Co-chairs Joyce Goss and Selwyn Rayzor made their ambitious goal for the 28th annual Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas awards luncheon known early: break the record $1 million set during last year's fundraiser, when prosecutor Marcia Clark was the speaker.
With help from more than 1,400 pink-stickered supporters, who filled a Hilton Anatole ballroom on March 23 with passion and generosity, they surpassed that previous number. The crowd raised $1.15 million, all to fund essential healthcare services such as contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, HIV testing, annual exams, clinical breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, and safe and legal abortion.
This year's keynote conversation was led by stage and screen actor Cynthia Nixon, who earlier that week had announced her intent to run for New York governor. She sat down with retired WFAA newscaster Gloria Campos for a frank discussion about the importance of Planned Parenthood, including how her mother had utilized its services and why Texans especially need to step up to fill the void left by revoked government funding. Nixon stressed how important it is that Planned Parenthood is making an effort to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community, and as a breast cancer survivor herself, why it should be more widely understood that its vital services cover issues beyond sexual health.
The Emmy, Tony, and Grammy-winning Nixon is perhaps most famous for her portrayal of Miranda Hobbes in the HBO series Sex and the City, a groundbreaking television show that addressed many of the same issues that Planned Parenthood still strives to stigma removed from while educating the public.
But before Nixon took the stage, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas president and CEO Ken Lambrecht recognized a few other key local supporters. Dallas' Lyda Hill was honored with the Gertrude Shelburne Humanitarian Award, which paid tribute to the entrepreneur and philanthropist' generosity that has enriched the lives of thousands of Planned Parenthood patients across Texas and contributed directly to building healthier communities.
The founding members of the Dallas Leadership Council — Becca Delozier, Autumn East, Alex Kalebjian, Soraya Quiroga, Anders Smith, and Katie Tinch— received the Gertrude Shelburne Volunteer of the Year Award. This team of activists promotes awareness of reproductive justice and accessible healthcare for all Texans who need it.
"Texas women count on Planned Parenthood and, thanks to the generous support we have in Dallas, we are here for communities who need us," said Lambrecht at the luncheon, as a scrolling list of real-time donations was projected on screens around the room. Several security guards were seen patrolling the hotel and its grounds, on which a small group of protesters had set up with signs.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas provides compassionate healthcare and science-based education services to more than 85,000 Central and North Texans each year in Austin, Corsicana, Dallas, Fort Worth, Paris, Tyler, Waco, and surrounding communities.