By Tammye Nash Senior Editor

18 local organizations chosen to receive funds after completing newly-revised, “‘easier’ application process

Black Tie Dinner co-chairs Deiadra Burns and Randy Ray

Officials with Black Tie Dinner Inc. announced this week that 18 local organizations have been selected as beneficiaries of the 2007 fundraising dinner, set for Nov. 17 at Dallas’ Adams Mark Hotel.

Two first-time beneficiaries this year are Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth and Out Takes Dallas, the gay and lesbian film festival.

Organizations repeating as beneficiaries are AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Services of North Texas, Congregation Beth El Binah, Dallas Legal Hospice, Equality Texas, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Legacy Counseling Center, Northaven United Methodist Church, PFLAG/Dallas, the Resource Center of Dallas, White Rock Friends, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Youth First Texas.

About half of the proceeds from the 2007 dinner will be divided between these 18 organizations.The other half will go to the dinner’s national beneficiary, the Human Rights Campaign.

In 2006, Black Tie Dinner distributed a record $1.35 million to its beneficiaries, bringing the event’s 25-year total to almost $10.5 million.

Deiadra Burns, senior co-chair for the fundraising dinner, said in a written statement released Tuesday that selecting beneficiaries for the event is “one of the most important things that we do. Through the continued support of our sponsors, volunteers, donors and dinner guests, and by partnering with these beneficiaries, we are able to make a profoundly positive difference in people’s lives.”

She added, “I cannot imagine North Texas without any of these organizations.”

Event co-chair Randy Ray said Black Tie has “a vested interest in keeping these beneficiaries vital.”

The co-chairs said that board members this year used “a more comprehensive application and review process” to choose beneficiaries, resulting in “increased competition and stronger beneficiary applications” from the 28 organizations that applied.

Burns, in a telephone interview on Wednesday, March 28, said the application was revised to make it easier to read and complete, and thus, easier for applicants to review the information they had included once the application was filled out.

The new review process, she said, mirrors the application more accurately, making it easier for Black Tie board members to review the applications as well.

“We had not made any significant changes to the application process in several years, and it was time to do that,” Ray said on Wednesday.

He explained that the new application focuses on four key areas: the organizational structure and financial stability of the applicant; the applicant’s budget and planning process; services the applicant provides to the community; and, for previous beneficiaries, how Black Tie donations were used in the past.

Ray noted that Black Tie celebrated its 25th anniversary last year with keynote speaker Geena Davis and Elizabeth Birch Award winner Alan Cumming. This year’s theme is “All You Need is Love,” he said, adding, “There are a lot of things we can do with that. We plan on having a lot of fun with it.”

Burns agreed, saying that planning this year is “way ahead of the game.”

“We are coming off a phenomenal year in terms of raising funds and distributing a record amount of money,” she said. “Right now our sponsor program is way ahead of where it was at this time last year.

“We are already working on our program, and we hope to announce our award winners and our guest speaker very soon and use that to start building enthusiasm,” she said.

Burns said there is a sponsor reception planned for May. Ticket sales for the dinner itself will be held in September.


This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2007 как улучшить продажи в магазине