Winner of 2009 Elizabeth Birch Award to be named next Thursday during reception at Fort Worth Community Arts Center
Officials with the DFW Black Tie Dinner this week announced the names of the 19 local LGBT and AIDS/HIV services organizations and programs chosen as beneficiaries of the 2009 event.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the national beneficiary for the dinner. Each year about half the proceeds go to the HRC Foundation, and the other half is divided among the local organizations named as beneficiaries.
Dinner officials also said that the recipient of the 2009 Elizabeth Birch Award will be announced at a reception Thursday, March 26 in Fort Worth.
The 2009 beneficiaries are, in alphabetical order: AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Outreach Center, AIDS Resources of Rural Texas, AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Services of North Texas, Celebration Community Church, Congregation Beth El Binah, Equality Texas Foundation, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, Northaven United Methodist Church, OUT TAKES Dallas, Resource Center of Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, White Rock Friends, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Youth First Texas.
"The theme for this year’s Black Tie Dinner is ‘Courage. Hope. Inspiration.’ Each of these words individually and collectively describe our 2009 beneficiaries perfectly," said Laurie Foley, BTD senior co-chair, in a statement released Wednesday, March 18.
"Each of these deserving organizations embody all of the aspects of courage as they work tirelessly to provide hope for their clients and constituents. And they are indeed a huge inspiration to our community, including everyone involved with Black Tie Dinner," Foley added.
Ron Guillard, Foley’s co-chair, said, "In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that, through Black Tie Dinner, our community supports these organizations that provide much-needed programs, activities and services to the North Texas GLBT community."
The co-chairs said that beneficiaries for the dinner, set this year for Oct. 3 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, are selected through a "detailed examination and rating process." They are required to complete an application form that includes questions focusing on the financial and organizational health and stability of applicant organizations.
Each applicant is also evaluated on their service to the community, including the quality of their programs and services and the impact those programs and services have on the community, the co-chairs said.
The Thursday reception to announce this year’s Birch Award winner will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gandy St. in Fort Worth.
The reception will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and musical entertainment along with complimentary valet parking. Business or cocktail attire is requested, and those attending should RSVP by March 23 to Maggie McQuown by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 972-247-0234.
The 2008 Birch Award winner was openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson. Keynote speaker was fashion designer Kenneth Cole.
The Black Tie Dinner, first held in 1982, has distributed nearly $13 million to local beneficiaries in its first 27 years. The 2008 event brought in $1.19 million to be divided among beneficiaries, and the 2007 dinner raised a record $1.27 million.
This year’s dinner will include a raffle for a new Mercedes Benz 2010 GLK 350 underwritten by Park Place Motorcars Bedford and Park Place Motorcars Dallas, a Silver Sponsor for the dinner. Raffle tickets are $100 each and are available from any DFW Federal Club member or any member of the Black Tie Dinner Board of Directors.
For more information on raffle tickets or the Black Tie Dinner, call 972-733-9200, ext. 1, or go online to www.BlackTie.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 20, 2009.