5 questions with Don Gaiser
Don Gaiser is chair of the style council for DIFFA Dallas Collection 2008, which will be shown on Feb. 23 at the Hilton Anatole. The native of Tyler moved to Dallas 20 years ago, and he has been active in volunteer work ever since. An associate of McKool Smith law firm, he is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University. He is a longtime volunteer for Black Tie Dinner and a member of the Federal Club. He is the social vice president for the Airliners Social Club and a member of the Turtle Creek Association and the Krewe of Apollo and Gamma Mu, an international social fraternity.
For what charity event did you first volunteer?
Ironically, it was DIFFA. I went to the first DIFFA Collection they ever had in Dallas in 1989. A friend of mine just happened to invite me, and I went and fell in love with it. I’ve been to every one ever since.
What drives your commitment to charity events?
I’ve always been charity minded, but rather than just writing a check I like to have a good time supporting the charity. DIFFA and Black Tie Dinner have always provided that venue for me. I think they are both grea organizations and each does a lot of good for the community.
What is the style council?
The style council is selected by the board of directors to promote DIFFA not just as a collection but throughout the year. Once they accept, these people make a very large financial commitment to DIFFA. It can be in the form of writing a check, raising money through tickets sales or ad sales or a combination of both. Each person does a minimum of eight hours of community service with a local AIDS services organization. That way they can really see the good all of this money is going to.
What do you want people to know about what goes on behind the scenes of the charity event?
I think people sometimes have a misconception about DIFFA that it’s all just a bunch of glitz and glamour because it is a high fashion show to auction off the jackets. It is just amazing the dedication and commitment the people behind the scenes put into this to make it work. It’s so much more than a fashion show. I don’t think a lot of people realize that. It’s more than just showing up and looking stylish and fashionable.
In terms of entertainment value, how would you rate the DIFFA Dallas Collection event?
I think it is just fabulous, and most of my friends who go with me every year rave about it. To me, it’s kind of a combination of a Broadway play and a fashion show out of Milan. For people who have never been before, they are always just wowed. They can’t believe how spectacular it really is.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 9, 2007