When the clock strikes fall, the philanthropic parties begin. Fort Worth's autumn society season presents some of the most beloved charity events of the year — a wine-and-shoe extravaganza, a celebrity-studded film festival ball, a gala where margaritas flow freely, and a Western-chic soiree with pig races. Several events move to exciting new venues this year, and some celebrate significant anniversaries. They almost always sell out, so don't delay your reservations — nor your wardrobe shopping. Here are the dates to circle in your social diary for fall.
September 28, Whiskey Ranch
The 25th Cowtown Ball, the American Cancer Society’s Western-chic gala, celebrates its silver anniversary with a venue change. This year’s event, themed “Life is Our Legacy,” will take place at Whiskey Ranch, the new home of Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. Co-chairs Elizabeth Humble and Wendy Wright promise a fun evening featuring trendy cowboy cuisine by Reata, one-of-a-kind auction items, a wine toss, raffle, and even pig races. Guests will dance under the stars to Grammy Award-winning country band Diamond Rio.
Wine, Women & Shoes
October 5, The 4Eleven
Wine, Women & Shoes bills itself as one "sipsational" event. Benefiting Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County, the stylish fundraiser lets attendees kick up their stilettos while sipping varietals from some of the country’s top winemakers, shop the in the exclusive marketplace, dine on dinner catered by Reata, bid on fabulous auction items, and cheer on seven celebrity models — and two students — in a fashion show produced by Karl Marshall. This year's leading ladies are Becky Renfro Borbolla, Janet Hahn, Jennifer Kieta, Ana Martinez, Karen Molinar, Carolyn Phillips, and Gloria Starling. Dozens of charming "Sole Men" will once again serve up this season’s must-haves on silver platters. This year, WWS moves to The 4Eleven, the new event venue in the Near Southside.
The WARM Place A Cool Night in the Country
October 6, River Crest Country Club
The WARM Place's biggest fundraiser of the year goes country in 2018. Guests are invited to pull on their boots for Southern-style cuisine, whiskey tasting, live music, and dancing under the stars to Raised Right Men at River Crest Country Club. The WARM Place provides peer-support groups for children and their families after the death of a loved one. The signature sell-out event has raised over $1 million for the organization.
The girlfriend gathering of fall officially kicks off the holiday shopping season in Fort Worth. Dozens of vendors will be on hand as the Junior League of Fort Worth's gift market takes place October 11-14. But to get first dibs, the Preview Party private-shopping event is the time to go. Wear comfy shoes and keep credit cards handy as you sip champagne and nosh on bites from local restaurants and sweet shops. New this year, another private-shopping opportunity comes with the Making Spirits Bright Brunch, catered by Reata, on October 11.
65 Roses Wine & Food Extravaganza
October 17, La Paloma Ranch
Now in its 19th year, the 65 Roses Wine & Food Extravaganza will take place outdoors at La Paloma Ranch, a private residence of Marcee and Grant James. Dress code: outdoor chic. The Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser will feature an all-star lineup of Fort Worth’s best restaurants — Bonnell's, The Capital Grille, Magdalena's, Button's, Michaels Cuisine, and more — dishing up signature bites while wine flows throughout the evening and guests bid on outstanding auction items. Event chairs Mary Lee and John Proctor promise a fun, casual evening under the stars.
Lone Star Film Festival Ball
November 8, Worthington Renaissance Hotel
Now that the massive lineup for the 2018 Lone Star Film Festival has been announced, it's time to strategize about the weekend. To make the most of the festival, plan to get gussied up and head downtown for the Hollywood-style ball. Hosted by chairs Wesley and Christie Moncrief, this year's gala promises a night of food, libations, and celebrity appearances. Fort Worth's own Pat Green will receive the Stephen Bruton Award for his contributions to country music. He joins past recipients Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Seymour, and the late Bill Paxton. It all benefits the education outreach programming of the Lone Star Film Society.
Fort Worth Margarita Ball
November 17, Worthington Renaissance Hotel
This annual ball, benefiting Children's Charities of Fort Worth, attracts a young professional crowd, and they dress to impress in traditional or Western formal attire. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, this year's gala will feature light hors d'oeuvres and complimentary margaritas (while they last), $500 in chips for the charity casino, dancing to a live band, silent auction, pictures with Santa, and more. An "after glow" for night owls begins at midnight and will include hand-rolled cigars, desserts, live entertainment, and, of course, more margaritas.
Caren Koslow Fashion Show and Luncheon
December 6, Bass Hall
Named for a late Fort Worth arts patron, this beloved daytime event brings together fashion mavens and ballet lovers like no other fête. Guests are treated to lunch and a runway show featuring Texas Ballet Theater dancers modeling designer looks from Stanley Korshak. The event benefits the company’s scholarship program and regularly sells out quickly, as reservations are limited and coveted.
Jewel Charity Ball
December 15, Fort Worth Convention Center
Always the crown jewel of the Fort Worth society calendar, Jewel Charity Ball is the most glamorous gala of the year. Ladies in gorgeous gowns and gentlemen in dapper tuxedos gather for a spectacular evening of dining, dancing, and fundraising for Cook Children's Hospital. This year's featured entertainment is the hit band Earth, Wind & Fire. Guests of the annual ball are made up of donors known as Angels, who open their pocketbooks and give generously. Jewel Charity marks its remarkable 65th anniversary in 2018; since its inception, it has raised over $68 million for Cook Children's.