Celebrating Success


By Erin Duncan, Texas Tower PR Volunteer

Adult students in the Manos de Cristo beginner and intermediate computer class graduated last week after their eight week session of classes. Graduations were highlighted with the awarding of certificates then a drawing for a laptop computer and flash drives.

computer studentGraciella, a beginning computer student won the laptop giving her the ability to continue practicing her new skills at home. After the raffle, the teachers and students celebrated the semester with refreshments and one another’s company.

Another computer student, Cornelius has been with Manos since 2013. He decided to retake the beginning class with the goal of becoming an expert before moving to the intermediate level. After having a stroke in 2005, he was confined to a wheelchair and needed assistance with everyday routine tasks.

I’ve come a long way and I am getting stronger each day,

Now Cornelius is typing words quickly on a computer and has earned six certificates from Manos for attending classes.

Manos offers 8-week computer courses for individuals with little to no prior computer experience. Classes are bilingual (English/Spanish) when bilingual instructors are available. Course topics include computer basics, word processing, Internet navigation, e-mail, and the use of spreadsheets

For more information about computer classes at Manos de Cristo, visit: www.manosdecristo.org/education.html


Rockin’ the House at the Manos de Cristo Charity Gala


By   Jenny Passmore, Texas Tower PR Volunteer

Beau and Leslie Thorne

Gala attendees Beau and Leslie Thorne enjoy dinner and a short program before the auction at ACL Live Moody Theatre. (Photo by Oliver Smith.)

Thank you to sponsors, attendees and volunteers who made our annual Manos de Cristo Charity Gala the most successful one yet. The event raised over $111,000 for Manos de Cristo at the ACL Live at The Moody Theater in the heart of downtown Austin on February 13.

Gala attendees streamed in to enjoy pre-gala fun like taking fun pictures at the venue photo booth, scoping out auction baskets and buying Kendra Scott Jewelry mystery boxes. At dinner, guests enjoyed a three-course offering from the W Austin Hotel and mingled and shared their visions for Manos de Cristo.

After dinner, Master of Ceremonies Ron Oliveira welcomed gala co-chairs and board members Beverly Chasse and Dr. Tony Pacheco, Jr. Through their personal stories they reminded guests that the mission of Manos de Cristo is to help struggling community members get back on their feet by meeting basic needs with food and clothing, providing essential oral care, and furthering educational development.

Gayle Stallings FUNauctions

Auctioneer, Gayle Stallings of FUNauctions, auctions off three of her spotter lights for a total of $1,500. (Photo by Travis Perkins.)

The audience responded to their message by giving $62,000 in a ten minute Fund a Need portion of the evening, asking for support toward specific services and programs at Manos, including affordable dental services, back-to-school supplies for school children and providing education for adult learners.

The live auction brought the crowd together raising their paddles for the benefit of others. Among the exciting live auction packages were a South African safari, a trip to Bali, a four-course dinner at Eddie V’s and seven night stay in New Mexico. At the end of the night, passionate donors still wanted to contribute, so they started bidding on bid spotter lights, adding an additional $1,500. A huge thank you is in order to auctioneer, Gayle Stallings of FUNauctions for engaging the audience and helping to raise record funds for Manos de Cristo at this year’s gala..

The Pictures_too

The Pictures Band provided dance music and fun at the gala. (Photo by Travis Perkins.)

After the live auction, the guests enjoyed the casino and open bar. Donors danced the night away to the lively music provided by The Pictures Band.

The gala raised more money for Manos de Cristo than ever before and we owe it all to our gala attendees, sponsors, donors, board members and supporters. Thank you for your big hearts and passion. We look forward to serving the community by meeting basic needs with food and clothing, providing essential oral care and furthering educational development for adult learners.