Austin Street Center CEO Daniel Roby honors Nancy Best and SMU for their commitment to the organization. (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Pat Schenkel and Pete Schenkel (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Nancy Best, Lynn McBee (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Lisa Sherrod, Maria MacMullin, Daniel Roby (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Jim and Pam Christon, Dan Tarlas, Frank Mihalopoulos, Mark Willis (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Harriet Miers, Carolyn Miller (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Dr. Gerald Turner, Jody Grant, Ray Hunt (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Dr. Gerald and Gail Turner, Frank and Linda Roby, Nancy Ann Hunt (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Chris Kleinert, Ashlee Kleinert, Nancy Best, Randy Best, Justyna Dymerska (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Chris Kleinert and Dupree Scovell (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Cally Taylor, William Taylor (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Whitney Cortner, Dr. Lisa Jones (Photo by ATALI SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO)
Austin Street Center, an agency that addresses homelessness and diligently works to assist Dallas’ most vulnerable population in finding a permanent place to call home, celebrated its 40th anniversary with its beloved Humble Beginnings Luncheon on Friday, October 27.
With the anniversary year’s theme of “Opening the Door to Hope, Healing and Home,” a crowd of 900 supporters gathered at our city’s philanthropic home-away-from-home – the Hilton Anatole – for the event.
Who drew such a vibrant and enthusiastic guest list? The 66th Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. A poised trailblazer with more than 30 years in public service, Secretary Rice became the first Black woman to hold the position of Secretary of State and the first woman (ever!) to serve as National Security Advisor.
While guests dined on blackened chicken and white cheddar stone ground grits, Hon. Jeanne Phillips, who worked with Secretary Rice during the President George W. Bush administration as United States Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, moderated an inspiring conversation. Secretary Rice and Phillips addressed everything from timely current events to jovial anecdotes about Secretary Rice’s childhood.
Ashlee and Chris Kleinert chaired the event, with Lynn McBee proudly serving as the honorary chair. The event raised an impressive $1,085,000 to drive awareness about homelessness in Dallas and honored both Nancy Best and Southern Methodist University for their steadfast commitment to Austin Street Center. The agency awarded Best with the 5th annual Norm Hitzges Distinguished Service Award and SMU with the Leadership Award.
Thanking attendees for their support, Austin Street Center CEO Daniel Roby remarked, “Through the support of others, we continue to work tirelessly to serve the most highly vulnerable populations. It is our goal that every homeless person who comes to Austin Street Center finds hope, support, and the resources they need to transition out of homelessness.”
Offering bright optimism for the agency’s next 40 years, Roby concluded by saying, “Austin Street Center will continue to shine bright and be the beacon of hope for many who are in their darkest days.”
Following the luncheon’s conclusion, Austin Street Center gifted each attendee with a luxurious hand-poured candle by Xela Aroma. As the agency’s first social enterprise, Xela Aroma generates both philanthropic and earned revenue for Austin Street Center, while “serving as a hands-on work development training ground helping clients resolve their homelessness with critical life skills.”
Candle proceeds directly benefit the support programs of Austin Street Center and can be purchased online at xelaaroma.com.