Without question, one of Round Rock’s milestone achievements has been the construction and opening of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in November of 2020. The story is still inspiring to me. Kalahari constructed over 1 million square feet of combined facilities, the largest single project in Round Rock’s history, during a once-in-a-century pandemic, opened on time, and are now fully operating. The pandemic has caused some bumps in the road, but at this time the hotel/entertainment is very strong and now conferences are filling the convention center. Round Rock is now benefitting from the vision, hard work, and team support of Kalahari’s founders, the Nelson family.
Sculpting the Future is an evening gala event and an online auction, and is open for participation right now. Please visit these links. It is presented by the Nelson Family Life Foundation and the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation.
Proceeds will include benefiting two organizations that were absolutely critical to families in Round Rock during the pandemic: the Hope Alliance, and the Round Rock Area Serving Center. Without both, families impacted by the coronavirus shutdown would have been far worse off than they were. Even now that the pandemic is waning, the services they provide are in record high demand.
The concept is an elegant balance of art and philanthropy, combined in a way that I’ve never seen before. One hundred sculptors in Africa were asked to interpret the word “LOVE” in their craft. What they created was beautiful and evocative – and you can see each sculpture and artist here.
I’ve been fortunate to tour Kalahari with Todd Nelson several times and see these sculptures with him. He has a story for nearly every piece (and nearly all the art in Kalahari for that matter). It is much more than appreciating sculpture and craftsmanship for him. He’s keenly attached to the artisans who give life to this art, how they create, who they are, and their culture.
The entire family does too, and they also want to positively impact the community of Round Rock with the same heart and passion. The Nelson Family Life Foundation’s mission is, “Improving the lives of individuals in the communities we serve through health and education initiatives”. This spirit of philanthropy and corporate giving is why the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation awarded the Nelson Family Life Foundation the Philanthropy Award in January, which you can see here.
My point is this: helping a new business locate in Round Rock creates benefits and touches the lives of our families and residents far beyond the jobs and economic activity the business brings. In bringing Kalahari to Round Rock, we also expanded our circle of business leadership that gives back to the people, programs, and institutions of this community. This is acutely the case when it is a company with community-minded corporate culture like Kalahari.
The Chamber understands a growing economy benefits individuals and families, and Sculpting the Future is a wonderful demonstration of how business growth can be so much more than the number of jobs or amount of investment. We thank the Nelson family, and the Nelson Family Life Foundation for making it all possible.
Please take a moment to learn more, including how you can participate, at the links above.