Her core cause is mental illness
Out & About
would be pretty plain without them. These eloquent personal histories have planted the seeds for many an Out & About column.
Along the way, Scarborough has backed Ballet Austin, Planned Parenthood and Zach Theatre.
She’s often surprised by how much more sophisticated Austin has become, especially in the area of charitable giving. Just 30 years ago, a check for $1,000 would have overwhelmed a fundraiser with joy. While still welcome, those three zeros are dwarfed by the more than $1 billion raised in the past 15 years just for local causes.
“I grew up with the town,” Scarborough says of Austin. “It’s a lot better. Even though we complain — all of us kvetch about the traffic and the crowds. But there is so much more. I can remember when there was one Chinese restaurant in town. It was out on South Congress and it was awful. Outside of the university, there was very little cultural life. Very little diversity. It’s always been a pretty town. What’s going on now is mind-boggling. There are 10 big events every night of the week.”
The rainmaker for New Milestones, which held its signature event Monday, would be remiss if she didn’t mention her core cause these days.
“There’s mental illness in every family,” she says without drama. “When you expand that to alcoholism and depression, it touches everybody. I can talk to any person in any room, and I’d hear about a cousin with depression or an aunt who died by suicide or their child that has autism. The good news: There is treatment.”