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Tribeza Social Hour: Big Brothers Big Sisters’ 2023 Ice Ball Gala

Austin attendees raised more than $1.1 million to support children and families in our community

Lori Ramseur, Pamela Hurley, and Connie Nelson

On August 26, 2023, more than 700 friends and supporters gathered for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas’ 19th Annual Ice Ball Gala at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin. Through the generosity of guests in attendance, more than $1.1 million was raised to support for children in the local community.

Albert Swantner, Chair, BBBS Board of Directors, noted, “Ice Ball is one of the premier galas in the Austin community. Thanks to the amazing generosity of our donors, even more children will receive mentoring relationships that can change their lives for the better, forever.”

Guests arrived in stunning formal attire, and posed for photo ops with the gala’s signature ice sculpture. Attendees then had the chance to participate in a Buried Treasure game, bid on silent auction items, sip signature cocktails, and enjoy getting their very own Vogue Vignette, a custom sketch of their evening attire by an onsite fashion artist. 


Art and Cristina Guerra and Janice and Robert Hernandez


Qainta Harris, Mollie O’Hara Leach and Erin Knipp


Lori and Mark Ramseur


Jeremiah Bentley, Emmy Alcocer-Hill and Christine and Blake Absher


Brandon and Tiffany Hughes


Connie and Bill Nelson presenting the Ice VII Award


Hugh and Vivian Forrest


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas CEO, Kedrick Jeffries


Sarah Swantner and Shellie Hayes-McMahon


Ice Ball 2023 Ice Sculpture


2023 Ice Ball Chairs William and Pamela Hurley

This was the first Ice Ball for BBBS of Central Texas’ new CEO, Kedrick Jeffries, who previously worked for The Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin. “I have a heart for serving the youth and families of Central Texas,” said Jeffries. “I am serious about this mission, and I can’t wait to get started!”

Notable moments of the event included the announcement of a $250,000 gift to launch an agency endowment fund named in honor of longtime BBBS supporters Connie and Bill Nelson. Additionally, the Ice VII award was presented to long-time supporters Lori and Mark Ramseur, recognizing their impact on both the agency and the gala.

The Mission Moment portion of the Ice Ball program shared the story of Little Sister Kiyah’s relationship with her Big Sister, Alli who have been matched for seven years. Kiyah explained how her Big Sister Alli provided consistent support as she took on many responsibilities while her mother dealt with serious health issues.

Guests enjoyed a seated dinner with wine service as Ice Ball emcee Quita Culpepper, KVUE anchor, made opening remarks followed by auctioneer David Ackel who invited everyone to bid on many exciting auction packages. To wrap up the night, all enjoyed dancing to the music of the Love and Happiness Band. 

Cheers to BBBS of Central Texas on this exceptional evening that raised funds for a life-changing program for children and families in the Austin community. If you’d like to lend a hand or learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, please visit

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