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Monday, November 14, 2011

Dining with The Lone Star Paralysis Foundation @CarillonAustin @ChefJoshWatkins

*I helped produce the Benefit for Daniel, and I was invited as a guest to The Lone Star Paralysis Foundation Vodka Dinner at the Carillon

With the giving season upon us, you might be looking for organizations that need some holiday funds or warm body volunteers.  The Lone Star Paralysis Foundation is an organization that I recently got to know through an unfortunate accident.  One thing that I noticed about the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation was the immense (and I mean IMMENSE) passion and unwavering focus on the organization's goals.  In meeting many of the board members, I was bombarded with warm greetings and huge smiles.  Dang, that is one happy, yet intensely focused board.  Since I hadn't mentioned it yet, the mission of the organization is "to cure spinal cord paralysis through funding research, advanced recovery, and community outreach."

Photo by John M. P. Knox. 

Daniel Curtis is looking fantastic.  If you haven't met Daniel (donations for his recovery accepted here) yet, you should soon!

Another thing that you might not know about the board is that they front all their expenses.  All donations go directly to their cause, and not to pay for incurred expenses.  As a member and current/past board members for a number of organizations, that is not an easy thing to do.  Expenses can range from air fare, hotel rooms, and car rentals.  To take on those expenses out of one's own pocket in addition to serving an organization with time is a testament to the board's dedication.  Though I'm not closely involved with the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, I certainly appreciate and look up to their board members. Every time board members of the foundation speak, there's not a dry eye in the crowd.  These people are exceptionally moving. 

There are several ways that you can donate to this wonderful organization by hosting events, donating to their raffles, or by directly donating cash.  You can also donate by ordering the Carl Miller’s Layered Chunky Queso at Jack Allen's Kitchen.  The queso is green chile pork, queso and guacamole served with a basket of chips.  Also, don't you know that all food that supports non-profits is calorie free?  *statement not empirically tested.

Photo courtesy of Bread and Butter PR.

Throughout the year, the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation hosts a number of events including a vodka pairing dinner.  This year's dinner was sponsored by Tito's and held at the Carillon.  You probably know by now that I'm a HUGE fan of the Carillon and Chef Josh Watkins.  We've got a surprise for you in store on Dec. 9th, 2011.  Hang tight for more information.  Also, hang tight for a baby Watkins on the way.  Don't forget to congratulate Chef Josh and his lovely wife, Sarah on their upcoming family addition!

Photo by John M. P. Knox.

The Vodka Pairing Dinner dinner started off with some creative cocktails.

Photo by John M. P. Knox.

The first course was Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sweet Corn, Balsamic Cream, and Garlic Croutons.   Aren't the colors of this dish just fantastic?

Photo by John M. P. Knox. 

Here's a photo of best friends, Chef Josh Watkins and Daniel Curtis.  I'm excited to report that Daniel (donations for his recovery accepted here) is recovering well.  Last I saw him, he was kicking, literally!

Photo by John M. P. Knox.

Board member Doug English (YES! The football player!) and members present one of the raffle items, a painting of Doug in his Longhorn uniform.  If you want to give to an organization that will really make a difference, please keep the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation in mind.  I can attest that any donation you make will make an impact and that your help will be greatly appreciated.  Happy Giving!

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