Fall in Dallas means that philanthropists are back from their summer stints escaping the Texas heat and are ready to flex their fundraising muscles for a variety of important causes. From giving cancer the boot to celebrating women and everything in between, there is always a great reason to throw on a great gown, bid on a couple of crazy silent auction items, and dance the night away in hopes of making our city, and our world, a better place. Cheers to the can't-miss benefits of the season.
Crystal Charity Ten Best Dressed Luncheon, September 13
This ultra-exclusive luncheon has long marked the beginning of fall social season in Dallas. Luncheon chair Ola Fojtasek welcomes guests to Neiman Marcus Downtown, where honorees — Delilah Boyd, Lisa Cooley, Tiffany Divis, Jennifer Dix, Cate Ford, Cara French, Amy Hegi, Karla McKinley, Amy Prestidge, and Kimberly Whitman — model an upcoming collection by Carolina Herrera. Francie Moody-Dahlberg is the 2019 Hall of Fame honoree.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, September 28
Barbara and Don Daseke chair this annual event, which is marking the 30th anniversary of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Kathryn and Craig Hall are serving as the event's honorary chairs. This year the DSO welcomes Grammy award-winner and world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, playing Brahms' Violin Concerto under the direction of Christian Reif. There are a variety of ways to participate if a fancy dinner and couture gown just isn't your cup of tea. For example, you are welcome to attend just the concert and after party. Buy tickets here.
TACA Lexus Party on the Green, October 4
The Arts Community Alliance (TACA) made a bold move a couple of years ago and moved their annual lawn party to the Dallas Arts District, and they are back with another year at the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Chaired by Kim and Nevin Bannister, this year's party promises a variety of culinary experiences, wine pull, silent and live auction, and live performances by the 2019 grant recipients. This all, of course, to raise money for TACA and the North Texas arts and cultural community.
Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, October 4
It is refreshing to see a new crop of young philanthropists take the reins to chair some of the most important causes in Dallas. A great example is this year's 23rd annual luncheon happening at the Omni Dallas Hotel and benefiting The Family Place. Chaired by Marjon Henderson, Samantha Wortley, and Marisa Howard, this year the Texas Trailblazer Awards honor Beth Garvey, Mandy Ginsberg, Kim Lody, Melissa Reiff, Lori J. Ryerkerk, Jill Soltau, and Lavinia Masters. Two-time Golden Globe winner, four-time Emmy winner, and Academy Award-nominated actress Laura Linney is serving as the keynote speaker.
Dallas Opera First Sight and First Night, October 17-18
Fashion and opera combine beautifully for this two-day affair, under the leadership of Kim and Greg Hext, that marks one of the Dallas Arts District's most treasured traditions. Things kick off at The Winspear Opera House with First Sight, featuring a fashion show presented by Dolce & Gabbana, followed by a lovely luncheon chaired by Ellen Winspear. First Night event chairs Carol and Don Glendenning then welcome opera fans back the following night for a performance of The Magic Flute. Events to the black-tie affair include a posh pre-performance dinner and even a luxe late-night after party with live entertainment by Professor D.
Cattle Baron's Ball, October 19
Keith Urban. We won't bury the lede here. Time to put on your boots and join co-chairs Wendy Messmann and Lisa Shirley for an epic party for a great cause. Happening again at Gilley's Dallas, this two-stepping soiree has long provided a quick break from the ballroom in order to eat barbecue, drink beer, and bid on luxury experiences all while wearing blue jeans and big belts. Plan to attend the VIP party? Travis Tritt is your scheduled entertainer. (Lucky, lucky!) Cattle Baron's Ball is the largest single-night fundraiser in the nation for cancer research through the American Cancer Society.
TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, October 26
Perhaps the most star-studded black-tie gala and art auction of the season, this Rachofsky House party is anything but ordinary. Benefiting both amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art and hosted by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Lisa and John Runyon, this year's event honors artist Alex Katz. (View the complete auction catalog here.) It is always a treat to see who walks the red carpet, and more importantly, what they decide to wear. The fashion is always as fierce as the philanthropic power that it serves up ($84 million to date).
Junior League of Dallas Milestones Luncheon, November 1
Co-chaired by Alli Eagan and Connie O’Neill, this annual Hilton Anatole luncheon benefits the service fund that grants approximately $1 million to partner agencies in the Dallas community through leadership, civic education, and service. Known for bringing in big-time speakers, this year is no different as the group welcomes actress Keri Russell. The group will also honor the Junior League of Dallas 2019-2020 Sustainer of the Year Bess Enloe.
Black Tie Dinner, November 2
The 38th annual gala, taking place at the Sheraton Dallas, is the nation’s largest, one-night LGBTQ fundraising dinner. This year's event will honor Tony Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter for his positive impact and contributions to the LGBTQ community. Expect to see other local and national figures, enjoy live entertainment, recognition rewards, auctions, and more. The 2019 Kuchling Humanitarian Award recipient is Don Maison. This year's theme is "Be," and the event is co-chaired by Jeremy Hawpe and Nathan Robbins.
Crystal Charity Ball, December 7
The grande dame of all Dallas galas is set to knock guests off their Guccis once again as Pat McEvoy chairs this year's ball with a South American theme. Think Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. As always, the event is set to take shape in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole, and all proceeds benefit the 10 local charities that were selected as this year's beneficiaries, including Readers 2 Leaders, Mercy Street, Promise House, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep, Jubilee Park & Community Center, and more.