As the coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate life in Dallas, local nonprofits are grappling with how to raise crucial funds without holding big, in-person events.
September typically marks the beginning of fall society season in the city, but the calendar is already beginning to look different this year. The Crystal Charity Ball's Ten Best Dressed Luncheon (typically the charity season kickoff) is still planning an October 22 event, while the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Luncheon & Fashion Show (initially set for September 15) is postponing all the way to April 6, 2021.
The September events below are pivoting to virtual presentations, and getting creative to engage patrons, from a Kentucky Derby "in a box" to intimate catered parties for fashion-show watching at home.
Genesis Annual Luncheon starring Nicole Kidman, September 2
The biggest fundraiser of the year for Genesis Women's Shelter moved from spring to fall, and now it's headed online. Thankfully, they're bringing their big star along, too. Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman will deliver the keynote address for the virtual luncheon, which is chaired by Leigh Ann Haugh. Kidman has received an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, and SAG Award for her portrayal of Celeste Wright — a seemingly perfect woman with an abusive husband — in HBO's Big Little Lies. The program begins streaming at 11:30 am September 2. Tickets, $175, are still available here. Raffle tickets, $25, may be purchased separately here. Prize packages, overseen by Nancy Gopez, include a stay in Seaside, Florida and a pearl bracelet; a ski trip to Taos, New Mexico via private jet, and more.
Turtle Creek Conservancy Day at the Races, September 5
The Kentucky Derby moved to the fall this year, and so did the popular Derby-themed fundraiser that raises funds for Turtle Creek Park. Day at the Races has been reinvented as "Derby in a Box," to take place 4:30-6 pm September 5. Participants will get a box that includes premium cocktails, a smoked salmon and cheese platter, traditional Benedictine spread and crudites, a green spray from Lizzie Bee’s Florist, festive Derby beads and prop sticks for selfies and Zoom parties, Mint Julep cups, and horse racing “wagering” ticket(s). General admission boxes ($75) and premium boxes ($125) will go on sale Monday, August 3. Then, on September 5, ticket-holders can tune in for a live broadcast from Turtle Creek Park that will include favorite elements of the annual event (think hat contest, best dressed, “wagering” on the Kentucky Derby, live streaming of the race, Scout & Cellar wine pull, and silent and live auctions). The fun new event is being chaired by Courtney Edwards and Reanae Seth, along with community chairs Leigh and Brian Danley and honorary chairs Julie and Frank Reedy. For more details and tickets, visit the website.
North Texas Giving Day, September 17
This isn't a new virtual "event," but it is the annual 18-hour online initiative that raises funds for Dallas-Fort Worth nonprofits. In 2019, $50 million was raised through more than 169,000 gifts benefiting 3,000 local nonprofits, bringing the 11-year total to over $290 million, the organizers say. Participating nonprofits include food banks, shelters, churches, parochial schools, animal rescue groups, veterans charities, arts organizations, and many more. North Texas Giving Day is presented by Communities Foundation of Texas. Registration is open now for organizations and donors. Find out more and contribute here.
KidneyTexas Runway Report Luncheon and Fashion Show, September 22
This beloved fashionistas' luncheon has gotten creative to raise money for its mission to fight kidney disease. Underwriters and sponsors at certain levels will host an intimate, private event for a small number of friends in their homes on September 22. Before the event starts, floral centerpieces and a fully catered, three-course, champagne luncheon will be delivered to their residences. At 11 am, they'll tune in to watch a virtual fashion show sponsored by Tootsies and produced by Jan Strimple, along with awards and announcements presented by emcee Scott Murray. Individuals may participate, as well; tickets begin at $350 and raffle tickets are $25 or five for $100. Sharon Ballew is the chair and Jolie Humphrey, the honorary chair, for this innovative event. Find more information here.