Looking Forward to Ice Ball 2023

Fire & Ice… Texas heat and Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2023 Ice Ball Gala: a perfect summertime combination. It’s the coolest night during the hottest month, and it’s an event that changes kids’ lives for the better, forever.

Preparations for this year’s Ice Ball gala are well underway, and there are a number of new elements and additions that are set to raise the bar on this Texas-sized event. One of these is BBBS’ new VP of Development, Lauren Alexander-Labahn, who is working on her first Ice Ball gala. “I am so excited to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters 19th annual gala. It’s a signature event for BBBS, and planning is going well,” said Lauren. “It’s going to be a magical evening with some fun additions. But the best part is that it creates a memorable night that helps kids in our community.”

This year’s event will take place at the JW Marriott Austin in downtown Austin again, but new decorations and ice sculptures will emphasize the night’s Fire & Ice theme – offering a fresh look and feel to the event. “The addition of a theme is a fun component envisioned by our Chairs who invite guests to play with the idea of Fire & Ice as they plan their attire for the evening as well,” said Lauren. “It offers some variety and novelty without changing the DNA of the gala.”

This year’s gala also features new event chairs, Pamela, and Will Hurley. Longtime Ice Ball participants and BBBS supporters, Pamela and Will are excited to serve as this year’s hosts. They will have the pleasure of recognizing this year’s Ice VII Award recipients – Lori and Mark Ramseur (see companion article).

The dress for the event is ‘black tie extravagant’ and the evening will begin with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. This year’s silent auction is focused on providing “unique” offerings. Everything, from the products to the packages and the destinations, is being curated with unique characteristics and qualities in mind. The focus on providing unique, nowhere else experiences will be reflected in the gala’s live auction packages as well.

Longtime Ice Ball attendees and BBBS supporters are excited about this year’s event. “This will be our 8th Ice Ball,” said Albert Swantner, BBBS Board Chair and our 2022 Ice Ball event Chair. “We are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and being inspired by the amazing work that BBBS does. We have enjoyed coming together with other like-minded people to celebrate and advance the unique one-to-one mentoring BBBS provides. I would encourage everyone to come witness the incredible work that is done. I guarantee that you will leave with a full heart and that you will be inspired to join us in changing children’s lives.”

Connie and Bill Nelson, a former Big Couple who have served as Ice Ball Chairs and who are also previous Ice VII Award recipients, have been attending the Ice Ball Gala since 2011. “We enjoy attending Ice Ball and hearing about BBBS’ plans to grow its influence among young people in Central Texas. Of course, a highlight of the evening is hearing the stories of our matches and the impact Bigs are making with their Littles,” said Connie. “It’s such a wonderful evening of fun, food, and fellowship with so many amazing people who have a common love for BBBS’ mission. It is always energizing and inspiring.”

“It’s so special and encouraging to see over 800 people gather together to give generously to support young people they don’t even know,” said Connie. “It’s gratifying knowing that hundreds of people in one night can make a difference in the lives of these young folks who need support and a leg up in their development. We are so thankful to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and we hope that you will join us this year.”

Laura and Kyndel Bennett, BBBS benefactors who are also previous Ice VII Award recipients, echo these sentiments. “We started attending Ice Ball about 15 years ago, when it was held at the Austin Music Hall with 200 attendees,” said Laura. “It is a well-run event. Attendees have the opportunity to hear inspirational stories about BBBS participants, and they leave with a great understanding of what Big Brothers Big Sisters does and the organization’s impact.”

This year’s Ice Ball will truly offer something for everyone to enjoy while highlighting the main purpose of the event – providing more kids with mentoring relationships that can help them achieve their full potential.

“BBBS’ mission moment is a highlight of the evening,” said Brenda Lindfors, VP of Marketing and Communication. “It provides an opportunity for everyone to hear from a current Big and Little about the impact mentoring has made, and is making, in their lives. All of the event elements, both new and old are fun and exciting, and it all comes together to create a magical evening that impacts children’s lives for the better, forever.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2023 Ice Ball Gala takes place on Saturday, August 26th at 6:00 pm at the JW Marriott Austin Hotel, 110 E. 2nd Street, in downtown Austin. With ice sculptures, live auctions, silent auctions, dinner, music, and dancing, it’s a fun event, with a life-changing purpose.

Go to www.AustinIceBall.org for details.

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