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Social Hour: Austin Parks Foundation Throws an Epic Party for the Parks

The annual fundraiser returned in style with live music, legendary food and more

APF Party for the Parks
Liza Considine, Jennifer Mueller & Natalie Scott (photo by Lauren Corbin)

What would Austin be without its parks? From scorching temperatures to unexpected freezes, very few things can stop an Austinite from exploring the great outdoors or jogging along city trails with family and furry friends in tow. Because these green spaces are so well-loved, improvement efforts and community outreach from organizations like Austin Parks Foundation are essential.

On October 11, APF hosted its 9th annual fundraiser Party for the Parks, welcoming supporters to iconic Zilker Park for a night of revelry. Delicious dining options were provided by esteemed culinary crew The Taco Mafia, comprised of acclaimed local restaurants Nixta Taqueria, Cuantos Tacos and Discada. Guests also enjoyed complimentary libations, a thrilling live auction and charming games throughout the night. 

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Katie Robillard, Colin Wallis & Jayna Burgdorf (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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Anne Veerkamp at check-in. (photo by Lauren Corbin)

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Erica Silverstein & Shannon Cunningham (photo by Taylor Wiseman)

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Chuck Foster (photo by Taylor Wiseman)

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Jasmine Piper (photo by Taylor Wiseman)

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Sarah Wolf & Trevor Scott (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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DJ Cassandra (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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Leticia Mendoza (photo by Taylor Wiseman)

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Colin Wallis & Jess Wright (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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Heath Hale & Donnie Romeo (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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Portugal. The Man performing on the Tito’s Stage (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

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(photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

Taking place in-between the two weekends of Austin City Limits Music Festival, this year’s Party for the Parks event also featured a phenomenal, intimate performance on the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Stage by official fest artists and social justice advocates, Portugal. The Man. For 18 years, unique partnership between ACL and the nonprofit has contributed an astounding $55 million to Austin’s public park system, greatly enhancing the experience for longtime residents and new visitors alike.

APF Party for the Parks
Portugal. The Man (photo by Alejandro Hernandez-Gonzalez)

The evening also served as a chance for APF to honor the impactful individuals and organizations that have furthered its mission with the Golden Shovel awards ceremony. The 2023 recipients included Lifetime Achievement award winner Dr. Andrew Sansom; Volunteer of the Year Lisa Sledge; and Adopt a Park Group of the Year, Barrington School Park, led by Vanessa Gamez and Ana Islas.

“For over three decades, Austin Parks Foundation has worked to improve Austin’s parks by building community through our parks with people at the forefront of our work. Party for the Parks is a celebration of that community,” said Colin Wallis, CEO of Austin Parks Foundation.

Proceeds from the Party for the Parks event will benefit Austin’s 400 parks, ensuring these magical places are accessible for many future generations of Texans to come. For more information, visit austinparks.org.