The 18th annual Food for Thought event is coming up on September 12, 2013 at Austin Music Hall. From 6-9 PM, 650 guests will enjoy food samples created by 22 of the best chefs from prominent restaurants in Austin.
This palette-pleasing evening serves an important purpose. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for Communities In Schools, a non-profit that offers dropout prevention services and programs to students at 56 Central Texas public school campuses. Last year, 99% of the students served by Communities In Schools stayed in school or graduated.
What to Expect at Food for Thought
The following well-loved Austin restaurants will be serving delicious food samples at Food for Thought 2013:
- Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
- El Alma Café
- Benji’s Cantina
- The Carillon Restaurant
- Chez Zee American Bistro
- Congress Restaurant
- Cuvée Coffee
- The Driskill Grill
- Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar
- Hudson’s on the Bend
- Jack Allen’s Kitchen
- Málaga Tapas & Bar
- Moonshine Patio & Bar
- Parkside Projects
- Salty Sow
- Siena Ristorante Toscana
- Sticky Toffee Pudding Company
- Stories Fine Dining at Hyatt Lost Pines
- Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House
- Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill
Congressman Michael McCaul and his wife Linda, along with Tyson Tuttle, CEO of Silicon Labs, are the chairs for this year’s event.
Why Communities In Schools Matters
I had the privilege of attending a Communities In Schools (CIS) open house at Lanier High School this past May. It was a gripping and emotional experience because I saw firsthand how CIS has changed the lives of young people in the Austin community. I learned that kids who don’t graduate from high school are twice as likely to be unemployed and eight times more likely to be incarcerated.
Communities In Schools works to address the hurdles that keep kids from attending school, like behavioral issues, teen pregnancy and financial difficulties. Lanier HS principal Kathy Ryan said pointedly, “If I didn’t have CIS, I don’t know what would happen to those kids.”
At Lanier, CIS runs a leadership program for at-risk males, called XY-Zone. There is a staff member who works specifically with struggling freshmen, and another who works with pregnant and parenting students. There are three full-time staff members, supported by a group of interns.
At the end of the Lanier event, five students came in to speak to our group of visitors (names have been altered to protect the students). Isabel told us that she got connected to CIS in 6th grade when her parents were going through a divorce. Gabir got involved as a freshman, after immigrating from Iraq. Quade spent time in jail before being introduced to CIS. He had this to say about the program: “It helped me change who I was and become a better person.”
What You Can Do
Stay informed about Communities In Schools. This non-profit is working hard to change individual lives and make our community better. There are volunteer opportunities available.
If you are interested in sponsoring the upcoming Food for Thought event, call (512) 464-9762 or email Special Events Coordinator Laura Hayes. Tickets are allotted based on the sponsorship package you choose. Maybe you can get together with coworkers or friends to make a huge difference through sponsorship, and then you can enjoy this fun event together.
All funds raised through the event will go toward Communities In Schools’ dropout prevention services and programs in Central Texas.
Had you heard of Communities In Schools before reading this article?