For guests attending the Austin Children Shelter Gala “Puttin’ on the Ritz” the clock turned back decades — to the era of The Great Gatsby. Every detail was carefully in place to transport the 570 guests to the 1920s and 30s. The cocktail hour featured prohibition-inspired cocktails as guests enjoyed the incomparable Mandy Lauderdale singing songs from her perch on top of the piano. Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, Groucho Marks and Humphrey Bogart impersonators mingled with guests and singer Dawn Erin, dressed as a flapper entertained in the cigar lounge that featured hand-rolled cigars. Adding to the authenticity and evening’s glamour were three gorgeous 1931 vintage cars on display, courtesy of the Munday Automotive Collection.
Police Chief Art Acevedo emceed in a ballroom that was completely transformed in elegant black and white with towering white feather centerpieces and candelabras draped in pearls. After a spirited live auction and Fund-A-Need that raised nearly $200,000, the Nash Hernandez Orchestra brought guests to their feet, dancing the night away.
“Puttin on the Ritz” raised a net of $450,000 to support Austin Children’s Shelter programs for children and youth in their care. This was the last event I planned for ACS – a beautiful ending to six plus years of development and event planning. I will forever have a special place in my heart for this agency and the amazing work they do in the Austin community.