Donna Dumae celebrates 25 years of raising money for local charities

Donna Dumae. DANIEL A. KUSNER/Dallas Voice

Fort Worth native Don Jenkins was just a pup 25 years ago when some friends dared him to sing Aretha Franklin’s "Freeway of Love" for a contest at the now-defunct Cowtown club Vickery Station.

"My friends said if I won the contest, they’d give me $100," Jenkins remembers. "I lost, and I didn’t get the $100. But that was the night Donna Dumae was born."

And over the years, Donna has been performing with the United Court of the Lone Star Empire to raise money for local charities. This weekend, Dumae doubles up on her "Silver Jubilee" celebration. With a Saturday gig in Fort Worth and a Sunday gig in Dallas, she hopes to raise $4,000 for AIDS charities in North Texas.

In the late ’90s, she raised $6,000 at one gig. "But things were different back then," she says.

"This weekend’s theme is ‘patriotic duty,’" she says. "We have a new president. So we’re going to hope for a better future. However, I think it’s our patriotic duty to contribute what we can to the disadvantaged."

Will Donna work some Michelle Obama drag for her jubilee?

"Ooooohhh, that gives me an idea," Donna says.

— Daniel A. Kusner

• On Saturday, Dumae performs at Stampede Club, 621 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth to raise money for Tarrant County AIDS Interfaith Network. Jan. 24 at 10 p.m.
• On Sunday, Dumae performs at Dallas Eagle, 2515 Inwood Rd. #107 to benefit AIDS Services of Dallas. Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.

Pogo dancers, get ready. The Action Design hits Big D on Saturday. Last year, the four-piece band from Petaluma, Calif., was named of the Alternative Press magazine’s "100 Bands To Watch."

Led by punky siren Emily Whitehurst — formerly of San Francisco’s Tsunami Bomb — The Action Design delivers a raw punk sound that you can dance to.

Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton Rd. Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.

Lesbian artist Julie Schurr fuses folk, rock and comedy at Illusions on Saturday. One critic put it best: "If forced to make a comparison, Julie has the desperation of Trent Reznor, a voice sweeter than Jewel’s, and lyrics as meaningful as Tracy Chapman’s."

Illusions, 4100 Maple Ave. Jan 24 at 9 p.m. 214-252-0552.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 23, 2009
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