Since 2014 Ballinger has mentored local middle school students in partnership with Spark, a national organization dedicated to helping young people understand, experience, and pursue what’s possible for their futures.

Each April, Spark holds a fundraising campaign dubbed “Mentoring Matters.” The goal is for mentors to spread the word about why mentoring matters and why all young people deserve access to the people and places that inspire a successful future.

This year Ballinger volunteer mentors designed creative fundraisers that not only support Spark, but also promote creativity and spur new connections throughout the practice. Staff members and Spark students were invited to submit 5in x 5in “napkin sketches” for a mini-exhibition and silent auction in the studio. Staff gathered for a lunchtime “Chili Showdown” where chefs battled for the first annual Ballinger Chili Showdown trophy, with proceeds going to Spark.

As a practice, we’re proud to provide opportunities for staff members to lend their skills to enriching the built and social fabric of our community.