Pandemic party pivot

7 snazzy Dallas-Fort Worth galas and parties going virtual in May

7 snazzy Dallas-Fort Worth galas and parties going virtual in May

Dallas Mavs Ball
Dallas Mavs Ball goes virtual this year. Photo courtesy of Dallas Mavericks

While life is certainly starting to feel "normal" again as more Dallas-Fort Worth residents get COVID-19 vaccinations, things are not yet "normal" enough for big, crowded gatherings to happen in ballrooms and event venues. So, for at least one more month, local nonprofits are holding pandemic-safer events to raise funds that are more vital than ever for their operations and services. Below are a handful of galas, luncheons, and parties that are going virtual (or at least offering a virtual option) in May. You'll find more herehere, here, and here. Click to join in the fun they have planned for good causes.

Mayfest @ Home, now-May 2
For the second year in a row, Fort Worth will miss the festival food, live music, and entertainment at Mayfest. But even though the in-person event was canceled due to the pandemic, the folks in charge have launched Mayfest @ Home on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Like their pages now through May 2, and join them virtually as they share pictures and videos of favorite features of the event — confetti eggs, dance contests, music, food, giveaways, and more. (Then look forward to the event's return May 5-8, 2022.) Mayfest annually raises funds to enhance the Trinity River, surrounding parks, and community programs. Visit for more information. 

TACA Silver Cup Luncheon, May 4
Presented annually, the TACA Silver Cup Award recognizes two individuals for their outstanding volunteer leadership and contributions to the arts in North Texas; this year's luncheon will honor Donna Wilhelm and Sam Self. The entire luncheon, beginning at 12 pm, will take place outdoors at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Annette Strauss Square and will adhere to COVID-19 safety and social-distance protocols. New this year, there's also an option to attend virtually and purchase raffle tickets online (no need to be present to win). Virtual tickets are $50, and a $200 virtual ticket also includes a wine and cheese pairing for two. Virtual event and raffle tickets are available online; to inquire about in-person seats, call 214-520-3930.

Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer presents Buddy Bag Bash, May 4
Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer will host the Buddy Bag Bash, presented by Dallas Magnolias, virtually this year. Broadcaster and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Babe Laufenberg will share his late son Luke’s personal journey with childhood cancer in conversation with CBS 11 anchor Karen Borta. Fellow Dallas Cowboys stars Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, and Jason Garrett will also make special virtual appearances. The virtual event benefits the Dallas-based pediatric cancer charity, with each ticket specifically funding a WOKC Buddy Bag, a rolling suitcase filled with special entertainment and practical items for children admitted for cancer treatment at WOKC’s partnering hospitals. All WOKC Buddy Bag Bash attendees will receive a $10 digital gift certificate to Jersey Mike’s when they register. Tickets for the 7 pm event start at $250 on the website.

Arlington Charities Help and Hope Celebrity Chef Showcase, May 6
Benefiting the nonprofit food pantry Arlington Charities, the Help and Hope Celebrity Chef Showcase will be livestreamed from Urban Alchemy Coffee Shop and Wine Bar beginning at 7 pm. Virtual attendees can connect via Facebook Live, where longtime Arlington crusader OK Carter will chat with restaurant owners Aziz Kobty of Prince Lebanese Grill and Randy Ford of J. Gilligans — both of past Food Network fame. The event is free, but registration is requested. A live raffle drawing for four fabulous dining packages will also take place; purchase $25 tickets here. All proceeds will benefit Arlington Charities.

The Dallas Opera presents Viva Opera!, May 7-June 4
The Dallas Opera’s annual glittering spring gala has been reimagined as a special virtual fundraising event this year, streaming on TDO’s website beginning May 7 at 7 pm. This year’s event, which will be available for on-demand viewing through June 4, stars mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, soprano Ailyn Pérez, countertenor John Holiday, and baritone Lucas Meacham in selections from The Barber of Seville and Great Scott, and in recital. Admission is free, and donations are encouraged. Funds raised benefit The Dallas Opera’s artistic and learning programs.

Dallas Mavericks present Mavs Ball: House Party Edition, May 8
The Dallas Mavericks will present the sixth annual, and first-ever virtual, Mavs Ball, a unique experience guest can enjoy from the comfort of home, 7-9 pm. It will include entertainment and appearances from the entire team, including Dallas Mavericks players, CEO Cynt Marshall, head coach Rick Carlisle, and owner Mark Cuban. Presented by AT&T, the Virtual House Party will be hosted at Dallas Virtual Events in Deep Ellum in support of the Mavs Foundation, which helps build a stronger community by empowering youth, women, and families in need. Attendees of the virtual event will be able to bid on meet and greets, experiences, as well as legendary autographed collectibles, custom art pieces, and shoes designed by Mavericks players. In addition, they will enjoy music and performances by DJ She Real, Ghost-Note, and more. Beginning Monday, May 3, exclusive auction items will be up for bid. Virtual tickets and packages, starting at $125, are available at

Runway for Rise Virtual Event, May 18
​The Ashford Rise School of Dallas will host the fourth annual Runway for Rise, a fun fashion show, from 7:30-8:30 pm. The entire event will be held virtually, with attendees able to tune in to view at or on YouTube or Facebook. The event will be emceed by Katy Blakey of NBC 5, and Sherry and Barry Rosenberg will be honored with this year’s “Heart and Soul Award.” Runway for Rise allows the school to introduce its students with and without developmental disabilities through an exciting — and very cute — runway show starring the Rise School students. In addition to the runway show, the event will feature a raffle. It's free to tune in, and donations are encouraged. All proceeds from the event will go toward financial aid for the children who attend the Rise School. To register, donate, and view the raffle items, visit