By Noelle Darilek
PeopleFund held their 22nd annual East Night event last Thursday for PeopleFund clients, staff, partners, volunteers and donors. The event was a huge success, both in terms of fundraising and fun-having.
Guest had fun testing their luck at various casino-themed games, delighting in food catered by various PeopleFund clients, and bidding on the silent auctions packages. There were also various awards given out at the event to several PeopleFund clients and partners.
The Volunteers of the Year award went to Liz Rogers, Dwayne Briscoe and Danielle Ellis. Liz has won this award in the past, and her continued dedication to PeopleFund clients makes her all the more deserving this year. Dwayne specializes in helping clients with accounting basics and has assisted clients at Innovation Week in both Austin and Houston. Danielle is just starting out at PeopleFund, but is already serving as a mentor to six clients.
The Intern of the Year award went to Ray Guyandi. He worked to help overhaul the quarterly financial accounting system and process, as well as met with clients to aid with technical assistance
Eva Mae’s Kitchen won the Overcoming Obstacles award. This restaurant has worked through challenges and strived to continue building their business regardless.
The Business Innovation Award was won by Cat Spring Tea, a tea company that continues to creatively and innovatively develop their business.
CocoAndre, Maples & Woods Enterprises, and Taste Elevated each took the Business Success award. All three of these clients have gone above and beyond, exceeding their own expectations and goals.
The Community Impact award was won by African American Youth Harvest Foundation and the MaryLee Foundation. Both clients work to nurture their businesses, while also changing and advancing the communities around them.
PeopleFund client Little Land Pediatric Therapy & Play Gym was the Veteran of the Year awardee.
Lastly, the Champion of the Year award went to Nikki Graham from Bank of America. Nikki is the founder of PeopleTalk in Austin and today sponsors several programs across the state. Bank of America is partnered with the Tory Burch Foundation to support PeopleFund women clients. This partnership has given women the opportunity to receive capital and grow their businesses through professional development.