Pandemic pivots

5 new Dallas-Fort Worth fundraisers with pandemic-safe party plans this spring

5 new DFW fundraisers with pandemic-safe party plans this spring

Vine & Dine
Steve Kemble (right) will emcee Ability Connection's upcoming telecast. Photo courtesy of AbilityConnection
Austin Street Center No Place Like Home 2020
Austin Street Center's last fundraiser, pre-COVID, was in Feburary 2020. Photo courtesy of Atali Samuel Photography
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Women's Center
Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price sporting her teal T-shirt for The Women's Center. Photo courtesy of The Women's Center of Tarrant County
Vine & Dine
Austin Street Center No Place Like Home 2020
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Women's Center

Although there's light at the end of the tunnel as more Dallas-Fort Worth residents get vaccinated against COVID-19, large fundraising gatherings are still not a great idea.

So, more local nonprofits have come up with creative ways to raise vital funds virtually, masked-up, and at a distance. Here are some of the newest ones to unveil pandemic-safer plans. (Previously announced events can be found here, here, here, and here.)

Tarrant Area Food Bank's Empty Bowls, March 25
The beloved Fort Worth food bank fundraiser — at which attendees usually enjoy samples from local restaurants and take home a bowl to keep — has morphed into an online fundraiser where donors can sponsor boxes of food for families. An Empty Bowls Mega Mobile Market will take place 10 am-2 pm March 25 at Dickies Arena to provide food to Tarrant residents who need assistance. (Literally, as they point out, using Empty Bowls donations to fill empty bowls — by feeding those who are food insecure.) With each virtual box donated, guests will receive their own “studio bowl” handcrafted by local artists. They are to be picked up at a contactless thrive-thru event March 26, also at Dickies Arena. For more information, visit the website.

Spring Gallery Week Preview Party at Artspace111, March 26
Popular Fort Worth gallery Artspace111 hosts a kickoff party for Spring Gallery Week, coming up March 27-April 2. The preview party, taking place March 26, will toast the gallery's new exhibition by Carly Allen-Martin and Jim Woodson, A Space Between Time. The ticketed event ($500-$1,000 for a table for 4) will feature socially distanced private tables with special appearances from artists, live music, food, limited edition prints, gifts, discounts on art, and refreshments. A virtual VIP experience ($100) will allow collectors access to an exclusive virtual preview of the new artwork available, as well as discounts on purchases. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For more information and tickets, visit the Artspace111 website.

The Women’s Center of Tarrant County Victory Over Violence campaign, April 6
In lieu of its annual Victory Over Violence Walk/Run fundraiser, The Women's Center of Tarrant County is launching a “Victory over Violence-Hope Starts Here” campaign by selling $25 T-shirts to “Turn Tarrant Teal.” (Teal is the color used to represent Sexual Assault Awareness Month.) On April 6 — Sexual Assault Community Action Day — the group will address the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. There also will be events with universities and colleges all month long. The organization encourages the community to wear their teal T-shirts on April 6 and throughout the month to raise awareness about issues of sexual violence. For more information and T-shirts, visit the website.

The Ability Connection Telethon, April 8
Ability Connection is hosting the inaugural “Ability Connection Telethon” to raise funds toward its vital mission to enrich the lives of people with disabilities. Virtual attendees will get to tune in to a retro evening (think: vintage Jerry Lewis Telethons in the 70's and 80's) from the comfort of their own home. The event, which begins at 6:30 pm, will be emceed by "America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru," Steve Kemble, with an appearance by WFAA morning anchor Kara Sewell, and entertainment by Sinatra specialist Ricki Derek. The free event will also feature inspiring stories and raffle prizes. Register on the website.

Austin Street Center presents No Place Like Home, April 29
The sixth annual No Place Like Home event will be an all-outdoors event at Klyde Warren Park to raise funds and awareness for Austin Street Center, one of the largest low barrier shelters in Dallas. The evening will include an open-atmosphere, socially-distanced cocktail reception with live entertainment and a silent auction featuring vacation homes, staycations, home goods, and more. Electronic ticketing and entry will be implemented, and masks are required. The event is co-chaired by Mackenzie Kleinert and Cynammon Burns Allen. Tickets are $45 apiece, or $80 for a pair; a VIP upgrade is also available. For more information and tickets, visit the website.