Paying homage to the Big Give and Texas 4000 Tribute Gala

Just about every Austin nonprofit of a certain size fields a young leaders group or stages a giving event geared for young backers. Few feel as authentic or as lively as the Big Give from I Live Here I Give Here.

New neon at the Big Give. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

Credit Executive Director Celeste Flores, but also her excellent party team, who put the focus this year squarely on the Patsy Woods Martin Big Giver, Brittany Morrison, of Hospice Austin. Her speech hit every right note about personal investment in a specific charity. (We promise to interview her soon.)

Additionally, the K Friese +Associates Small Nonprofit Award went to Big Medium and the RetailMeNot Nonprofit Award was taken home by Partners in Parenting.

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce and Erica Saenz at the Big Give. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman

I had an ideal time at the Hotel Van ZandtChatted for a long time with two people I know and admire, Erica Saenz and Roxanne Schroeder-Arce; spoke briefly with a dozen other guests; ate three small, salty snacks; and drank one signature cocktail. Never waited in line. Never endured long distractions. Ninety minutes max. The best.

TEXAS 4000 TRIBUTE GALA

While Hurricane Harvey bore down on Texas, several Austin nonprofits chose to forge ahead with their galas. When I heard that the Texas 4000 Tribute Gala that benefits the cancer fight was not canceled, I responded “I guess if you’ve biked 4,000 miles from Texas to Alaska, a little hurricane is not going to stop you.”

Luckily, the happy warriors at the dinner sent me this report, lightly edited:

Jeff Conley, Riddhi Patodia, Krishna Patel, Alex Shrode, Zack Kingsak, Chris Hamborsky, Mikaela Casas, Audrey Nguyen, Nina Lemieux, Amar Sheth, Catherine Butschi and Cienna Taylor at Texas 4000 Tribute Gala. Contributed

“Despite the wind and rain, Texas 4000 for Cancer had its most successful Tribute Gala to date. The funds raised at the JW Marriott, along with what was raised by the riders throughout the year, resulted in over $1 million in fundraising in 2017.

“Suppoerters were determined to not let Hurricane Harvey affect the evening, and one board member even drove round trip from Houston on Friday morning to ensure his auction items made it to the event.

“The 70 riders who biked from Austin to Alaska in the effort to fight cancer were celebrated by the 550 Tribute Gala guests, comprised of alumni, families and supporters.

“Videos portraying the 70-day summer ride reflected the many emotions the riders’ experienced, and shared some of the stories for why they ride.

“The 2017 Texas 4000 riders celebrated throughout the evening as they became Texas 4000 alumni, and the organization inspired others to help put the 15th Texas 4000 team on the road next summer.”