November 2, 2019

6 p.m.

ACC Highland
Building 4000

2nd Annual Boots & Bats Gala

Improving lives through education

Join us for a very special evening supporting student scholarships on November 2, 2019, at ACC Highland. The Boots and Bats Gala is a celebration of art, entertainment, and opportunities to improve lives. Your support benefits the ACC Foundation student scholarship fund and the Art Has Heart Foundation to help local students and AHH recipients achieve their academic dreams.

This exclusive event, in partnership with renowned Southwest artist Amado Peña’s Art Has Heart Foundation, features live music, a live and silent auction, and a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres designed and prepared by ACC Culinary Arts students.

Date:  Saturday, November 2, 2019

Time:  6 p.m.

Location:  ACC Highland, Building 4000

Directions:  Get directions

View Auction Items

Tickets:  Purchase a ticket

Become a Sponsor: Every dollar raised through the Boots & Bats Gala directly benefits ACC students and AHH recipients. When you invest as a sponsor, you join other supporters, alumni, and community members who are transforming lives through education. It is our sincere hope that you will partner with us by giving thoughtful consideration of being an esteemed sponsor of this event. Scroll down for more information and to become a sponsor.

Special Rates

NOTE: You will need to manually enter the dates of arrival (11/01) and check out (11/03) to receive the special Boots & Bats Gala discount.

Who We Are

Austin Community College opened its doors in 1973 to 1,726 students. Today, more than 80,000 students turn to ACC each year to improve their lives and communities through higher education and career training at what is a valued regional institution.  Proceeds from Boots & Bats will benefit student scholarships through the ACC Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization.

The Art Has Heart Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, incorporated in Texas in 1994 with a mission to raise the consciousness of the art community by promoting education and access to it through the work of artists and the public who support them.

Become a Sponsor

Every dollar raised through the Boots and Bats Gala directly benefits ACC students and AHH recipients. When you invest as a sponsor, you join other supporters, alumni, and community members who are transforming lives through education. It is our sincere hope that you will partner with us by giving thoughtful consideration of being an esteemed sponsor of this event.


Esther Sonen Yun, 512-223-7613,
Pam Sutton, 512-223-7598,

Our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor




  • Soon Merz Flynn
  • Mary Harris
  • Shirley Gilbert


  • SpeedPro Imaging

Boots & Bats Hosts

ACC Board of Trustees

  • Ms. Gigi Edwards Bryant, Chair
  • Mr. Mark J. Williams, Vice Chair
  • Dr. Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Secretary
  • Dr. Nan McRaven
  • Mr. Sean Hassan
  • Ms. Nicole Eversmann
  • Dr. Barbara P. Mink
  • Ms. Stephanie Ann Ghrakhanian
  • Ms. Julie Ann Nitsch
ACC Foundation Board

  • James P. Koerner, Chair
  • Sherrard (Butch) Hayes, Chair Elect
  • Mike Shaw, Past Chair
  • Dr. William F. Lasher, Treasurer
  • Kannan Kaliyur, Secretary
  • Kirby Baird
  • Sylvia Blanco
  • Alex Brown
  • Dr. Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ex-Officio
  • Sheila Fata
  • Jimmy L. Ferguson
  • MaShon Fielder
  • David Glass
  • Greg Hartman
  • Sean Hassan, Ex-Officio
  • John Hernandez
  • Corby Jastrow
  • Gita Lal
  • David Mahn
  • Jeannette Peten
  • Dr. Richard M. Rhodes
  • Dr. John E. Roueche
  • Rebecca Taylor
  • Hemi Thaker
  • John Thornborrow
  • Megan Wanek
  • Cassandra G. Wiggins
Art Has Heart Foundation Board

  • Amado M. Peña, Jr., President
  • J.B. Peña, Vice President
  • Juanita Alba, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Bob Arguelles
  • Lisa Bear Goldman
  • Shirley Gilbert
  • Helen Hall
  • Carolyn Montgomery
  • Kim Williams
  • Diana Wyocki

Boots & Bats Co-Chairs

Kirk Watson

Kirk Watson

Texas State Senator

Kirk Watson is former mayor of Austin, Texas, and was described by Texas Monthly Biz magazine as “a man with a vision of what the community wants and the moxie to carry it out.”

First elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, Senator Watson and has been reelected four times. He represents most of Travis County and all of Bastrop County.

In 2019, the Texas Senate elected Senator Watson to be the Senate’s President Pro Tempore for the 86th Legislature.

His priorities center on education, health care, transportation, budget transparency, and state employees. He serves as vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Nominations and also sits on the committees overseeing Education, Finance, and Higher Education as well the Sunset Advisory Commission.

As a cancer survivor, Senator Watson is passionate about making sure that all Texans have access to health care. He has been active in numerous health organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and served on the original board of what is now known as the LiveStrong Foundation.

In 2011, Senator Watson laid out 10 Goals in 10 Years to transform the health and economy of Austin and Travis County. The results have been transformative, resulting in the creation of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and a new modern teaching and safety-net hospital, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. The American Medical Association recognized Senator Watson’s contribution to healthcare with the prestigious Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service in 2017.

Building on those and other successes, Senator Watson launched a community-based effort to develop a center for world-class brain health treatment, research and education and has been honored by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and NAMI Austin for his leadership.

Among many other recognitions, Senator Watson has been named one of the state’s “10 Best
Legislators” by Texas Monthly. The President of the University of Texas at Austin presented him with the prestigious President’s Citation. Watson also received the Pro Texana Medal of Service from Baylor University and the Baylor Line Foundation (formerly the Baylor Alumni Association) named him a Distinguished Alumnus. The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas gave him its award as the Open Government Lawmaker of the Year and the Texas Press Association named him a Friend of the First Amendment for “his steadfast support of free speech and open government.” He’s also been named Austinite of the Year by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and received the W. Neal Kocurek Award for Healthcare Advocacy from People’s Community Clinic.

From 1991 to 1993, Watson served as Chair of the Texas Air Control Board, the state agency that was charged with addressing air quality in Texas. He was Vice-Chair of the committee that oversaw the consolidation of the Texas Air Control Board with the Texas Water Commission creating the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission, now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

He also has served as Chair of both the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Advisory Board of Environmental Defense, and he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas. He has chaired the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the primary transportation planning agency for Central Texas.

Senator Watson graduated from Baylor University and graduated first in his law school class at Baylor Law School. He has been named an outstanding young alumnus of Baylor, Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year, and the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas. He is currently of counsel at the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP.

Senator Watson has been married to his wife, Liz, since 1979. They have two sons, Preston and Cooper. Preston is married to Catherine Edsel Watson. Preston and Catherine are the parents of Senator Watson’s first grandchild, Effie. Preston has a BA and MBA and works in the tech industry in Austin. Cooper has undergraduate degrees in physics and mechanical engineering. He’s in a PhD program in physics.

Aileen Bumphus, Ph.D.

Aileen Bumphus, Ph.D.

Associate Vice President, Clinical Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Austin

With more than three decades of service, Dr. Aileen Bumphus has established unprecedented leadership in education. Throughout her distinguished career, Dr. Bumphus has remained committed to empowering students personally, academically and professionally.

Dr. Bumphus serves as Associate Vice President of Academic Diversity Initiatives at the Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin. As a first-generation college student, she understands firsthand the challenges facing many college students. As Associate Vice President, she is instrumental in providing strategic pathways that support other first-generation and underrepresented students as they matriculate through higher education, especially at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Bumphus also has served as Executive Director of the Gateway Scholars Program at the University of Texas at Austin which provided educational programs and services each semester to approximately 5,100 students.

She is a post doctoral fellow of the Pre-College Academic Readiness Programs at UT-Austin and has worked as a university instructor and a public school speech pathologist, special education team leader, and language development teacher. She also has served as an elementary school principal and was selected to receive the UT-Austin Enrique Romo Staff Excellence award in 2009.

Other awards and recognitions include the Central Intelligence Agency Partnership Appreciation Award, the Murray State University Lifetime Diversity Achievement Award, the University of Texas at Austin Black Student Alliance Faculty of the Year, the University of Texas Eyes of Texas Excellence in Service Award, the University of Texas Blazers Faculty Appreciation Honoree, Texas Blazers, and the University of Texas, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Vice President’s Staff Excellence Award.

Dr. Bumphus is a member of the University of Texas at Austin Faculty Council, STEM Council, and Writing Council and serves on the Diversity Abroad Task Force.

She received her B.S. in Speech and Hearing from Murray State University, her M.S. in Speech Pathology from Murray State University, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research from the University of Southern Mississippi.