Photography by Eryn Chandler of LewChan Photography
The Getaway Motor Club, unique co-working space, venue, and private motor club in the Govalle area of East Austin, was the scene of Ballet Austin Guild’s new spring fundraiser, “Hot Cars and All That Jazz.” Co-Chairs Lorelei McDevitt, Terri Rumin, Vanessa McElwrath, and VP of Fundraising Events, Jessica Johnson spearheaded the event. Austin’s chic gathered with two goals in mind: generating maximum fun and maximum fundraising. A departure from the Guild’s traditional fundraising luncheon, the evening cocktail event attracted as many men as women and a sizable group from the very stylish under-40 crowd.
Guests mixed, mingled, and danced on both the upper and lower levels of the club as Austin’s “First Lady of Jazz”, Pamela Hart and Friends rocked the night with their signature selection of jazz, R&B, and soul. Word has it that several friendly but high-spirited games of pool were won and lost in the game room hidden away up top. Delicious bites and beverages were enjoyed at high cocktail tables illuminated with a soft glow from below. The beautiful classic cars displayed around the edge of the dance floor brought back sweet memories for many and were the background of numerous hot-rod “selfies”.
Arriving by limo directly from their Studio Spotlight rehearsal of Swan Lake at the Butler Dance Education Center were Ballet Austin dancers, Elise Pekarek, James Fuller, Ed Carr, Oliver Greene-Cramer, and Orlando Canova. Surprise VIP was Joy Womack, ballet dancer with the Kremlin Ballet, who was in town visiting her family and escorted by her father, Clay Womack.
Ballet Austin Executive Director Cookie Ruiz engaged the guests by emphasizing the role of the Ballet Austin Guild through their incredible volunteer and fundraising efforts. She expressed sincere gratitude for the focus of the evening’s event that was to support the Ballet Austin Academy scholarship program.
Ballet Austin Guild President and local realtor Socar Chatmon-Thomas surprised and delighted the gathered crowd as she took to the stage to wearing yet another of her many hats, that of professional auctioneer. Socar had patrons laughing and cheering as they fought to outbid each other during the live auction. Quieter support was underway at the tables laden with beautifully wrapped raffle packages as guests hurried to stuff ticket boxes hoping for the win.
The Ballet Austin Academy’s youth scholarship program was the beneficiary of the evening’s fundraising efforts. Bill Piner, director of the Ballet Austin Academy, offered these thoughts, “With the goal of making classical ballet training available to anyone with a passion and desire to learn the art form, the Ballet Austin Academy scholarship program is instrumental in providing this opportunity to many students who would not otherwise be able to afford classes. The Ballet Austin Guild’s contribution to this goal is invaluable.”
Visit Ballet Austin Guild at www.balletaustinguild.org.