Black Tie Dinner has a reputation as one of the biggest and boldest charity events in Dallas, and the 33rd annual affair at the Sheraton Dallas hotel lived up to the hype. Themed “Forward,” the festivities began as many do, with a cocktail-fueled reception, where co-chairs Ken Morris and Debra Davis awaited with a warm welcome.
A seated dinner followed, and comic Dana Goldberg kept the crowd laughing throughout the evening. She proved surprisingly adept as an auctioneer too, helping to raise more than $140,000 during the live auction.
Equally impressive were the musical performances from Glee’s Alex Newell and openly gay country rocker Steve Grand. The latter even convinced a few audience members to join him onstage.
Although the entertainment was memorable, the awards presentations really made an impression, because they reminded attendees why they had committed to Black Tie Dinner in the first place. Dale Hansen received the 2014 Media Award for the positive impact he has had on the LGBT community since his game-changing on-air commentary in support of Michael Sam’s draft by the NFL. Openly gay Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins introduced Hansen, and Collins was applauded for his coming out while actively playing in the NBA.
California’s Proposition 8 attorneys Ted Olsen and David Boies were also honored with the 2014 Elizabeth Birch Equality Award for their work in moving marriage equality forward. In 2013, Olsen and Boies successfully argued and won their case before the Supreme Court on behalf of plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sand Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, who were on hand to present the award.
Last but not least, local community hero Mike Anglin received the Kuchling Humanitarian Award for his work spanning more than 40 years in the Dallas LGBT community. In his acceptance remarks, Anglin honored previous recipients and community leaders and recounted tales from Dallas’ LGBT community history.
To end the night in spectacular style, guests danced at an exclusive after party dubbed AfterBlack. Stoli sponsored this high-energy ballroom-turned-nightclub complete with lighting, draped walls and DJ.
Black Tie Dinner raises funds for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) supportive organizations serving North Texas. Since its inception in 1982, it has distributed more than $18 million to this community.