Laurie Foley elected as 2008-09 co-chair; Resource Center gets largest local grant
The Dallas-Fort Worth Black Tie Dinner this week distributed $1.27 million to 18 local beneficiaries and the Human Rights Campaign during a reception to wrap up the organization’s 2007 event.
Black Tie officials also introduced new co-chair Laurie Foley, six new board members and four new advisory board members at the party, held Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel.
The $1.27 million total from this year’s Black Tie Dinner was the second highest in the event’s 26-year history. The 25th anniversary dinner in 2006 garnered the largest amount ever, $1.35 million. The 2005 dinner raised $1.24 million.
Randy Ray, in his first year as co-chair, said organizers were thrilled with this year’s total.
"We are very pleased that this year’s distribution amount is second only to the amount from the 25th anniversary dinner," Ray said.
"The fact that the total this year was $80,000 less than the 2006 total doesn’t mean that there was anything wrong this year. It’s just a reflection of how significant the 25th anniversary year really was."
He added, "The fact that we have beat the one-million-dollar mark for four years in a row is outstanding. We couldn’t be happier. Of course, that raises the bar higher and higher for us each year, but that’s okay."
The Black Tie Dinner has raised more than $11.75 million since it began in 1982.
"Black Tie Dinner had another stellar year," Co-chair Deiadra Burns said in a written statement released this week.
"It takes the work of the entire community to make Black Tie Dinner happen. With more than 300 North Texas volunteers, the hospitality of our community members, the generosity of our sponsors and the commitment of our dinner guests who return year after year, we are able to continue the legacy of Black Tie Dinner."
The largest check distributed on Tuesday for $635,000, representing half the total proceeds went to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
The Resource Center of Dallas received $58,511, the largest donation to a local beneficiary.
(For a complete list of recipients and totals, see separate listing in this issue.)
The Tuesday night event also marked the end of Deiadra Burns’ two-year term as co-chair, and the beginning of Foley’s two-year term in that role. Ray began the second year of his two-year term this week.
Black Tie Dinner co-chair terms are staggered so that, although each year sees one new co-chair, each year also has one experienced co-chair.
Foley is a healthcare consultant and limited partner in MORE AFS Consultants. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and earned her masters degree from Louisiana State University, and she has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field.
Foley has volunteered with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including the American Spaniel Club Federation, the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Club, the Resource Center of Dallas, the Human Rights Campaign, the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.
"After moving to the area in 1989, I knew very shortly I had found a place I could truly call home Black Tie Dinner," Foley said in a written statement released this week. "It is an honor to work with the dynamic group of individuals that collectively comprise the board of directors and the advisory board. I’m also very excited about the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with [Randy Ray]."
Ray said, "Having Laurie in this leadership role brings a fresh perspective and another true believer in the power of volunteers to transform their community."
Joining Ray and Foley as 2008 officers are Tom Phipps as treasurer and Carolyn Roney as secretary.
Burns now transitions to a position on the Black Tie Dinner advisory board, along with 2007 board members J’aime Joiner, Nancy McCaskell and Philip Wier. Re-elected to the advisory board were Reid Ainsworth, Pam Clayton, Garry Cox and Mary Mallory.
New board members for 2008-2009 are Brian Cates, Jennifer Fox, Dan Godfrey, Mitzi Lemons, Scott Presley and John Shore (Shore returns to the active board from his position on the advisory board).
Board members re-elected to additional two year terms were Nan Arnold, Jeff Hurt, Chris Luna, Ken Morris, Tom Phipps, Randy Ray, Carolyn Roney and Judy Sherman.
Ray said the new officers, board members and advisory board members are already hard at work planning the 2008 Black Tie Dinner. He said they have already set a date for the event Nov. 22 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and have chosen a theme "Untold Stories: Let Your Life Speak."
More than 2,900 guests attended the 2007 dinner, held Nov. 17 at the Adam’s Mark and featuring actor/activist Martin Sheen as the keynote speaker,.
Sheen helped up the events total by auctioning off a pair of Nikos cufflinks donated by Eiseman Jewelers and autographed by Sheen.
The actor, famous for his portrayal of liberal president Jeb Bartlett on TV’s "The West Wing," also autographed and auctioned off a custom-made western hat that had been given to him as an award at a Fort Worth film festival earlier this year, and he auctioned off the notes for his speech.
Sgt. Eric Alva, a gay former soldier who was the first American wounded in the Iraq war, and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert also spoke at the dinner.
Entertainers Amy and Freddy, Foreign Trade and Me and My Monkey The Beatles Tribute Band performed.
The selection process for 2008 beneficiaries begins in January, Ray said, and information will be available online at www.blacktie.org.
2007 BLACK TIE DINNER BENEFICIARIES
AIDS Arms – $42,170
AIDS Interfaith Network – $29,016
AIDS Outreach Center – $29,070
AIDS Services of Dallas – $36,868
AIDS Services of North Texas – $28,146
Celebration Community Church – $29,772
Congregation Beth El Binah – $27,508
Equality Texas Foundation – $34,790
HRC Foundation – $635,000
Lambda Legal – $39,605
Legacy Counseling Center – $37,023
Legal Hospice of Texas – $38,755
Northaven UMC – $46,648
OUT TAKES Dallas – $32,053
PFLAG/Dallas – $34,912
Resource Center of Dallas – $58,511
The Women’s Chorus of Dallas – $27,883
White Rock Friends – $27,342
Youth First Texas – $34,928
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 21, 2007.