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March 17th

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Make A Difference Gala: The 2011 British Invasion of the Austin Music Hall

MADThe Eggmenweb Sergeant Pepper and Yoko put in an appearance. The Eggmen proved why they’ve earned the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Cover Band” award seven times. There were more go-go boots, mini-skirts, peace symbols, and bell-bottoms than you could count. And almost 400 revelers came out to boogie like it was 1960-something.

The Make A Difference “All You Need is Love” gala, benefiting the New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake, might have taken place on February 26th 2011, but it was definitely a trip back in time. The Austin Music Hall was decked out in a flurry of flowers, rainbow colors, and all things John, Paul, George and Ringo. MAD committeeweb The committee behind this grooviest of galas included Jane Belanger, Melanie Daude, Kerrin Gaenzle, Cheri Grant, Betty Meyer, Cathy Reynolds, Alanna Frater-Cote, and Committee Chair Laurel Reed. The girls at New Life Children’s Center and all of us at LSS are feeling the LOVE for this dedicated and creative crew.

CS1_3007 Lending their three-part harmony to the night, the Kyle Sisters (Mary Margaret, Bodie, and Frances Ann) lead off with a song, then got down to business as auctioneers for the live auction.


Dr. Kurt Senske, chief executive officer of LSS, told the audience a little about Trauma-Informed Care, the revolutionary trauma-focused therapy that is being implemented at New Life. CS1_3075The entire staff will receive extensive Trauma-Informed Care training with funds raised at the event.  Kevin Benz joined him in a special plea to help treat the “mind, body, and soul” of the New Life girls. A generous, and anonymous, donor offered to match ALL donations to New Life for the next 60 days, up to $100,000! Everyone, please help us take advantage of this enormous blessing and DONATE TODAY.

MADBranda web

Most importantly, the night belonged to the young girls residing at New Life, where they are placed, some after as many as 15 different placements, to heal their wounds and souls.   Honored guest and former New Life resident, Branda Miller, shared her story, crediting her time and the staff at New Life with turning her life around. “New Life literally saved my life,” says Branda, who now attends Lubbock Christian University on a scholarship. As the song says: “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done …”

All Branda Needed Was Love

Those who missed Make A Difference 2011, and those who want to relive the event, can see photos online and read Michael Barnes’s Out and About blog in the Austin American-Statesman.

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