By Tammye Nash Staff Writer

Toast to Life is the Resource Center of Dallas’ largest annual fundraiser, and this year’s event has even more to offer, with a VIP party before the main event and an after-party for all ticketholders, organizers said this week.
The fundraiser, featuring gourmet food and beverages, is Saturday on the first three floors of Neiman Marcus Downtown in Dallas. The VIP party and the after-party are both at Fuse restaurant, across the street from Neiman’s, Marianne DeLeon, director of development, said.
This year’s theme is Kismet, DeLeon said.
“It’s an Arabic word that doesn’t translate exactly. But the basic idea of it is love, fortune and life. And that’s what we are celebrating this year – love and life,” DeLeon said.
VIP ticket-holders get drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and a gift bag put together by Carlos Banda and Net Play Productions, DeLeon said. The top item in the gift bags will be silver watches featuring the red AIDS ribbon instead of numbers on its face, she said.
The main event gives participants the chance to sample food by chefs for Hattie’s, Parigi, Margaux’s, The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Salum and Daniele Osteria, wines from Barefoot Wine Cellars, specialty martinis by Ciroc and Godiva and beer from Bud Light.
There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for a $5,000 shopping spree at Neiman’s, DeLeon said. The silent auction includes more than 50 works by well-known artists such as Joan Chamberlain and Jay Maggio, American Airlines tickets, products from Aveda, Aqua Spa massages, dinners, Dallas Theater Center tickets, movie tickets at the Magnolia Cinema and Inwood Cinema, jewelry, symphony tickets and more.
There will be about 250 items offered in the silent auction, DeLeon said.
As an added bonus, she said, Neiman’s will also be open for shopping.
The evening winds up with the after-party, open to all ticketholders, back across the street at Fuse.The VIP party is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Fuse, 1512 Commerce St. Tickets are $150.

Toast to Life is from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., on the first three floors of Neiman Marcus Downtown, entrance in the 1500 block of Commerce Street. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple.The after-party is from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Fuse, and is open to all ticket-holders.

For information call 214-528-0144 or go online to

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, February 24, 2006.
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