Heart & Soul Luncheon Raises Funds for Nonprofit Inclusive Austin Preschool

Special guest A&E star Megan Bomgaars helps the cause

On Friday, Feb. 15, the Fairmont Hotel will be hosting the 12th annual Heart & Soul luncheon benefiting the Rise School of Austin, a nonprofit early childhood school where 50% of the students have a developmental delay, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or autism.

Megan Bomgaars (Courtesy of Lotte Lope PR)

The team at Rise works to provide an inclusive setting where individualized learning techniques enable every child to achieve their maximum potential. Their mission is to prepare every child for success in their next learning environment, and in life, with a supportive, inclusive environment that welcomes every child and encourages them to be their best self, and the Heart & Soul luncheon is the larger Austin community’s best opportunity to support this mission.

This year’s special guest is Megan Bomgaars, who stars in the A&E show Born This Way. Bomgaars is a self-advocate, an artist, motivational public speaker, and a rising entrepreneur who recently collaborated with Sanrio on a line of inspirational slogan tees.

“Heart and Soul is our most heartfelt and mission-centered event of the year and will not only feature our very own pre-Kindergarten students, but Megan Bomgaars, an entrepreneur and self-advocate who has Down syndrome as a characteristic,” says Megen Glass Bethune, Rise School Executive Director.

“Not only does this event inspire us to be strong women, but also demonstrates the power of inclusion. We have high expectations for every child at Rise and strive to provide a high-quality individualized education so that they can become anyone they want to be. Megan’s message of ‘Don’t limit me’ personifies our belief that children are children first, and when provided an opportunity to learn together, everyone wins.”

Other stars – namely the Rise students and their fathers – will be putting on a fashion show for guests. There will be a silent auction and shopping experience, and a luncheon catered by the Fairmont’s kitchen staff. Tickets start at $300 for a single plate, and go up to $15,000 for two tables of 20.

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