Believe in the Art of Equality

Dallas’ proudest LGBT fundraiser attracts all the celebrities for 35th year

Dallas’ proudest LGBT fundraiser attracts all the celebs for 35th year

Greg Louganis, Deborah Cox, Debra Messing, Dana Goldberg, Todrick Hall
Greg Louganis, Deborah Cox, Debra Messing, Dana Goldberg, Todrick Hall Photo by WJNPHOTO
Arthur Reyes, Clint Thomson, David Putnam
Arthur Reyes, Clint Thomson, David Putnam Photo by WJNPHOTO
Mimi Sterling, Rich Sterling
Mimi Sterling, Rich Sterling Photo by WJNPHOTO
Taylor Catalano, Ben McLauchin
Taylor Catalano, Ben McLauchin Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jonathon Geter, Rick Wilson
Jonathon Geter, Rick Wilson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Steve Turman, Maggie McQuown, Steven Rayl
Steve Turman, Maggie McQuown, Steven Rayl Photo by WJNPHOTO
Christal Thomas, Shane Leach
Christal Thomas, Shane Leach Photo by WJNPHOTO
Tommy Stockton, Matt Davies
Tommy Stockton, Matt Davies Photo by WJNPHOTO
Thomas Bayer, Greg Ruvolo
Thomas Bayer, Greg Ruvolo Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jeremy Drake, Tyler Parrish
Jeremy Drake, Tyler Parrish Photo by WJNPHOTO
Melyssa Grogan, Mark Luft
Melyssa Grogan, Mark Luft Photo by WJNPHOTO
Tom Bucherie, Jon Leach
Tom Bucherie, Jon Leach Photo by WJNPHOTO
Sarah Gilmore, Brandy Collazo
Sarah Gilmore, Brandy Collazo Photo by WJNPHOTO
Stephanie Bond, Trent Jones
Stephanie Bond, Trent Jones Photo by WJNPHOTO
Denis Gjoni, Sara Wynkoop, Erick Wynkoop
Denis Gjoni, Sara Wynkoop, Erick Wynkoop Photo by WJNPHOTO
Justin Leach, Derrick Brown
Justin Leach, Derrik Brown Photo by WJNPHOTO
Greg Louganis, Deborah Cox, Debra Messing, Dana Goldberg, Todrick Hall
Arthur Reyes, Clint Thomson, David Putnam
Mimi Sterling, Rich Sterling
Taylor Catalano, Ben McLauchin
Jonathon Geter, Rick Wilson
Steve Turman, Maggie McQuown, Steven Rayl
Christal Thomas, Shane Leach
Tommy Stockton, Matt Davies
Thomas Bayer, Greg Ruvolo
Jeremy Drake, Tyler Parrish
Melyssa Grogan, Mark Luft
Tom Bucherie, Jon Leach
Sarah Gilmore, Brandy Collazo
Stephanie Bond, Trent Jones
Denis Gjoni, Sara Wynkoop, Erick Wynkoop
Justin Leach, Derrick Brown

How does one of the biggest LGBT fundraisers in the country celebrate a major birthday? With impeccable style and celebrity appearances, of course.

Black Tie Dinner turned 35 with a blowout bash themed "Believe in the Art of Equality." An energetic crowd sporting their best threads arrived at the downtown Sheraton hotel ready to toast the achievements of this mainstay Dallas gala: Not only does Black Tie Dinner continue to be the most successful dinner in the country supporting the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, but it also has the distinction of being the only to benefit local organizations.

Guests were greeted with champagne at check-in, while VIP receptions allowed invited sponsors to rub elbows with the night’s celebrity honorees and performers (more on those later). Then it was into the ballroom, where silent auction tableaux displayed everything from artwork to jewelry to gift baskets promising once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Looking out over a sea of tables, co-chairs Mitzi Lemons and Nathan Robbins welcomed guests to dinner before introducing the first award recipient: Dr. Steven M. Pounders, who famously treated Ron Woodruff of the Dallas Buyers Club.

Other honorees included actress Connie Britton (Ally for Equality Award), Olympic diver Greg Louganis (Elizabeth Birch Equality Award), and actress Debra Messing (Media Award). Chad Griffin and Sarah McBride spoke passionately about their work with the Human Rights Campaign, drawing a standing ovation from the emotional audience.

Comedienne Dana Goldberg returned as the celebrity auctioneer, helping the live auction to well surpass its original goal. Performances from North Texas native Todrick Hall and singer Deborah Cox — who will be returning to DFW next summer in the national tour of The Bodyguard — closed out the program.

But the night wasn’t over yet. The After Black After Party gave guests a chance to shake and shimmy into the wee hours, celebrating yet another successful year of fundraising for GLBT causes.

Spotted mingling around the room were Mimi and Rich Sterling, Jonathon Geter, Rick Wilson, Taylor Catalano, Ben McLauchinSteve Turman, Maggie McQuown, Steven RaylArthur Reyes, Clint Thomson, David PutnamTommy StocktonMatt Davies, Jef Tingley, and Jerrett Morris.

Since its inception in 1982, Black Tie Dinner has been the largest fundraising dinner in the nation for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community in the nation. Each year, the nonprofit selects up to 20 North Texas beneficiaries to receive dinner proceeds, as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. To date, Black Tie Dinner has distributed nearly $21 million. 

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