In any other year, Dallas philanthropists and social butterflies would be picking outfits and preparing pocketbooks for the big fall fundraising season ahead.
But in this year of social distancing and canceled gatherings, many nonprofit galas and luncheons are pivoting creatively to virtual formats. They can still raise crucial funds to continue providing services without risking the health and safety of patrons.
Below are the latest Dallas-Fort Worth organizations to unveil plans for virtual fundraisers — and how to join in the fun without leaving your couch.
AIDS Outreach Center Evening of Hope, September 12
Evening of Hope, AIDS Outreach Center's largest fundraising event, has transitioned from a gala at Fort Worth’s Ridglea Country Club to a virtual event. Co-chairs are Scott W. Green and Karen McKenzie, with honorary co-chairs Dr. Cheryl McDonald and Dr. Kevin Connelly, and they've chosen the jazzy theme “Roaring '20s: Vision of Hope.” So don your flashiest flapper dress and most dapper pinstripe suit, and plan to show up online at 7 pm. The event helps fund programs and clients of AIDS Outreach Center. For more information and tickets, $25-$50, visit the website.
Austin Street Center Humble Beginnings Luncheon, September 25
The 20th anniversary of this annual luncheon will take place virtually beginning at 11:30 am. Tony and Grammy Award-Winning artist Leslie Odom, Jr., best known as Aaron Burr in the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton, will perform live and participate in a moderated conversation. The luncheon, co-chaired by Richie Butler and Chris Kleinert, celebrates and assists Austin Street Center’s work to provide safe shelter and basic needs to individuals experiencing homelessness in Dallas. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased on the website.
Black Tie Dinner, October 18
Always one of the buzziest Dallas events of the season, and the nation’s largest LGBTQ fundraiser dinner of its kind, Black Tie Dinner is heading to TV this year. The first-ever live TV special called Black Tie LIVE will air on on WFAA-TV (Channel 8) from 4-5 pm October 18. The give-a-thon special will feature entertainment, segments on LGBTQ history, a live auction, car raffle with Park Place Mercedes-Benz, and fundraising opportunities for Black Tie Dinner’s 2020 beneficiaries. The organization is also launching a virtual peer-to-peer fundraising tool called “Black Tie Dinner Ambassador Program” to help generate proceeds for the 2020 beneficiaries. Jeremy Hawpe is the 2020 Black Tie Dinner chair; for more information, visit the website.
EarthXGlobalGala, October 22
The EarthxGlobalGala recognizes individuals, celebrity icons, expert leaders, organizations, and corporations who are dedicated to a more sustainable future. Highlights of this year’s virtual event include the presentation of the Swarovski signature awards (made of upcycled crystal) and a live auction. Also appearing will be The Compton Kidz Club and Grammy winner Skip Martin of Kool & the Gang, featuring Bastards of Soul. Animal Planet’s Dr. Evan Antin, dubbed “America’s Sexiest Vet,” will serve as the emcee for the evening. It all begins at 6:30 pm, and tickets are $25-$150 at the website.
Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation Celebrating Women Event, October 28
In lieu of an in-person luncheon this year, Baylor Scott & White Dallas Foundation will take its Celebrating Women event online. The virtual celebration, chaired by Peggy Meyer, will include a conversation with TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz starting at 11:30 am. Leading up to the event, inspiring patient videos and updates regarding breast cancer innovations and research initiatives at Baylor Scott & White Health will be shared throughout the month of October. The Dr. Oz event will be available for free to anyone who signs up online. This year’s efforts will focus on support for the Celebrating Women Gift of Life Fund, which assists women in need of breast cancer services who are unable to afford their care. For more information and to sign up, visit the website.
A Writer's Garden Literary Symposium and Luncheon, November 17
The Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will present the 14th annual symposium, themed “Near or Far…There Is No Place Like Home,” virtually beginning at 9:45 am. It will feature two internationally renowned speakers, Southern lifestyle author and interior designer James Farmer and acclaimed textile designer Lisa Fine. Underwriting starts at $2,500, and includes lunch delivered to the host’s home or business for up to 10 guests, and more. Individual patron tickets start at $75. The event, chaired by Suzanne Millet with Diane Sealy as honorary chair, benefits the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and the development and maintenance of A Woman's Garden. For more information and tickets, visit the website.