Parties for a cause

The latest Dallas charity soirees to unveil COVID-friendly formats this spring

The latest Dallas charity soirees to unveil COVID-friendly formats

Dana Herberston, Gina Ginsburg, Kesha Couville, Kelley Gonzalez
Mad Hatter's returns as an all-outdoor event. Photo by Ashley Gongora
Isabel Wilkerson
Isabel Wilkerson, author of Caste. Photo by Joe Henson
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys will help Vogel Alcove raise funds. Photo by Louise Palanker
Lisa Singleton, Kristen Sanger
Lisa Singleton and Kristen Sanger are overseeing ReuNight for The Family Place. Photo courtesy of The Family Place
Dana Herberston, Gina Ginsburg, Kesha Couville, Kelley Gonzalez
Isabel Wilkerson
The Beach Boys
Lisa Singleton, Kristen Sanger

Dallas-area nonprofits have been rethinking their big fundraising events for the past year. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, virtual auctions have replaced galas, and streaming Q&As with celebrity speakers have replaced live luncheons. 

What hasn't changed? Their need to raise critical funds to provide desperately needed services to the community.

Below are the latest nonprofit events being held in more pandemic-friendly formats. (Note that their plans were revealed before Gov. Greg Abbott lifted mask and capacity restrictions on March 2, so their plans could change again.) Here's what they're doing and how to join in.

Chabad of Plano/Collin County presents "The Legacy of Elie Wiesel," March 2
Chabad of Plano/Collin County will present "The Legacy of Elie Wiesel, through the eyes of his son, Elisha Wiesel — A Story for Our Times" via livestream. The only child of Elie Wiesel — the famed Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, author, and human rights advocate — Elisha Wiesel will deliver a message of optimism, mutual understanding, and compassion through his personal recollections and journey. Mabrie Jackson, director of public affairs for H-E-B/Central Market, will be honored with the Florence Shapiro Distinguished Leadership Award. The event will be livestreamed for free, 7:30-8:30 pm March 21 at

21st Annual Destiny Award Luncheon: A Conversation with Isabel Wilkerson, March 26
St. Philip’s School and Community Center will host its 21st Annual Destiny Award Luncheon as a virtual experience. The event will feature a conversation with Isabel Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize and National Humanities Medal winning author of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents and The Warmth of Other SunsLisa and Clay Cooley serve as co-chairs, and Tom Joyner will receive the 2020 Mona & David Munson Humanitarian Award. A student showcase will begin at 10:30 am, immediately followed by the luncheon at 11:30 am. Purchase tickets, $175, and join in at

Mad Hatter’s Tea: Out of Africa – Into the Garden, April 15
Now in its 33rd year, the beloved event supporting Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and A Woman’s Garden is making a few changes to ensure the health and safety of its patrons. The April 15 event be held entirely outdoors at the Dallas Arboretum, from 1-4 pm (rather than the all-day affair it usually becomes.) It's limited to just 300 guests, and tables can be for as few as four people. As of press time, masks would be required, organizers said. Jolie Humphrey is chair and Carole Ann Brown, honorary chair. Read more about the hat themes and purchase tickets (starting at $350) at

Vogel Alcove 29th Annual Arts Performance Event, May 1
Vogel Alcove presents its annual Arts Performance Event, featuring a concert by The Beach Boys, 5-9 pm May 1 at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Annette Strauss Artist Square. Picnic meals and open bar will be provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering for onsite guests only. All seating is on the grassy area in front of the stage. The grass will be marked off in squares, and there will be one comfortable chair in each square. As of press time, masks and temperature checks will be required. The event will also be livestreamed for those more comfortable viewing at home. Chairs are Scott Beck and Alex Holmes. All proceeds benefit Vogel Alcove, an early childhood education and Parent Opportunity Center that works to break the cycle for homeless children and their families in Dallas. Information and sponsorships (starting at $1,500; no individual tickets sold), and virtual viewing package ($1,000) at

ReuNight for The Family Place, May 13
The Family Place's popular annual ReuNight fundraiser is returning this spring as an outdoor garden party. The dinner party will take place the evening of Thursday, May 13 at the Nasher Sculpture Center Garden. Capacity will be limited to 100, and masks will be encouraged. Guests will enjoy dishes from Wolfgang Puck Catering at tables spaced 6 feet apart. This year’s co-chairs are Kristen Sanger and Lisa Singleton and honorary chairs, Kristy and Patrick Sands. All proceeds benefit The Family Place, the largest family violence service provider in Texas. More information and tickets (starting at $1,500) available at