One of the main ingredients for a delicious charity luncheon is the featured attraction. The entertainment that takes place, usually, between the first bite of dessert and the final bids on take-home table centerpieces.
In general, Dallas luncheons fall into two categories — those that feature fashion shows, like Dallas Opera's beloved First Sight Luncheon — and those with celebrity speakers who take the stage to uplift, enlighten, entertain, and inspire. This fall, luncheon organizers have snagged A-list speakers who include award-winning actors and filmmakers, journalists, and those who've spent enough time in the White House to dish some secrets.
With fall social season upon us, here's a look at seven hotly anticipated Dallas luncheons bringing star power to the table.
Goodwill Industries The Lunch featuring Laura Bush, Barbara Pierce Bush, and Jenna Bush Hager
September 25 at Omni Dallas Hotel
The former first lady and first daughters — all now best-selling authors — will be featured in an on-stage discussion moderated by ambassador Karen Hughes. Co-chairs of the event are Jeanne Phillips and Carolyn Miller, and it is presented by The David B. Miller Family Foundation. Funds from The Lunch support Goodwill’s job training and employment services for vulnerable individuals in the greater Dallas community.
Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon featuring Tamron Hall
September 26 at Omni Dallas Hotel
The annual luncheon will feature award-winning journalist Tamron Hall as its keynote speaker. Hall is best known for her time as co-anchor of NBC's Today and has hosted Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall on Investigation Discovery since 2013. The Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, chaired this year by Amy Turner and Sunie Solomon, raises funds to support The Family Place, a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.
Baylor Health Care Foundation Celebrating Women Luncheon featuring Eric Stonestreet
October 25 at Hilton Anatole Hotel
Eric Stonestreet is best known for portraying Cameron Tucker in the long-running hit ABC sitcom Modern Family. He's also a passionate advocate for cancer-related initiatives, as several members of his family — including his mother — have been diagnosed with the disease. Celebrating Women brings together more than 1,300 patrons to increase awareness and generate funding for breast cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. This year's co-chairs are Pat McEvoy and Michal Powell.
Dallas Women's Foundation Luncheon featuring Ava DuVernay
November 7 at Hilton Anatole Hotel
Dallas Women’s Foundation will feature film writer, producer, director, and distributor Ava DuVernay as the speaker for their 33rd annual luncheon. The first African American female director to helm a $100 million budget feature film, DuVernay is breaking down barriers through movies such as Selma, 13th, and A Wrinkle in Time. DuVernay will be joined onstage by Michele Norris, a noted American radio journalist, who will moderate a dialogue. The annual luncheon is the foundation’s main fundraiser in support of its work to advance women’s economic security, leadership, childcare access, and healthcare in North Texas. Lael Brodsky and Tricia Miller are co-chairs this year.
New Friends New Life Luncheon featuring Mandy Moore
November 9 at Omni Dallas Hotel
New Friends New Life will present Mandy Moore, star of TV's hottest show, This is Us, on NBC. Moore is a Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated actress, singer, and songwriter whose next project is to star in Twentieth Century Fox’s sci-fi thriller The Darkest Minds. This year's New Friends New Life Luncheon celebrates the organization’s 20th anniversary; co-chairs are Connie Kleinert Babikian, McCall Cravens, and Jill Meyer. Serving approximately 1,000 women, teens, and children annually, New Friends New Life provides services for victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Salvation Army Doing the Most Good Luncheon featuring Rex Tillerson
November 15 at Hilton Anatole Hotel
Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the featured speaker for the annual Salvation Army fundraiser. Tillerson served as the nation’s 69th U.S. Secretary of State from February 2017 to March 2018, and prior to being sworn in, had a 41-year career in the petroleum industry. The luncheon helps fund crucial programs for The Salvation Army, which helps care for the poor and hungry in the community. Luncheon chairs are Sam Coats and Bernice J. Washington.
Junior League of Dallas Milestones Luncheon featuring Laura Dern
November 16 at Hilton Anatole Hotel
Two-time Oscar nominated, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress Laura Dern will headline Junior League's annual luncheon. Dern has appeared in iconic films such as Jurassic Park, Rambling Rose, and Wild. She won her first Emmy in 2017 for her role in the HBO series Big Little Lies. The Milestones Luncheon is an annual fundraiser benefiting the Junior League of Dallas Community Service Fund and recognizes the impact and achievements of its volunteers. Ambassador Jeanne L. Phillips is being honored. Co-chairs are Nicole Brewer and Natalie Lesikar.