Gatherings may still be "out," but giving is still very much "in," as was proven by the nearly 2,000 people who streamed the 2021 AT&T Dell Children's Ball on February 6, tuning in from 42 states and 96 Texas cities.
Thanks to title sponsor AT&T, anyone who was interested could register for free and watch the virtual festivities, which celebrated homegrown heroes ranging from healthcare workers to Dell Children's patients and their families.
As viewers donned their best evening wear (or prettiest pajamas) for a night on the couch, the evening began with sponsors receiving a delicious meal courtesy of Fairmont Austin and vino from Total Wine & More as part of their "Ball in a Box" swag bag, which also included a floral arrangement from David Kurio Designs, all delivered right to their door.
Then emcee Bob Cole of KOKE FM introduced Jessica Overgoner, a Dell Children's nurse who ultimately ended up adopting a very special patient whose life was saved by Dell Children's team of frontline caregivers.
A general fund-the-need in honor of River Smith was also launched, after his parents Amber and Granger Smith graciously shared their inspiring story. Some viewers became a Hero for a Hero by donating $365, or $1 a day for one year, for their chance to win a stunning piece from Kendra Scott's spring collection.
Leadership matching gifts were made by Brian and Adria Sheth and the Sheth Sangreal Foundation in the amount of $250,000, and Stonepeak in the amount of $150,000.
Top Mission Moment bidders included presenting sponsor Nyle Maxwell Family of Dealerships, which funded the Holiday Cheer Package and Leadership Council members Katherine and Patton Jones, who funded the Ring The Bell Ceremony.
The Holiday Cheer For Children helps bring a little Christmas magic to patients, families, and associates at Dell Children's by providing a Christmas meal to every person in the hospital on December 25.
Completing treatment in the Children's Blood and Cancer Center is cause for big celebration, and that's where the Ring the Bell Ceremony comes in. As each patient rings the final treatment bell, clinic staff showers them with love and special recognition of this important day.
This year's Leadership Council includes Noel and Will Bridges, Sabrina and Jay Brown, Ellen and Tommy Burt, Jamie and Blake Chandlee, Daisy and Justin Cho, Jamie and Steven Dell, Rachel and Michael Dorrell, Stacie and Craig Falls, Katie and Jordan Jaffe, Katherine and Patton Jones, Amber and Al Koehler, Kim and Daniel Kozmetsky, Dusty and Travis Machen, Melody and Shain McCaig, Christine and Louis Messina, Kay and Eric Moreland, Lauren and Reagan Reaud, Kirstin and Joe Ross, Michelle and Robert Strauss, Kumara Wilcoxon and Doug Jaffe, and Sarah and Jeff Zeigler.
The inspiring evening concluded with a beautiful acoustic performance by Texas musician and Grammy winner Lukas Nelson.
All told, the live-streamed event raised more than $1,500,000, an incredible amount that will lift up the future of pediatric healthcare for children in Central Texas.