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Model Citizens


Styling by Jane Black
Hair and Makeup by Pepper Pastor
Anyone who’s planned a party beyond the college kegger, knows there’s a lot more involved than calling a caterer and making sure the cocktail napkins are fanned just so. Patrons pony up some nice ca-ching for Austin’s galas and luncheons, and event-goers’ expectations, along with money, are raised. But there are some stalwart women in Austin who, time and again, lead the charge of the volunteer fundraising brigade. They’ve borrowed the mythos of baseball lore, “Build it and they will come,” and applied it to the ballroom with seeming ease. Their personal calendars are often hijacked from the time that first committee folder is labeled to when rentals are safely returned and proceeds are in the bank. Collectively, the eight women on the following pages have raised tens of millions of dollars for Austin area charities. Yep, they look feminine and glamorous, but underneath? All muscle and determination when it comes to getting behind causes they are passionate about. They have opened their homes and devoted countless hours to volunteering with nonprofits. They’ve created signature events for people where thousands gather, have fun, toast good deeds and like-minded people get to find each other. They get bouquets of flowers and kind words from the dais at their functions. But we wanted to give them a big thank you here, too. Meet our Sheroes, some of Austin’s biggest hearted fun(d)raisers.

Mary Herb Tally

Career Arts Fundraiser, retired
Husband Rusty Tally, sons Micah, Blake and Layne

“My first mentor was my mom, who treated her volunteer work like a day job, always on the phone and dragging me to meetings. When she passed, I was in my 20s; seeing the church rows overflowing is an image I’ll not forget. If done with an open heart, your work in the community will truly feed your spirit 100 times more than you will ever give.”
Her causes: Seton Breast Cancer Center Celebration of Life luncheon, Austin Pets Alive Tailwaggers, ZACH Unplugged, ZACH Red Hot & Soul galas, Emancipet Anniversary luncheons, Nobelity Project, Dancing with the Stars Austin galas for the Center for Child Protection, Marathon Kids concert, Palmer Drug Abuse Program Dinner Concert, Toast of the Town parties host.

Kathy Terry

Co-owner of P. Terry’s Burger Stands
Husband, Patrick; children Kate and Caroline

“During my early pre-teen years, my father was homeless, living in his laundry business. When we wanted to go out to eat, we would barter with his customers. So I learned at a very early age that sometimes our journey in life doesn’t always lead us in the path we dreamed or even wanted. And, it was my father who always told me the best gift you can give someone is your time.”
Her causes: The SAFE Alliance Board and Development Council, Austin Children’s Shelter Gala and Touch-a-Truck, HeartGift board and Ambassador, Legacy of Giving board, Dell Children’s Medical Center Global Outreach program, residence host for patients and their families for HeartGift and Dell Children’s Medical Center, I Live Here, I Give Here See Jane Give, P. Terry’s Giving Back Days.

Fayruz Benyousef

Philanthropy advisor and strategist, Fayruz Benyousef Consulting
Husband Malek Ben-Musa; daughter Yara

“I’ve looked up to many strong women in our community over the years. Among them are Amber Carden and Mariben Ramsey with whom I’ve worked closely over the past five years on several projects. They are dedicated and graceful with every cause they engage in and give selflessly of their time, experience and resources.”
Her causes: Man and Woman of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Corazon Awards for Con Mi Madre, Texas Lyceum Human Trafficking Meeting, Hand to Hold Baby Shower Luncheon, The Women’s Fund of Central Texas at the Austin Community Foundation, Association of Fundraising Professionals Austin Chapter Philanthropy Day Luncheons, Sustainable Food Center Farm to Plate, Libyan Heart.

Sherri West

wife, mother, grandmother
Husband ,Travis; children Tyler, Jackson and Georgia & granddaughter Tatum

“I find inspiration in my mother-in-law Alice West and her commitment to Hospice Austin and always putting others first. Working with Ronda Gray and seeing her dedication to the Austin Children’s Shelter set the bar for me. Since our introduction in 2012, my go-to for all things events, gala and fundraising is my dear friend, Armando Zambrano.”
Her causes: Andy Roddick Foundation board member, Rawson Saunders School galas, Austin Film Society/Texas Film Awards Gala, Dell Children’s Medical Center Give Hope Concert, Hospice of Austin Beauty Unveiled, Dell Children’s Gala, Dell Children’s Trust, Dell Children’s Council, Austin Children’s Shelter’s Women of Hope, Austin Children’s Shelter Board of Directors, Austin Children’s Shelters galas.

Terri Broussard Williams

VP of Government Relations, American Heart Association
Husband, Lemuel Williams, Jr.

“Because of volunteerism, my name was given to the American Israel Education Foundation to be a part of an African American leaders delegation who visited Israel in January 2016. I’ve always known that it only takes one person to change the world, but that trip shifted my perspective on life more than I can explain.”
Her causes: I Live Here, I Give Here See Jane Give, Austin Area Urban League 40th Anniversary event, The Junior League of Austin Capital Campaign & 80th Anniversary Party, Austin Under 40, American Red Cross Luminaria, Leadership Austin Best Party Ever events.

Maria Groten

Co-Owner, Love Cycling Studio
Husband, Eric Groten; children Ruel, Emma, Grayson & Lily

“Richard Hartgrove told me several years ago that he was putting me in charge of the silent auction at ZACH’s Red, Hot & Soul Gala. He believed in me and I will always credit him with getting me started in fundraising. He may have regretted it because every time I chaired an event after that, he was always at the top of my list of people to ask for a donation!”
Her causes: Seton Breast Cancer Celebration of Life Luncheon, Texas Film Hall of Fame, Austin Ballet Fete, ZACH Red Hot & Soul galas, ZACH Unplugged events, Dancing with the Stars Austin galas for the Center for Child Protection, Marathon Kids concert, Nobelity Project events.

Laura Craddick

Philanthropist and owner of Craddick PR
Husband, Tom; children Tripp and Claire

“My father dedicated his life to helping others. He made partner at a law firm early in his career, but chose to be a non-profit lawyer. He couldn’t be more happier or more fulfilled.”

Her causes: Texas Women for the Arts event, Dell Children’s Council, Dell Children’s Gala, Dell Children’s Kendra Scott for Kids, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Key to the Cure event, Elizabeth Ann Seton board and galas, Seton Breast Cancer Center Celebration of Life luncheon, HeartGift Ambassador, Austin Children’s Museum (Thinkery) fundraising events.

Carla McDonald

Founder & editor-in-chief of the Salonniere award-winning entertaining website
Husband, Jack; children Ava and Devin

“I’ve been fortunate in my adult life but, like many of us, I had my share of challenges growing up. Because of that, empowering people in the community — particularly those whose path in life hasn’t been paved for them — holds real meaning for me.”
Her causes: Austin Film Society Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, Ballet Austin Fete and board, The Arthouse Texas Prize, American Youthworks fundraisers, Seton Breast Care Center luncheons and cocktail parties, KIPP Austin, ZACH Theatre’s Arts in Schools, Red, Hot & Soul Gala and board member. Hand to Hold, Dress for Success, Founder, Fashion Mentors Program at UT, board service for the Arthouse/Austin Museum of Art, Good Shepherd Episcopal School, and The Long Center for Performing Arts.

Many thanks to Sean Milberger and his wonderful team at Austin’s Park N Pizza for generously hosting this TRIBEZA photo shoot.

Read more from the Community Issue | February 2017