Dallas' Resource Center has a history of creating memorable events for its annual Toast to Life fundraiser, and this year's 21st celebration was no exception. The Bootlegger's Ball, presented by the Purple Foundation, had a 1920s speakeasy theme, and delivered big on fun flappers and dapper gents.
The March 30 event sold more tickets than any previous year, with 723 attendees, and raised a total of $241,734 for the Resource Center. The nonprofit supports LGBTQ communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities, and providing transformative education and advocacy.
Guests escaped the evening's cold winds and packed into the Design District's Empire Room, alive with projected flappers dancing to live music from the Singapore Slingers and DJ Blake Ward. Tunes included modern-day hits, '80s anthems, and New Orleans-style swing.
Emceed by lifestyle guru Steve Kemble, the evening included both a live and silent auction with an array of items that ranged from a four-night stay in Puerto Vallarta to a dinner with Dale Hansen at Bob's Steak and Chop House. Guests perused art, pottery, furniture, and vintage-inspired jewelry from Neuville Jewels — all available to the highest bidder.
Daddies and dames raised their champagne glasses as the bidding continued, and sipped on cocktails from Deep Ellum Vodka, Hidden Stock Bourbon, and Zerbina Imports. The bars were adorned with tall, eye-catching, vintage-style white floral designs that spouted long black feathers.
In between throwing a few back, attendees nibbled on samples from Bolsa, Dive, Foxyco, Pink Magnolia, Salum, Truluck's, and Zatar. Lucky Cat Vegan served up its notably delicious take on orange "chicken," made with lightly fried cauliflower in a spicy, sweet-onion glaze.
Bootlegger’s Ball was co-chaired by Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak and Jim DiMarino. Resource Center’s Chief Development Officer Cameron Hernholm stated that, “This event is our single largest fundraiser of the year, and has helped us to secure more than $4 million since its inception in 1999."
Spotted in the crowd, having a great time, were Clint Bradley, Justin Bundik, Josh Mayer, Victoria Alperovich, Justin Gardner, Jennifer Collins, Brandon Willingham, Christina Manger, Deliah Doolittle, Lola Hangers, Kelly Shunneson, Tim Annick, Chad Collum, Peter Gebhardt, Steven Haun, James McKeon, Lorena Loera, Nancy Kirkland, AJ Thabt, Sara Thabt, and many more.