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Help For Spinal Cord Injuries: 8th Annual Pay It Forward Benefit With Daniel Curtis

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On Thursday, August 2, the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin will be hosting the eighth annual Pay It Forward with Daniel Curtis event, with proceeds benefitting the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation and Easterseals Central Texas. This annual event raises both awareness and funds for spinal cord injuries. It does so by focusing on more than 20 of Austin’s restaurants which comprise its amazing food scene set in the Texas Hill Country.

This year’s event features The Carillon, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Uchi, Juniper, Loro, Barley Swine and Odd Duck, Freedman’s BBQ and many more. It will also include live entertainment by local soul ensemble The Nightowls. The event’s history, although successful, has a fateful beginning. Daniel Curtis, an area food and beverage director, was injured in a diving accident in 2011. His spinal cord injury resulted in paralysis. For the Pay It Forward event’s inaugural year, his family, friends, and counterparts in the industry partnered with the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation and the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center, raising more than $65K to assist with his medical expenses. That effort inspired Curtis to continue to work toward raising funds and spinal cord injury awareness through the annual Pay It Forward event. To date, this event has helped to raise more than $360K and is scheduled to repeat this August, telling the stories of those with spinal cord injuries and helping others in their time of need.

Help For Spinal Cord Injuries: 8th Annual Pay It Forward Benefit With Daniel Curtis

Photo: Bread & Butter Public Relations

“I’ve now spent a little over seven years of my life in a wheelchair,” Curtis said, “and have gone from being the rookie to playing more of a mentor role. Though every spinal cord injury is a little different, the questions, concerns, and masked fear are always the same when I visit a new patient in the ICU. The sad fact is that a lot of these people can’t cope with such an injury without the right support structure. Because of the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation and Easterseals Central Texas, Austinites with physical disabilities have a wealth of resources and a recovery center they can go to five days a week free of charge. It’s not just a gym and it’s not just for physical recovery, it’s a family, a support group, and therapy for the body and the mind.” Curtis went on to say, “Pay It Forward is about making the necessary resources available so that people can face their life’s greatest challenge with not only a sense of hope and purpose, but knowing the chair is just a temporary solution. Words cannot fully express my gratitude to all the chefs, bartenders, volunteers, and local businesses that show up every year to make this event such a success.”

Help For Spinal Cord Injuries: 8th Annual Pay It Forward Benefit With Daniel Curtis
Photo: Bread & Butter Public Relations

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