Proceeds down from ’07 record, but officials say they’re pleased considering state of economy
Officials with the Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner this week distributed $1.19 million to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and 18 local beneficiaries, and announced that product development and management consultant Ron Guillard will join Laurie Foley as co-chairs of the 2009 fundraising event.
Seven new board members and six new advisory board members were also named.
The funds, representing proceeds from the 27th annual Black Tie Dinner held in November at the Sheraton Dallas, were distributed during a reception Thursday night, Dec. 18, at the hotel. The money was raised through corporate and individual sponsorships, the table captain program, the sale of live luxury and silent auction items, raffle tickets and general ticket sales.
Each year, about half of the proceeds from the Black Tie Dinner go to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This year, the national organization got a check for $595,000.
The Resource Center of Dallas received the largest of the donations to local beneficiaries, getting $44,553 for its programs, including the John Thomas Gay and Lesbian Community Center, the Phil Johnson Historic Archives and Library, the Nelson-Tebedo Health Resource Center, the food pantry, AIDS programs and many others.
The second-largest check, in the amount of $44,190, went to AIDS Arms Inc., the Dallas organization that helps people with HIV/AIDS access the health care, resources and support necessary to manage their illness. AIDS Arms also operates the Peabody Health Center clinic.
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which offers legal assistance to LGBT people facing discrimination, received $42,904, and AIDS Services of Dallas, which operates several residential facilities for people with HIV/AIDS, received $41,544.
Seven more local organizations received more than $30,000 this year from Black Tie Dinner. They are: Northaven United Methodist Church, $36,913; Youth First Texas, $34,074; Turtle Creek Chorale, $31,908; Celebration Community Church, $31,443; The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, $31,028; Legal Hospice of Texas, $30,731; and Legacy Counseling Center, $30,011.
Rounding out the list of beneficiaries for 2008 are: AIDS Services of North Texas, $29,477; AIDS Outreach Center, $29,078; AIDS Interfaith Network, $28,854; AIDS Resources of Rural Texas, $27,462; Equality Texas Foundation, $27,347; White Rock Friends, $27,091; and Congregation Beth El Binah, $26,388.
Totals for the 2008 Black Tie Dinner were down by $80,000 from 2007′s all-time high of $1.27 million. But outgoing Co-chair Randy Ray said this year’s event was a resounding success considering the state of the nation’s economy. The credit for that, he added, goes to Black Tie’s volunteers, sponsors, table captains and attendees.
"Especially in a time of challenging economic conditions for communities across America, Black Tie Dinner is pleased to be able to distribute funds to its beneficiaries that are needed now more than ever," Ray said in a written statement released Thursday.
"Time and time again, our sponsors, table captains, dinner guests and volunteers have proven their commitment to Black Tie Dinner’s beneficiaries and the North Texas community," he added.
Officials said the Black Tie board is already working on the 28th annual event, set for Oct. 3 at the Sheraton Dallas. The beneficiary application process for 2009 begins in January, and more information about applications and the selection process are available online at www.BlackTie.org.
Guillard was chosen by unanimous vote to replace Ray as co-chair. In a written statement released Thursday, he said Black Tie has been "incredibly meaningful for me beginning with my first dinner in 1992 where, as a new Dallas resident, I was introduced the vibrancy of the North Texas GLBT community.
"Later, as I understood the vast community support provided by Black Tie’s beneficiaries, I began to participate within the networks of volunteers. Now it is an honor to work with the always-inspiring board of directors and advisory board," he added. "I am looking forward to working closely with Laurie Foley as we focus on 2009 and beyond."
Foley, who started her tenure as co-chair last December, said she is looking forward to "working hand-in-hand with Ron to support and lead the board in our fundraising efforts."
She added, "The breadth of organizations Black Tie touches is representative of the diverse needs of the North Texas GLBT community and the continuing efforts to ensure equal rights. I cannot think of another community that stands so strongly together or another board that is more dedicated or more fun to work with."
Guillard is a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and has a masters degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University. He has more than 20 years experience in new product development and operations management and has participated as a volunteer in a variety of local and national nonprofit organizations, including Lambda Legal’s National Leadership Council, AIDS Services of Dallas’ Supper Club and the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.
Ray is completing his second year as co-chair and will now transition to the Black Tie advisory board, along with Mike Irwin, Chris Luna, Tom Phipps, Carolyn Roney and T.J. Wilson.
Officers for 2009 are Foley and Guillard as co-chairs, Chris Kouvelis as treasurer and Susan Spalter as secretary.
New board members are Miller Crowe, Doug Frankel, Ron Hill, John Lawrimore, Kouvelis, Spalter and Raymond Shelton. Board members re-elected to an additional term were Reed Bogle, Cece Cox, Foley, Guillard, Toni Miller and Emily Whitsett. Board members continuing their terms through 2009 are Nan Arnold, Brian Cates, Jennifer Fox, Dan Godfrey, Jeff Hurt, Mitzi Lemons, Ken Morris, Scot Presley, Judy Sherman and John Shore.
Bill Justice was re-elected to the advisory board, and Deiadra Burns, Bill Justice, Mary Mallory, Dick Weaver and Philip Weir are continuing their terms on the advisory board.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 19, 2008.