An Evening with Best-Selling Author Piper Kerman

IMG_6693Author Piper Kerman wowed the crowd at our 8th Annual Distinguished Speaker Benefit on May 7!  Ms. Kerman spoke eloquently about her own experience of compassion and friendship and praised the work CARY is doing to prevent kids from ever going to prison as necessary and worthy of support. (See video clip)


In her memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper Kerman recounts the 15 months that she spent in the Danbury Correctional Facility for a crime she had committed ten years prior as a very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking. Compelling, moving, and often hilarious, the stories of the women she met while in prison raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.

The memoir was adapted into an original Netflix series of the same name by Jenji Kohan, creator of Showtime’s Weeds, and was recently renewed for a second season. It has been called “the best TV show about prison ever made” by the Washington Post and was lauded by Time’s TV critic James Poniewozik for “the stunningly matter-of-fact way it uses the prison to create one of TV’s most racially and sexually diverse–and as important, complex–dramas [and] contrasts the power and class dynamics inside the prison with those outside the prison.”

Kerman has delivered lectures across the country on prison reform.  In her book, she states,“America has invested heavily in prisons, while the public institutions that actually prevent crime and strengthen communities…go without.” 

Hear KLBJ AM’s Todd Jefferies interview with Ms. Kerman ~~ read Bill Oakey’s April 26 blog about the event ~~ and read Austin Chronicle’s Amy Smith interview on the day of the event  ~~~ and see Michael Barnes’ article in the Austin American Statesman

We would like to thank to our generous sponsors! 

Presenting Sponsor: Friends of CARY  ~~ Silver Sponsors: L Style G Style, Jan Slagter, WP Engine ~~ Bronze Sponsors:   ABC Bank, Austin Cops for Charity, Austin Optimist Club, Baker Botts L.L.P., Steve & Debbie Belt, Kathleen Guido & Alfred Stanley, H-E-B, Joan & David Hilgers, King’s Hobby Shop, Carl Noble, CLU, ChFC, Seton Healthcare Family 

Thanks also to the companies and individuals who donated goods and services:

26 Bones Foot Spa, 93.3 KGSR, A is for Ann, ACL-Live,  Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Annies Café & Bar, Art on 5th Gallery, Austin Aquarium,  Austin Bazaar, Austin Chronicle, Austin Steam Train Assn.,  Austin Symphony, Austin Toros, Austinbikes, Marcia Ball, Sarah Bird, Benji’s Cantina, Bismeaux Productions, Blanton Museum of Art, Blue Skies Frame Co., Book People, Bradz Salon & Spas, Breed & Co., Judges Jan Breland & John Lipscombe, Brit & Belle, Café Josie, Calla Florist, Capital Cruises, The Carillion Restaurant, Carmelo’s Ristorante, ChadDerNik’s Bakery, Chango’s Taqueria, Chavez, Chez Nous French Bistro, Chloe’s Barkery, Chuy’s Restaurant, Cipollina, Cosette Originals, Crave Artisan Chocolate, Cynthia Bloom Collectible Jewelry, Daryl Howard Art, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Denise Donnelly Custom Designed Jewelry, EcoClean Austin, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Edible Arrangements, Elevation Burgers, The Emerald Restaurant, Emmis Austin Radio, Epicerie Café & Grocery, Escobar Construction, LLC, Esther’s Follies, Excellence in Touch Massage & Reiki, Fabi + Rosi, FastFrame of the Westlake Gallery, Fine Art Services, Flat Creek Estate, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Fogo de Chao, Food! Food!, Gallery Direct, Robert Godwin, Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar at Hotel Ella, Green Pastures, Guero’s Taco Bar, Marian Haigh, Ceramist, Halcyon Austin, Hand Feats by Roberto, Henri’s Cheese & Wine, Hiatus Spa + Retreat, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, HouckDesign, State Rep. Donna Howard,  Hut’s Hamburgers/Frank & Angie’s, Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Imagine Balance, The Inviting Pear, Iron Cactus, Liz James Designs, Jessica’s Natural Foods, Scott Johnson, Kelly Keith, DDS, Kendra Scott Jewelry, King’s Hobby Shop,  Russell Korman Fine Jewelry & Watches, Kruger’s Diamond Jewelers Downtown, La Mancha, Lamberts Downtown Barbeque, Dee Leekha Insurance Agency, Lonesome Highway Music,  Longhorn Steakhouse, Manuel’s Restaurant, Bonnie Martin Designs, Mighty Fine Burgers, Miles of Chocolate, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, National Instruments, Nest Modern, Nutty Brown Café, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, The Paramount & Stateside Theatres, Patsy’s Café, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Pilates on Kerbey, Pinballz Arcade, Rae Cosmetics, Jan Reid, Rudy’s BBQ, Salon Presly, Savory Spice Shop, Scents of KALM, Siena Ristorante Toscano,Sit! Stay! Portraits!, Soy Delites Candles, Spicewood Tavern, Diane Stevens, Skin Care, Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Sway Restaurant, Sweetish Hill Bakery, Tacos and Tequila, Texas Observer, Texas Performing Arts Center at UT Austin, Texas Rowing Center, The University of Texas Golf Club, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Travaasa Spa & Resort, Truluck’s Downtown Austin, Twilight Trio, Uchi and Uchiko, UrbanMattress, Whole Earth Provision Co., Whole Foods Market, Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar, Custis Wright, Z Tejas Southwestern Grill, ZACH Theatre

 ” One of the goals of the annual speaker event is to bring awareness of CARY and the great work that is done by our talented staff. This latest event far exceeded my expectation with regards to this goal. I was very impressed with the story told by Shana (Fox, Senior Youth Advisor). It is an example of a life saved. It is what we are about …saving lives.

I could not help but be inspired by the event…my hat is off to our staff, my fellow board members, and all of our friends in the community that support our goal of saving the lives of children.”   Stan Knee, Board Chair.

Photos generously donated by Robert Godwin Photography.

Double click on photo to get full image.

PLong line formed to get Piper Kerman's autographed book.

Long line formed to get Piper Kerman’s autographed book.

CARY Senior Youth Advisor, Shana Fox tells a success story.

CARY Senior Youth Advisor, Shana Fox Hanson tells a success story.

Contact Heidi Gibbons, Development Director for more information: