Our 2023 Ice Ball Chairs – Pamela & Will Hurley
What matches the soaring heat of the Texas summer? The excitement that is building for Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2023 Ice Ball Gala under the enthusiastic leadership of this year’s Ice Ball chairs, Pamela, and Will Hurley. It’s elegant, it’s fun, it fiery, it’s icy, but the focus of the entire event is on providing kids in our community with the mentors they need to change their lives for the better, forever. It’s this mission that energizes Pamela and Will and gets them so fired up about this year’s event.
“We love this mission, this whole organization,” said Will. “It is so impactful.”
Though not originally from Austin, Pamela and Will both fell in love with the city, and then, with each other. “I grew up in Germany,” said Will, “and Pam grew up in Dubai and Hong Kong, before I moved to Temple, and she moved to Houston.”
“I used to run guitars for Ray Hennig’s Heart of Texas Music between Austin and Temple,” said Will, “I fell in love with Austin and eating at Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road. I officially settled here in 1993, when I went to work for Apple answering the phones.”
“I loved the greenery. I was in San Marcos for college and would drive here to work and fell in love with the town,” said Pam. “I never had ‘roots’ growing up because we moved so much – my dad was in shipping. I wanted to be where my kids could grow up in one city. I’ve traveled a lot and I have to say, Austin is a special place.”
The city became even more special when the two met. “I’m an organizer and I was working for a client downtown. I’d spent 2 days getting him moved into his apartment, I was sweaty, and we were in the lobby with all these boxes and Will came in. My client said, ‘She’s an amazing organizer,’ and Will asked when I was going to organize for him.
“I began working for Will, and one day, I was up on a ladder, and he hugged my legs, looked up and said he wanted to marry me,” said Pam. “And I thought… this guy is psycho. Now, we’ve been together almost 11 years!”
Early in their relationship Pam and Will attended their first Ice Ball gala. “We’d just started dating and we went to our first Ice Ball. It was the year where you stood in line to get your food samples,” said Pam, “and I thought, I want to help organize events like this.”
But Pam, who is also a member of BBBS’ Executive Board of Directors, wanted to connect with the organization’s mission and gain experience as a Big Sister before working with the gala in a leadership role. “I felt like that was important,” said Pam. “I mean, I love a good party, and dressing in a gown, but now that I’m a Big, the event is even more special than before.”
“I’ve experienced the mission. I’ve seen how the program has impacted my Little Sister,” said Pam. “I’m so proud of her. When we started, she was having a hard time at school, but now she’s happy, she has friends, and she’s even started her own business, which I love!”
“She’s only 14 years old and I keep encouraging her,” said Pam.
Pam and Will’s long-standing, and multi-faceted, connection with BBBS has fueled the pair’s excitement as they focus on this year’s Ice Ball preparations. “We are excited about the new things we’ve added to the gala this year,” said Pam. “Like making this year ‘Black Tie Extravagant.’ Our friends are excited about going over the top with their gowns and outfits. And, we have a Fire & Ice theme, which I think will make things more fun and interesting. But most of all, I’m excited for the match story, and the success stories of the kids.”
“I’ve been a part of other charities,” she added, “but this is the only organization that truly feels like family. Everyone is so invested and committed. We share a passion for the mission that brings everyone together.”
“Seeing Pam with her Little Sister has just validated and strengthened all of the things I’ve seen and valued with BBBS,” said Will. “I see her commitment to the relationship with her Little, and the difference that that one-to-one relationship makes for both of them.”
“BBBS is the one thing to invest in if you want to help kids,” said Will. “And it is so easy to help. You don’t have to buy a $25,000 table at Ice Ball. You can make a Fund A Friendship gift or make a monthly donation – there’s no excuse not to be involved.”
“Ice Ball is so much more than just a gala,” Will concluded. “It’s a community of business and cultural leaders in Central Texas, a who’s who of Austin leaders, who gather for one night to raise an enormous amount of money for these incredible kids and Bigs and who are investing in children’s lives and futures. It’s amazing.”
“We need more people to participate, not just in Ice Ball, but in supporting BBBS,” said Will. “Because there are a lot of children in our community who need the additional support, and there are a ton of ways to help out.”