Approximately 600 guests filled the Omni Dallas Hotel on a mid-October night for a the Big Black Tie Ball — a gala to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Chaired by Sherice Brown and her husband, Tim Brown — a former Oakland Raider and pro football Hall of Fame member — the gala raised $540,000 for the children's charity. Big Brothers Big Sisters focuses on kids with incarcerated parents and works with guardians, volunteers, parents, and donors to provide children with strong and enduring one-to-one relationships. Its vision is that all children can achieve success in life and become contributing members of society.
Emceed by Russ McCaskey of CBS 11 News, the evening's program included the Tom Sloane Lifetime Achievement Award for Senator Jane Nelson for her work with children in the Dallas community.
A humble Nelson noted that, "They (children) are our future. When we help them become the best that they can be, we ensure that our community will continue to grow and thrive."
This year's event committee included Aida Babalola, Janet Bracken, Maria Cote, Eric Friesen, Cyndi Jochum, Fern Johnson, Erica Love, Catherine O' Connell, Kristin Peterson, and Ashley Swenson.
Guests had an opportunity to bid in the silent auction for items that included artwork from children of Big Brothers Big Sisters, autographed sports memorabilia, and stunning jewelry. The live auction began just before 9 pm and let guests vie for packages such as a Napa Valley epicurean adventure, a Heisman VIP experience, and a seven-night luxury trip to Fiji.
The formal dinner included herb-seared chicken breast and salmon with sweet potato stack, roasted broccolini, acorn squash, and zucchini, as well as a chocolate-caramel crunch dessert.
Limelight Entertainment, a 10-piece party band, provided high-energy entertainment late into the evening.