Holiday spotlight: Linze Serell’s Toys for Tots Drive

Linze Serell does not sleep in the morning after she hosts the biggest Christmas show of the year at Garlow’s in Gun Barrel City. Instead, she gathers up her fellow entertainers and they hit the local Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. to start buying Christmas gifts for underprivileged children with the money they raised the night before.

Serell — aka Bill Lindsey — has been hosting her annual Toys for Tots drive and benefit show for eight years now. It benefits the Cedar Creek Lake-area Toys for Tots effort.

Serell and Sable Alexander (Michael Champion), her partner of 26 years, live in Wylie in Collin County, around a two-hour drive from Gun Barrel City in Henderson County. It’s a trek to get there, but Serell says the effort is worth it.

“The kids get very little help from the outside but the children need their dream of Santa,” she said.

When fundraising begins in July, Serell reaches out to Facebook friends and relies on word-of-mouth efforts to collect cash, checks and Wal-Mart gift cards as well as toys. Tough economic times pushed her to fundraise until the very last minute this year, but she still raised nearly $10,000.

And the drive’s not over yet. Locals have one more chance to donate an unwrapped toy or Wal-Mart gift card at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 19 at Best Friends Club, 2620 E Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 19, 2014



Holiday Calendar


­­Through Dec. 20: Gauge Xavier’s Annual Coat Challenge
Dallas Bears member Gauge Xavier challenges you to donate new or gently used winter clothing to the local charity of your choice, preferably one that does not resale the item.

­­Through Dec. 24: 16th Annual CoH Christmas Gift Wrap Service
Drop off gifts in the reception area at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, before Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services throughout December and they will be wrapped and ready for you when you leave. Purchase gifts at Sources and use the CoH Gift Wrap Service to receive a $2 Sources gift card.
5:30–8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 14, 21. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24.
Contact Paul Kolasci at to make an alternative appointment.

­­ Through Dec. 21: Turtle Creek Chorale presents Jangled
Holiday program includes a family version at the Saturday matinee. Friday–Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

­­ Dec. 19: Project Tyler Area Gays Annual Dinner & Canned Food Drive
Join Project TAG members gather for a holiday meal and canned food drive at 7:00 p.m. at Jake’s on the Square, 111 East Erwin Street, Tyler. No RSVP required. Call 903-330-8901 or e-mail for more information.

­­ Dec. 20: 23rd Annual Lights of Love
7 p.m. at Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth.

­­ Dec. 20: Salvation Sisters
The DFW Sisters stage The Salvation Sisters, a take-off on the Salvation Army Christmas bell ringing, 8:30–11 p.m. in front of Hunky’s, 3930 Cedar Springs Road. Proceeds benefit HIV services.

­­ Dec. 20: GEAR Holiday Celebration
Join GEAR for a new take on the white elephant gift exchange. Unwrap a gift for yourself or steal a better one from someone else. A wrapped gift valued between $5-$20. Please, no gag gifts. Call 214-540-4498 or email for more questions.

­­ Dec. 21: Advent Love Sunday Service and Christmas Concert: Unspeakable Joy!
Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, celebrates Advent at the 9 and 11 a.m. services, and holds a concert at 7 p.m.

­­ Dec. 22: Ring in the Holidays with Leslie Jordan
Benefit for Legacy Counseling Center at 8 p.m. at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. Suite 168. Tickets at

­­ Dec. 24: Beth El Binah goes out for Chinese
The LGBT Jewish congregation fulfills the biblical commandment to eat Chinese food on Christmas at 7:30 p.m. at Thairrific, 4000 Cedar Springs Road #E. Everyone welcome.

­­ Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Communion Service
7 p.m. at Agape Metropolitan Community Church, 4615 E. California Parkway, Fort Worth.

­­ Dec. 24: Cathedral of Hope holds four Christmas Eve Candlelight Holy Communion Services.
Family worship at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary. A Spanish language service at 7 p.m. in the International Peace Chapel. English language services at 9 and 11 p.m. in the sanctuary. All at CoH, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

­­ Dec. 26-27: Lights All Night 2014
5th anniversary Lights All Night electronic music festival featuring over 40 DJs. Doors open at 5 p.m.–2 a.m. at Dallas Convention Center.

­­ Dec. 26: CinéWilde and Trans Pride Initiative mixer and movie
Trans Pride kicks off its effort to open a community center with shelter space with CinéWilde at 8 p.m. at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson. Enjoy live entertainment, a white elephant gift-giving game and winter cocktails before screening the 2003 anime film Tokyo Godfathers. Tickets are $10.50 but donations are encouraged. More information at

 NYE-partyNew Year’s Eve Events

Dec. 31: Alexandre’s NYE Party with Andrea Dawson & Band
Free champagne toast at midnight.  No cover.  Party hats and favors provided. 9 p.m–close.

Dec 31: Full Circle Tavern’s “Mad Hatter” Two Year New Year!
Full Circle Tavern, 1319 S. Lamar Street, hosts “Mad as Hatters” for their 2nd annual New Years bash. Dress your head in its’ most interesting attire and ring in 2015 with your favorite staff, friends and fools – All inclusive dinner, cocktails, live DJ, party favors and complementary champagne at midnight. RSVP at 214-208-3435.
Dec. 31: DJ Christopher J at the Grapevine
DJ Christopher J (of super 80s band Berlin with Terri Nunn) will be spinning from 7 p.m. at the Grapevine Bar, 3902 Maple Ave. Cover is just $1 and can be purchased at the door.

Dec. 31: Round Up Saloon NYE 2014 Masquerade Ball
Round Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs, presents the NYE 2014 Masquerade Ball.  Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $20 at the door. Catered buffet, breakfast after midnight, cash balloon drop, champagne and party favors included. Contact 214-522-9611 for more information.

Dec. 31: Club Dallas New Years Eve Party
Event begins at 11p.m. with a champagne toast at midnight at Club Dallas, 2616 Swiss Ave.


•     Jan. 2: Viva Dallas Burlesque D.C. versus Marvel
The largest burlesque show in Texas hosts DC versus Marvel, an epic battle of tongue-in-cheek comic book-themed burlesque performances at 9 p.m. at Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Rd which is closing. Doors open at 8 p.m. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Purchase tickets at Must be 18 years or older to attend.

•     Jan. 10: Transvisible: The Bamby Salcedo Story
Bamby Salcedo and Dante Alencastre show their film and lead a discussion hosted by Trans Pride Initiative at 4 p.m. at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.

•     Jan. 19: 10th Annual MLK Symposium
Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture presents the 10th annual MLK Symposium featuring the premiere of a play adapted from King’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” 7-9 p.m. at Dallas Institute, 2719 Routh Street. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for teachers and free for students. Purchase tickets at Call 214-871-2440 for more information.

•     Jan. 20: Coming Out Workshop
Jim McBride and the Rev. Jane Graner lead a seven-week coming out workshop on Tuesday evenings through March 3. 7–9 p.m. at Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road. 214-284-9194 or Free.