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11th Annual Heart & Soul Draws Sociables, Honors Its Supporters

THE SCENE: Austin’s JW Marriott Hotel was the setting for a special afternoon recently that honored some of Austin’s most well-known and respected philanthropists. The 300-plus attendees of this year’s annual Heart & Soul luncheon were on hand for the gathering.

THE VIBE: From the moment you ascended the elevators at the JW Marriott, you could feel the inviting warmth Austin-chic crowd as they perused the event signature – a live auction of handbags donated by local merchants and notables. This year was no exception as VIP’s bid on bags from such noted luxury brands as Tiffany & Co. and Givenchy were among the items up for bid.

The action continued into the ballroom where emcee Matt Swinney effortlessly kept the audience engaged. In addition to the parent-child fashion show featuring Rise School Students, this year also featured honored 13 individuals who have made an incredible impact on a school that embodies the inclusivity that is uniquely Austin. The honorees included Bill Bayless, Sally Brown, Tommy Burt, Emily Greer, Ann Huthnance, Al Koehler, Cindy Lind, Tracey Marshall, Ethel Richard, Donna Stockton-Hicks, Venus Strawn, Sarah Sweeney and Matt Swinney.

THE CAUSE: The event raised over $214,000 for the Rise School Austin which provides high-quality early childhood education for traditional and delayed children through individualized learning techniques so that every child is prepared for success in future learning environments.