Formal fundraising

Beto O'Rourke makes formal appearance at Dallas' glamorous Black Tie Dinner

Beto O'Rourke makes formal appearance at Dallas' glam Black Tie Dinner

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Erich Bergen, Beto O'Rourke Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Aida Wondwessen Babalola, Aundrea Gamble Holt, Mey Ly Ortiz Photo by John Doc Strange
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U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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More than 2,500 guests celebrated the 37th annual Black Tie Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Dallas. Photo by Michael Quevedo
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Chris Hansen, Dale Hansen Photo by John Strange
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Colin Allred, just days before he was elected to Congress. Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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David Robinson, Erich Bergen, Kim Petras, Jessi Cruickshank, Dana Goldberg, Matt Bomer, Nate Robbins Photo by Michael Quevedo
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David Robinson, Kay Wilkinson, Nate Robbins Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Erich Bergen, Jessi Cruickshank, Morgan Cox, Derrall Hill, Dana Goldberg, Matt Bomer Photo by Michael Quevedo
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Jessi Cruickshank Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Jessi Cruickshank, Erich Bergen Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Matt Bomer Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Morgan Cox, Derrall Hill Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Nate Robbins, David Robinson Photo by Sheryl Lanzel
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Black Tie Dinner has consistently been one of Dallas' most impressive events, so it's no surprise that this year featured Texas' hottest political figure as the headlining speaker: Beto O'Rourke. The U.S. Congressman from El Paso addressed a room full of fans and supporters, all with the common goal of raising funds for the LGBTQ community.

More than 2,500 guests celebrated the 37th annual event at the Sheraton Hotel downtown on November 3 — a few days before O'Rourke's midterm Texas Senate election loss to Ted Cruz. With the theme "Visible," the glamorous evening highlighted ideas of empowerment, education, acceptance, and inclusion. 

In addition to O'Rourke, guest speakers and awards recipients included actor and activist Matt Bomer, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings, actor Erich Bergen, TV personality Jessi Cruickshank, local activist and philanthropist Kay Wilkinson, and speaker Chad Griffin — all greeted with palpable excitement. Kim Petras provided entertainment and comedienne Dana Goldberg served as the luxury auctioneer host. 

Co-chaired this year by Nathan Robbins and David Gifford-Robinson, Black Tie Dinner is the largest all-volunteer, one-night LGBTQ fundraiser in the nation, and has raised upwards of $23 million for national and local charities since its 1982 inception. The nonprofit chooses as many as 20 North Texas beneficiaries to receive Black Tie Dinner proceeds, as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Guests dined on radicchio and frisse salad, pan-roasted beef tenderloin and citrus-scented halibut, a roasted potato gnocchi vegetarian option, and white chocolate cheesecake with macerated berries.

The evening also included a silent auction filled with eye-catching furniture, art, jewelry, and decor. The luxury auction offered enviable travel packages such as a VIP Coachella experience and a $15,000 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams shopping spree.

Notable attendees spotted in the crowd included Colin Allred (a few days before he won a seat in Congress), Dale Hansen, Chris Hansen, Aida Wondwessen Babalola, Aundrea Gamble Holt, Mey Ly OrtizMorgan Cox, and Derrall Hill.

Funds raised at the event will be revealed and distributed at a party December 6 at the Winspear Opera House.