dreams of a college education and a better life.


Want to learn more about Breakthrough? Meet alumni and program leadership who are on the front line changing lives and see what makes the program tick at our upcoming Breakthrough Behind The Scenes Tour on April 27 at 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM at our East Austin headquarter.Visit to learn more about Breakthrough Austin.

Town Lake (TX) Chapter 30th Anniversary Celebration

MGM Chapter

MGM Chapter

The Town Lake (TX) Chapter of the Links is hosting a 30th Anniversary Celebration.  ​​


The Town Lake (TX) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with an archive unveiling and brunch at The University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, April 28th.

10:00 a.m. – Archives unveiling at Sid Richardson Hall, 2300 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78712.

11:00 a.m. – Brunch at UT Club, 7th Floor, 2108 Robert Dedman Dr., Austin, TX 78712. Guest Speaker: Ivy R. Taylor, former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas.​​

Date and Time:
Saturday, April 28, 2018
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

Sid Richardson Hall, The University of Texas at Austin
2300 Red River St.
Austin, Texas  78712


Eventbrite Link: 

Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award

Phyllis Richards, Ph.D.

Phyllis Richards, Ph.D.

Do you know someone who exemplifies excellence in improving outcomes for children? Austin Child Guidance Center is accepting nominations for the 7th Annual Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. Please nominate deserving individuals under the following categories:

Two Categories for Nomination

Community Activist category is for an individual who is dedicated to positive outcomes for children through volunteerism and/or philanthropy.

Community Professional category is for an individual who is dedicated to positive outcomes for children through exemplifying excellence in their profession.

Nomination criteria: In 500 words, tell us about someone who has made great strides in improving the quality of life for children locally and/or nationally within any of the following fields: mental health, child development, education, primary health, basic needs, art and/or advocacy. Your recommendation should give testimony to the individual’s commitment to public service for children. Along with your recommendation, please attach articles, awards or other documentation of the nominee’s accomplishments and charitable works. When writing, please consider the following service areas: impact of work, degree of difficulty, obstacles encountered within the field during time of service, imagination, innovation, number of lives touched and length of service.

Nominee Must be Present to Win on August 18, 2018

At the Austin Originals Benefit Concert at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Please confirm availability of the nominee before nominating.

Dr. Phyllis Richards has over 60 years of dedicated service in child development and shaping service delivery to children. Her commitment to ensuring that all children have access to quality early childhood education and mental health services has created long-term impacts for thousands of children. She served as a faculty member for The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology Division of Human Development and Family Sciences for forty years. She was a visionary leader and researcher in the field of early childhood education and development, and worked vigorously to help establish the Head Start program on a national level. In her five years of service on the Austin Child Guidance Center’s Board of Directors, she was influential in helping the Center become the first site in Central Texas to provide mental health services to children who were victims of sexual abuse.

Selection Process: The Austin Child Guidance Center’s Board of Directors will select three finalists per category. The Center will publicly announce Award Finalists and accomplishments prior to the event. All Finalists will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the event. The Award Winners will be revealed on stage at the event. During the event program, each finalist and award winner will be recognized for his or her dedication to improving future outcomes for children. For more info about the event, please visit:
Nominee Name: ________________________________________________________________
Nominating for which Award Category: Community Activist or Community Professional
(circle or underline)
Title-if applicable: ______________________________________________________________
Organization (if applicable): ______________________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________________________
City: _________________________State:_________________Zip: __________
Phone number: _______________________ Fax: _____________________
Email: _____________________Website: _____________________________

Nominator’s name and title: _________________________________________
Organization (if applicable): __________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________________
City: _________________________State:_________________Zip: ________
Phone number: _______________________ Fax: _____________________
E-mail address: __________________________________________________

The mission of Austin Child Guidance Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 1951, is to improve the mental health of children and their families through early intervention, diagnosis and treatment to help them develop the emotional skills for meeting life’s challenges.

Nominations are due: Friday, April 6, 2018. Please fill out the information above and send it, along with your letter of recommendation (500 words max), and any additional documentation (articles/awards) of your nomination to Kaitlyn Haney, Development Specialist at or by mail to:

Austin Child Guidance Center
Attention: Kaitlyn Haney
810 West 45th Street
Austin, TX 78751

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi

You’re Invited to Dare To Donate at Kelly Wynn Handbags Benefiting the Austin Child Guidance Center

You’re invited to attend 
With Champagne and Sweets Provided
Wednesday, March 28th at 6-8PM 
Kelly Wynne Domain Northside
+10% of the sales go back to Austin Child Guidance Center


In addition, ALL of March, Kelly Wynne will donate 10% of ALL (in-store and online) purchases of the Eastside Satchel in Tan to ACGC.

BBBS Celebrates National Mentoring Month ~ 2018 ‘Bigs of the Year’ Announced

Who has made a difference in your life? Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas invites people to consider this question in January during National Mentoring Month. National Mentoring Month is a time to recognize and honor those who serve as mentors, role models, resources, advisers and guides, changing others’ lives for the better, forever.

“As we enter a new year, it is only appropriate to pause and consider the importance of volunteerism at BBBS. National Mentoring Month is a good reminder that we can only realize our vision of helping children achieve success in life because of the service of our volunteer mentors – our Big Brothers and Sisters,” said Brent Fields, CEO of BBBS of Central Texas.

“This past year our Bigs contributed almost 60,000 hours of volunteer service to our Littles.  You can’t put a price tag on that kind of contribution and it’s critical to everything we do.  On behalf of our staff, board, donors, and about 1,000 kids served last year – I want to say a big “THANKS” to everyone serving in this transformational way!”

“National Mentoring Month is a great time for BBBS,” said Joe Strychalski, Vice President of Programs. “Not only are we able to thank and recognize our amazing volunteers, but it’s also a terrific opportunity for us to share more about the power of mentoring, spread awareness of all the work that BBBS is doing in the community, and recruit new volunteers for the program!  January is by far our busiest time for inquiries from both prospective parents and volunteers, which is great – we are always in need of new volunteers, especially men and bilingual Bigs!”

During National Mentoring Month BBBS also recognizes its volunteers by announcing the agency’s 2018 Central Texas ‘Bigs of the Year.’  Winners at the local level are considered for statewide, and then possibly national, Big of the Year honors. BBBS of Central Texas’ 2018 Bigs of the Year are Big Sister Maggie Johnson and Big Brother Nicholas Johnson (no relation). The agency’s 2018 Big Couple is Connie and Bill Nelson. Maggie Johnson has also been recognized as the 2018 Big Sister of the Year for the state of Texas.

Big Sister Maggie Johnson, Kirida, and Theresa McDaniels

Big Sister Maggie Johnson, Kirida, and Theresa McDaniels

“Kirida, my Little Sister, was struggling in school when I first met her,” said Big Sister Maggie. “She was often in trouble for fighting due to bullying from other students, and she was regularly suspended from school.” All of that started to change when Maggie became Kirida’s Big Sister. While others told Kirida that she would likely end up dead or in jail, Maggie helped Kirida build her self-esteem and coping strategies. As a result, Kirida graduated from high school in the top 5% of her class, has received numerous honors and awards, and has just finished her first semester as a first-generation college student at Texas A&M.

“Our mentoring relationship gave Kirida support when she needed it the most and someone to cheer her on when things got tough,” said Maggie. “Kirida is one of the most resilient and determined young women I know, and she has been an inspiration and a wonderful addition to my life. She has said that she feels like we are “family” and always will be. I feel the same way and think that we will be connected for a very long time.” Their story is just one example of the positive power of mentoring.

Mentoring Month is a time for all of us to remember and thank our mentors – people who took the time to be there for us, and who helped us achieve greater success than we could have on our own. At BBBS we are proud to continue this rich tradition of giving back, and we are honored to work alongside the almost 1,000 Big Brothers and Sisters who are making a difference in children’s lives every day.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central • 4800 Manor Road • Austin, Texas 78723 • 512.472.5437

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas serves nearly 1,000 children in Central Texas every day. For over 47 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 recruit, screen and train volunteers, and to provide on-going support for children, families and volunteers as they build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Last year, more than 98 percent of the children served by BBBS remained in school and avoided early parenting.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Center Receives Sustainability Award

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ new Bennett-Rathgeber Mentoring Center has won an Austin Energy Green Building 3-star energy award. The award honors community structures that support a cleaner environment through efficient water and energy use and that provide healthy, comfortable spaces for staff, clients or residents.

The new mentoring center is part of the Mueller Redevelopment, a LEED Gold Neighborhood Development certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The eco-friendly building opened its doors on January 25, 2016. Although the mentoring center is four times larger than the agency’s former facility, it takes only twice as much energy to run. A number of innovative features reduce energy use. The facility’s core support spaces use natural light reducing the need for artificial lighting, and an energy-efficient HVAC system reduces the system’s run time.

Situated on a public bus route, the building offers easy public access without a car, reducing gas consumption and emissions.

The building design also supports increased physical activity and employee wellness. On the second floor, the Youth Activity Center provides a place for Bigs and their Little Brothers and Sisters to relax or play games. During the week, staff use the space to practice yoga.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is proud to be part of such a forward-thinking community that supports a cleaner, healthier environment.  The site of a former municipal airport, Mueller offers a sense of community and multiple amenities. A blend of commercial and residential spaces, the Mueller neighborhood boasts parks, restaurants, a grocery store, apartments, and homes, all within walking distance.

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ new building aligns with the agency’s mission of creating brighter, healthier futures and outcomes for children. “Receiving this award is such an honor,” says Brent Fields, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “We strive to maintain an eco-friendly and sustainable environment. It’s exciting to know that this energy efficient building is helping us to make an even greater difference in our community.”

An Austin Energy Green Building Sustainability Celebration will be held at 6 p.m. on November 14, 2017 at Big Brothers Big Sisters new Bennett-Rathgeber Mentoring Center on Manor Road.