Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for, Ice Ball 2019, Austin’s Brightest Gem


Saturday, August 24th

6 PM – Midnight

Fairmont Austin Hotel

Join Big Brothers Big Sisters for Austin’s brightest gem, the Ice Ball gala. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, live and silent auctions, live music, dancing and more! Tickets to Ice Ball  include admission to The BIG After, Ice Ball’s official after-party. Visit for all the juicy details.  

5 Ways to Support Your Community this Festive Season

Each year, the true spirit of the festive season can seem to get buried further beneath mountains of wrapping paper and drowned out by commercialism.

However, when it comes to the festive season, gifts don’t have to come in glossy paper with crisp edges and hidden tape (though those are nice, too). For example, author Carol Lavin Bernick recommends focusing on gifts that make an impact, such as giving back within your community.

The former chairman of beauty conglomerate Alberto Culver, Bernick published “Gather As You Go,”a book sharing insights she’s learned through her many roles: corporate leader, working mother, philanthropist and founder of the nonprofit organization Enchanted Backpack.

Consider these tips from Bernick for making a difference without breaking the bank.

  1. It’s About More Than Just Dollars

    Instead of measuring your support by how much money you give, focus on the many ways you can support organizations near and dear to you by spreading the word online and in-person while recruiting new supporters. Alternatively, you can find an organization that puts your knowledge and skills to work. For example, if you’re an artist or IT specialist, find a charity that needs your skill set.

  1. Think Long-Term

    When you’re working with an organization, consider how you can help it find a long-term solution to problems. For example, if you’re interested in helping young girls excel in science and math, work with your local elementary or junior high school to establish or support an after-school STEM program.

  1. Start at Home

    Teach your children the importance of giving back by donating gifts to those in need through charitable programs, volunteering at a food pantry or fundraising through a bake sale.

  1. Shop with Purpose

    This year, you can make an impact with your holiday shopping by buying gifts that give back. For instance, all proceeds from “Gather As You Go”directly benefit Enchanted Backpack.

  1. Focus on Your Passions

    Define your focus and make a difference by dedicating yourself to one or two causes that excite you the most. Find your passion and pursue it.

Find more inspiration to give back at (Family Features)

Gather As You Go

Breaking Records and Restoring Hope

by Chloe Scheller

InFluential Magazine’s Publisher, William Jackson, and Communication Coordinator, Chloe Scheller.

Last month on April 4th, William and I had the pleasure of attending the annual Luminaria gala for the American Red Cross of Central Texas at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The night consisted of savory foods, delightful company and heart-tugging stories. From inspiring children donating their lemonade stand earnings to the guest of honor, Viola Brown’s profound experience in the Bastrop floods, it was hard not to see the kindness and compassion among Red Cross employees, volunteers, donors and sponsors alike.

The live auction included a Colorado Getaway Package and a Cypress Valley Preserve Hunting Adventure. The most popular item: Piper the Puppy, a sponsored stuffed toy donated to children impacted by fires, floods and other disasters. The event raised a record-breaking $294,500 for the Red Cross, surpassing their goal by more than $73,000.

Piper the Puppy adorning the Luminaria Gala dining tables at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Whole Foods was awarded the Public Partner of the Year Award for their generosity in disasters like Superstorm Sandy and Central Texas Wildfires, their over $1 million donation to victims of Hurricane Katrina and their fresh fruit donation to those affected by the recent Austin floods.

Tom Davis’s family, accepted on his behalf, the Greg Coleman Tribute Award for his honorable work at the Red Cross as their Training Coordinator for the 48 county region of Central Texas, Public Information Officer and dedicated public affairs volunteer. His passion and devotion, like many others, is what powers the Red Cross to continue to positively impact the community in which we live.  

Kristi and Dawn Davis accepting the Greg Coleman Tribute Award on behalf of their father Tom Davis.

You can learn more about the American Red Cross of Central Texas at