SantaCon is Coming To Town…

You might see Rudolph, or possibly Buddy the Elf, or even some grown-ups in holiday onesies… however, you will definitely see lots of Santas if you join us for SantaCon 2018 benefitting BBBS. You can ring in the holiday season and have a great time, all while supporting our great mission to help kids in our community.  It happens December 8, from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., in the Rainey Street Entertainment District.  

SantaCon is a merry Santa-themed celebration that includes food and drink specials, games, team competitions, costumes, prizes and opportunities for networking and socializing while raising funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Participating venues include Lustre Pearl, Bungalow, Container Bar, Clive, Parlor Room and Banger’s. This convention of people dressed in Santa and Christmas-related costumes gathers to have a good time and raise money for a great cause: changing children’s lives for the better, forever. 

Many cities around the country hold SantaCon events, but the Austin version is the only one that officially benefits a non-profit. “People who’ve moved here from other cities where SantaCon is huge like San Francisco and New York are super excited to bring it to Austin, because it’s a perfect city for this type of event,” said Sara Grauerholz, BBBS Development Associate. “People in Central Texas love to dress up in costume and have a good time. And I think if people are going to spend their money and have a fun day, it should be for a good cause.” 

SantaCon Chair Oliver Davis-Urman agrees. “This is the perfect event for philanthropy,” said Oliver, who handles strategic growth for WeWork. “It’s such a festive event to begin with, and to have it benefit an organization like BBBS takes it to a whole other level. It gives people who are participating a whole lot more enjoyment knowing the funds raised are going to help BBBS get kids off the waitlist and into the mentoring relationships they need to be successful in Austin and beyond.” 

Oliver is one of the few people on the SantaCon committee who had participated in a SantaCon event before, specifically in New York. “I’m a huge fan of the holiday season, and I’m really into events that bring people together. SantaCon brings people together from all over,” said Oliver. “Seeing people dressed up in costumes, playing games, having a good time, and singing Christmas carols… there’s nothing better than that.” 

He also knows, firsthand, the huge impact an event like SantaCon can have for BBBS and for the children and families we serve, since Oliver is also a Big Brother.  “Working with kids is something I’ve always been drawn to,” said Oliver. “When I got to Austin, I thought it would be a good opportunity to provide mentoring to someone who needs it. I was lucky enough to get matched with my Little Brother Iarion. We’ve been matched over a year and a half now. He’s 13 and he’s amazing. I get so much enjoyment out of the time we spend together. I’m excited to be a part of his life and that wouldn’t be possible without BBBS.” 

BBBS wouldn’t be able to fulfill its mission of helping kids if it wasn’t for fundraisers like SantaCon. “Getting as many kids as possible off our waiting list is always our goal,” said Sara. “100% of funds raised at SantaCon are going to BBBS and will be used to provide more children with the mentors they need and deserve. Everything is going to the mission to help kids succeed.” 

 To that end, sponsorship opportunities are new this year and a big deal for the event. “Our SantaCon sponsors have the opportunity to be in front of a captive and receptive audience… one that cares about our mission and that will notice the businesses that support us,” said Sara. “Plus, as far as sponsorship levels go, we’ve really got something for everyone. Opportunities range from volunteering to help with the event, which requires no monetary commitment, up to our $10,000 sponsorship level. Each sponsorship level has a great set of benefits, in addition to making a real difference for more kids in Central Texas.” 

This year’s event also features The Reindeer Games – special tests of strength, skill and merriment – to determine the true victor of the North Pole! Teams consist of 5 people (all over 21) and must raise a minimum of $500 before November 30th to participate. The Games include a Snowball Fight (a dodgeball-style tournament), Christmas Carol Karaoke, and the Top Prancer costume contest. “Get your friends and family to form a team,” said Sara, “or get your company to come aboard as a sponsor and use the games as a team building exercise with your co-workers. Companies can also bring clients to the event.” 

Last year’s event was the first SantaCon celebration held in Austin and drew in over 500 people. In 2018, BBBS hopes to double that number of participants and raise even more awareness. There are already 2,400 people who have expressed an interest in participating on the event’s Facebook page. “Last year everyone had an amazing time. People were lining up down the block in their Santa suits and they were so excited,” said Sara. “We had a lot of people sign up the day of the event, just walking past. They would say, ‘What’s this? We love this! We want to be a part of this.’ There were birthday party groups that joined us. It was all because we were having such a great time, for such a great cause.” 

Become a sponsor, attend the event this year, and invite someone you know who would enjoy SantaCon. Just don’t miss this great opportunity to have fun and to help a lot of kids at the same time. “I’m proud my company is participating in The Reindeer Games,” said Oliver. “I challenge all other Central Texas companies to come have some fun and raise money for an incredible cause. There are too many kids on BBBS’ waiting list who can only be matched with the mentors they need when people volunteer to become Bigs or raise money to support these matches. We want to do both at SantaCon this year.” 

When it comes to changing children’s lives, SantaCon is a gift that keeps on giving.  

For more information, or to register go to: or 

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