Dashing bashes and stunning soirees keep Dallas’ social calendar bustling. Whether it’s a Who’s Who of the fashionably elite or a fun-loving crowd to celebrate a cause, these philanthropic-based events are anticipated each and every year. Here’s our hot list of the top fundraisers and galas you don’t want to miss!
Approaching their 52nd year, the Art Ball features a seated dinner, luxury live auction, and festive after party to raise money for Dallas Museum of Art.. The Museum relies on funds raised through Art Ball to fulfill its mission. All proceeds directly support the DMA’s commitment to presenting diverse exhibitions, providing innovative educational and public programs, and caring for a permanent collection of more than 23,000 objects—all while offering free general admission to more than 730,000 visitors annually. One of the Dallas Museum of Art’s most prestigious and popular events of the year, the annual Art Ball is always a showstopper. Guests always look forward to the fabulous cuisine, custom cocktails, luxurious live auction and an after party with plenty of dancing at the artsy affair.
Young Texans Against Cancer (YTAC) was founded in Houston in 2001 by a group of forty-four young individuals. The Founding Members have something in common: Cancer. Some members have personally battled cancer while others have loved ones struggling with cancer. Inspired by these struggles, this group of individuals created YTAC to increase cancer awareness among the generation of 22-45 year olds. YTAC Dallas began in 2007, and now includes over 500 active, young professional supporters who range in age from 24-40. Since 2008, YTAC Dallas has raised more than $1 million towards the fight against the disease. Their largest fundraiser, BubblyQ, is held in mid-October at Fearing’s at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. This event always promises an energetic, fun-loving crowd and plenty of banter, bites and bubbly. Chef Chair Dean leads the charge at this inspiring event. Guests sample fare from some of the best chefs in the city and sip on craft cocktails and bubbles from the bubble bar.
Cattle Baron’s Ball
Known as the world’s largest single-night cancer fundraiser, Cattle Baron’s Ball is always just that—one heckuva ball for one really important cause. Since 1974, Cattle Baron’s Ball has raised over $68 millon for cancer research, the majority of which is conducted in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Guests kick up their boots to dine, drink and two-step the night away dance hall-style at Gilley’s Dallas, all while raising proceeds to support the American Cancer Society. To make the evening even more special, Cattle Baron’s Ball has had some of country music’s most legendary singers, such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, Big & Rich, Toby Keith, Sugarland and Brad Paisley.
Spring wouldn’t be spring if it wasn’t punctuated by the always-anticipated bold bash known as House of DIFFA, a fabulous event hosted each year by the Dallas chapter of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA). Formed in 1984, DIFFA/Dallas is one of the largest HIV/AIDS fundraising organizations in North Texas providing preventative education and services for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Both the party and the fundraising efforts seem to get bigger and better—as most things do in Texas—with each annual celebration, which are always highlighted by a fashion show (touting celeb designer-made DIFFA jackets) and audacious entertainment. This fabulous fashion experience provides an exciting combination of philanthropy, theatrics and DIFFA/Dallas’ legendary runway production for close to 2,000 patrons enabling grants for HIV/AIDS service organizations in North Texas.
This festive luncheon and fashion show takes the cake every year as one of the leading fundraising events for the North Texas Chapter and one of the top fundraising galas for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society nationwide. Held at the Meyerson Symphony Center on February 14 each year, the fête draws a crowd of nearly 800 social and civic leaders looking to support an amazing cause. This fabulous soiree features a champagne reception, fashion show and one really fabulous lunch. As the most fashionable fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The Saint Valentine’s Day Luncheon and Fashion Show raises money to find a cure for these life threatening diseases and to improve the lives of the patients and their families.
Two x Two for AIDS and Art
Prominent artists, art collectors and philanthropists from the world mix and mingle for the love of art at Two x Two for AIDS and Art’s annual benefit gala dinner and art auction. In its near two-decade history, the event has raised more than $60 million in support of AIDS research initiatives and the Dallas Museum of Art’s contemporary art acquisition program. The group of nearly 450 partygoers always look forward to arriving at this spectacular soiree each year.
St. Jude Evening Under the Stars
Every fall, this incredible charity event—benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital—gathers at the Omni Hotel for a memorable night of dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions. Bringing together over 1,000 guests annually, St. Jude Evening Under the Stars Party and St. Jude Golf Classic have raised over $12 million for the hospital. Proceeds from these events go towards helping to ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, housing, food or travel. Whimsical decor, a well-heeled crowd and talented performances by Dallas String Quartet Electric make this fun night out one for the books.
The Crystal Charity Ball
Much like a grand finale to the city’s busy year of philanthropic events and galas, The Crystal Charity Ball is an elite event with an important cause. Since 1952, The Crystal Charity Ball’s main goal is to support and make contributions to children’s charities in Dallas. Over the past 60 years, The Crystal Charity Ball Committee has raised more than $137 million to donate to Dallas organizations and to give children hope for a productive and healthy future. From the dapper crowd donned in Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera gowns to the elegant decor and dinner and dancing, the evening event shines bright every year.
TACA Custom Auction Gala
Hosted at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for the past decade, the TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) Custom Auction Gala is one chicly dignified event. TACA encourages innovation, collaboration and engagement through financial support, stewardship and resources and has donated more than $24 million to the local arts since 1967. The Rosewood Mansion’s gorgeous promenade sets the scene as guests chat about potential bidding prizes while sipping cocktails and admiring all the pretty people that one such soiree attracts. The evening features a seated dinner followed by dessert in the promenade, live entertainment and a little friendly competition for the night’s big event, the live auction. Proceeds benefit TACA’s innovative grant funds, programs, and services, which impact more than 50 of the most creative and engaging performing arts organizations in North Texas.
Black Tie Dinner
Since its beginnings in 1982, Black Tie Dinner has been the nation’s largest fundraising dinner for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, selecting up to 20 North Texas beneficiaries to receive dinner proceeds each year—as well as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the organization’s national beneficiary. To date, Black Tie Dinner has distributed over $21 million. Approaching the 36th Black Tie Dinner, each year nearly 3,000 guests experience this “premier event of empowerment, education and entertainment” supporting LGBTQ organizations. This moving event consists of a dinner program attended by local and national figures, fabulous entertainment, awards, an auction and the well-known AfterBlack dance party to wrap up the evening.
Every year, the Texas International Theatrical Arts Society (TITAS) takes dance to a whole new level. At the annual Command Performance held at the Winspear Opera House, 12 artists from leading companies put on the show of a lifetime, including specially commissioned choreographic works, like a choreographed piece by So You Think You Can Dance’s Sonya Tayeh at the 2016 event. After the show, gala-goers gather for a seated dinner in the opera house’s main lobby, excitedly reliving the spectacular performances of the night while enjoying live entertainment. Proceeds support TITAS’s ongoing efforts to support American and international dance, music and performance art presentations and educational outreach.