Our story: Over the past several years, Joel Pace (with the help of many volunteers) has brought the wizarding world of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley to life for Halloween in front of his Austin home. The fully immersive project originated to distract Joel’s wife from her battles with breast cancer in 2017 & 2019. Each year he spends months building the display (typically starting in June) so that the family can welcome thousands of Harry Potter fans of all ages on Halloween and several weekends following.
This year, considering the Covid-19 pandemic, Joel has had to re-imagine the entire project and construct a new display that can be safely viewed from a distance and by driving by the house. Joel has never charged for admission or asked for contributions to pay for the display, but rather asks supporter who appreciate his work and the result, to contribute to several local charities that he and his family support.
Our Charities: Our supported charities are:
o Foster Angels of Central Texas (https://fosterangelsctx.org/ ).
o Variety Texas (https://www.varietytexas.org/ ).
o ZACH Theatre (https://zachtheatre.org/).
Joel is a board member of Variety Texas. Also, the Pace family has volunteered with Foster Angels for many years. Their 16 year old son is a junior at ZACH Theater's Performing Arts Academy and a member of its Pre-Professional Company. Each of these organizations provide valuable support to our Austin Community by supporting children in the foster care system (Foster Angels), providing support and programs for differently abled children (Variety), and by helping develop young performers that are vital to the survival of the arts in Central Texas and striving to never turn away a child who cannot pay (ZACH).
Our Mission: Last year, the community that supported and visited Diagon Alley ATX helped the family raise over $10,000 for Foster Angels and Variety. This year we hope to surpass that total, but due to COVID-19 and everything else going on, they need your help more than ever. The display has always been free to visit, but not to build. None of the money donated to this fund will go towards expenses. Every dollar collected will be evenly split between these three local Austin non-profits to support their missions. And, to help them meet or exceed this goal, The Paces are hoping to keep the display up longer and evolve the display from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, and finally to the often-requested Holiday scene.
Help the Paces spread some much-needed holiday cheer and support these wonderful charities. Many of the children are in more dire need than ever. It is so important that we all rally together and try and provide some additional support to these children, so they have the support and programming they need.
Please consider supporting this project and be the light our community needs right now.
- Susan Thiel
- Jessica Gonzales
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