charitable giving

The Dell Children’s Gala 2013: A little country and a lot of generosity


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Photo by Robert Godwin
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Photo by Robert Godwin
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Photo by Robert Godwin
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Photo by Robert Godwin

For the annual Dell Children’s Gala benefiting the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, there was a touch of country in the air. Gala Chairs Mary Miles and Owen Temple had an extensive committee to call upon as they transformed the Austin Convention Center into an intimate setting for 1,000 guests. Proceeds from the Gala provide more than $1 million each year.

As attendees arrived, they found a massive wall of paper camellias forming a photo backdrop. Once checked in, they proceeded to the ballroom foyer  for cocktails and silent auction bidding. Conversation and competition were in equal evidence during this time — requiring a brass band to motivate a move into the ballroom.

The genius of florist David Kurio was very much in evidence with cascades of white orchids, hydrangeas and candles decorating the tables. Stages at the four corners and center were dwarfed by a huge projection drum suspended from the ceiling.

This design made every seat in the house a prime seat while serving to underscore the essential need for every guest’s contribution. Music filled the moments of dinner as Hayes Carll, Savannah Welch, Jamie Wilson, Ed Jurdi, Gordy Quist, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis performed.

The live auction was lively indeed with a Labrador puppy outpacing bids for the Tonight Show and Jay Leno. All the fun was brought into focus when guests heard the story of Skylar Salle’s stay at Dell Children’s. Her illness required the care and coordination of multiple disciplines — available only at Dell Children’s.

The evening concluded at the Convention Center with entertainment and dancing led by DJ Manny with gaming tables providing a respite from the dance floor. Those particularly energetic continued at the after party at the Four Seasons Hotel. 

Patrick and Jennifer Mooney.

Michael and Susan Dell.

Johnny Gordon and Sophee Houseman with Olivia Watson and Amza Safi.

Michelle and Steve Bartholomew.

Dell Children's Gala interior.

A brass parade to lead guests to the ballroom.

Brad and Kristy Knippa.

Kelli and Mike Kelley.

Ellen and Steve Miura.

Dr. Natascha Ching with her patient, Skylar Salle.

Marlon Davis and Victoria Tucker.

Stefanie and Philip Moore.

Gala Chairs Owen Temple and Mary Miles.

Gabriel and April Perlaza.

Ryan Buchanan and Cristin Coughlin.

Jordan Jellison and Dani Young.

Denise and Matthew Chumlea.