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DIFFA comes to Austin with Urban Picnic by Design fundraiser

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DIFFA picnic example
DIFFA will host the Urban Picnic by Design event in Austin this September.  Courtesy of DIFFA/Facebook
Runway show at House of DIFFA 2014
Based on DIFFA's success in Dallas, Austin has much to look forward to when DIFFA brings its Urban Picnic by Design in September. Photo by Sylvia Elzafon
DIFFA picnic example
Runway show at House of DIFFA 2014

DIFFA, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, has long been known for throwing stylish parties across the country that raise money for a good cause. Now plans are underway for Austin to host its own DIFFA fundraiser. 

Recently, DIFFA announced that on September 11, it will host the Urban Picnic by Design, benefiting AIDS Services of Austin. Urban Picnic by Design looks to reimagine the traditional picnic by moving it indoors and by actively engaging a new generation of designers with the efforts of DIFFA. The picnic will take place at Textile Event Space on 310 E. Third St.

At the indoor picnic, designers are provided with a general basket and picnic table set-up and are tasked with creating an exciting picnic display. Guests will dine among the extravagant picnic settings and have the opportunity to win designer baskets at the end of the evening. All funds raised will support the work of AIDS Services of Austin, which provides services to people affected by HIV/AIDS and prevents further transmission of HIV through education and outreach.

Founded in 1984 between members of the New York City design community, DIFFA expanded into a nationwide group of chapters that raise funds for organizations that fight HIV/AIDS through education, prevention and treatment. Since its founding, DIFFA estimates that members of the design community have helped to raise more than $38 million nationwide.

While this will be the first DIFFA sponsored event in Austin, DIFFA Dallas has hosted many unique fundraiser, including a dazzling masquerade ball.

Efforts to launch a DIFFA event in Austin were spearheaded by local designer Kelly LaPlante after previous involvement with DIFFA’s Dining by Design in Los Angeles. LaPlante felt that Austin was ready to host its own DIFFA event to rally the local design community around a good cause. “I felt called to bring everyone together to do something fun and meaningful. I recently lost a family friend to AIDS and know so many who are deeply committed to the cause, so I’m thrilled that the proceeds from Urban Picnic by Design will benefit our local ASA.”

Joining LaPlante for Urban Picnic by Design are Elizabeth Mollen of Stone Textile, Sarah Stacey of Sarah Stacey Design, Joel Mozersky of One.Eleven.Design and 16 others who will design the baskets and settings.

On Wednesday, June 25, LaPlante will be auctioning off an upholstered bench that she has designed in collaboration with Spruce Upholstery and TreeHouse, with 100 percent of the sale benefiting ASA. Also on June 25, Mollen will be running a 24-hour, 25 percent off flash sale for all Stone Textile Merchandise with 25 percent of proceeds benefiting ASA.

Additional information on designers and tickets for Urban Picnic by Design will be released in the coming weeks.

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