The 17th Annual Dancing with the Stars Austin was by many measures the most successful of all the amazing DWTS Austin events over the better part of the last two decades. More than 1000 people attended the gala presented by Mercedes-Benz of Austin in the JW Marriott Grand Ballroom. They cumulatively raised a record-breaking $2.6 million for the Center for Child Protection and its work to support victims of child abuse in Travis County.
The event featured 10 dancers who competed for the coveted mirror ball trophy. The winner of the competition, judged by Becca Tobin, J.R. Martinez and Jeff Jumonville, was Nasreen Shahi, who was celebrating her birthday while she danced the Cha Cha with professional dancer Eric Young.
The other nine dancers included Brooke Nichol, who took home second place as well as the fundraising award, Amy Beard, a co-chair next year who took home third place, James Klingman, who won the Dancer’s Choice Award, Dave Annable, who had a fan section who donned blow-ups of his face, Christy Carlson Romano, Angela Garcia, Maya Calderon, Preston James and Victor Beck. Glenn Ball and Holly Mills-Gardner emceed the event, which was co-chaired by Stephanie Coultress O’Neill and Betsy Hudson.
In addition to the dance competition, guests enjoyed a live auction that featured a Wine & Dine experience with Sergio and Angela Garcia, an in-home private dining experience with chefs John Carver, Kevin Taylor, and Tyson Cole and trips to luxurious locations such as Belize, Costa Palmas, and a choice of European excursions. The evening ended with an after-party with music from DJ Mixer Rogers.
But, most importantly, funds and awareness was raised for The Center for Child Protection, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center and the only nonprofit in Travis County involved in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against children. For more than 30 years, the Center has been the first stop for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and for children who have witnessed a violent crime. They provide multilingual services to children and their families including forensic interviews, educational prevention trainings, therapy, and medical care completely free. For more information visit centerforchildprotection.org or follow them on Instagram at @center4cp.