HEALTH: How do you raise $1.5 million in one night? Start with a smart in-house gala crew headed by Armando Zambrano. Add dazzling optics from Bryan Azar and Ilios Lighting Design and floral outbursts from David Kurio. Combine those with gala chiefs Jay and Sabrina Brown at the head of a guest list that included Longhorns coach Charlie Strong and bold givers such as Tom Meredith, Christine Messina and Wilma Mazaite. Make sure that Heath Hale and his hatted spotters call the auction. If you had to isolate one element, however, that did more than any other to loosen those purse strings: Testimonies from parents whose children were healed by the medical staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. These heart-wrenching stories, told in person and via video, repeated again and again the efficacy and centrality of this specialized Seton hospital. Who needed another reason?
HISTORY 1: Austin’s memory bank filled the room. The annual Angelina Eberly lunch, named after the Austinite who helped preserve our status during the Archive Wars, always attracts the hardcore history buffs to the Driskill Hotel to benefit the Austin History Center Association. It also attracts civic leaders. This week, the roll call included new mayoral chief of staff John-Michae Cortez, former mayors Will Wynn, Carole Keeton, Gus Garcia and Frank Cooksey, former city council member Chris Riley as well as current members Kathie Tovo, Ora Houston, Sheri Gallo and Leslie Pool. They seem to understand that future perception of their legacies will be housed at the center that already is shifting some storage to the Faulk Central Library. Onstage, however, were preservationists of the highest order, including retiring Downtown Austin Alliance captain Charlie Betts, project super-manager Dealey Herndon, as well as designers/historians Wayne Bell, Peter Flagg Maxson, John Volz and Candace Volz. Hopefully, their anecdotes about saving the State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion, Hirshfeld House, Tips House were recorded for the ages.
HISTORY 2: Austin’s Susie Winston Bain will never forget her days as a WW2 Fly Girl. Taken from my story in the Statesman: “On Dec. 7, 1941, Susie Winston Bain was returning to her University of Texas dormitory after a sorority meeting when she heard about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Like other students, she wanted to serve her country. At the start of the war, not many military jobs were open to women. Bain made up her mind to fly with the Women Airforce Service Pilots. “I really wanted to make some contribution to the war effort,” Bain says. “If Rosie the Riveter could rivet, why couldn’t I fly?” http://shar.es/1bD45w