Pandemic pivots

6 Fort Worth fundraisers with pandemic-safe party plans this spring

6 Fort Worth fundraisers with pandemic-safe party plans this spring

Angela Baker, Norma Sailnas, Sandy Densmore
The beloved Go Red for Women luncheon goes digital this year. Photo by David Beans
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Women's Center
Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price sporting her teal T-shirt for The Women's Center. Photo courtesy of The Women's Center of Tarrant County
Fort Worth Empty Bowls 2018
Empty Bowls will be a different kind of event this year. Photo courtesy of Tarrant Area Food Bank
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ray Wylie Hubbard is the featured speaker at the Jim Bradshaw Memorial Stars in Recovery event, offered both live and virtually. Photo by Courtney Chavanell
Angela Baker, Norma Sailnas, Sandy Densmore
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Women's Center
Fort Worth Empty Bowls 2018
Ray Wylie Hubbard

Although there's light at the end of the tunnel as more Fort Worth-area residents get vaccinated against COVID-19, large fundraising gatherings are still not a great idea.

Normally at this time of year, social butterflies are packing their calendars and opening their pocketbooks at their favorite charity galas and luncheons. But ever since the coronavirus began forcing big gatherings to cancel in March 2020, gala auctions have gone virtual, pre-recorded luncheons and fashion shows have streamed, and a few popular parties have turned into TV events with celebrity hosts.

One thing hasn't changed: The organizations' need to raise funds to provide critical services to the community. In fact, their need is greater than ever now.

Here are some of the newest Fort Worth nonprofit fundraisers to unveil pandemic-safer plans. (Previously announced events around Dallas-Fort Worth can be found here, here, here, and here.)

Tarrant Area Food Bank's Empty Bowls, March 25-26
The beloved Fort Worth food bank fundraiser — at which attendees usually enjoy samples from local restaurants and take home a bowl to keep — has morphed into an online fundraiser where donors can sponsor boxes of food for families. An Empty Bowls Mega Mobile Market will take place 10 am-2 pm March 25 at Dickies Arena to provide food to Tarrant residents who need assistance. (Literally, as they point out, using Empty Bowls donations to fill empty bowls — by feeding those who are food insecure.) With each virtual box donated, guests will receive their own “studio bowl” handcrafted by local artists. They are to be picked up at a contactless thrive-thru event March 26, also at Dickies Arena. For more information, visit the website.

Spring Gallery Week Preview Party at Artspace111, March 26
Popular Fort Worth gallery Artspace111 hosts a kickoff party for Spring Gallery Week, coming up March 27-April 2. The preview party, taking place March 26, will toast the gallery's new exhibition by Carly Allen-Martin and Jim Woodson, A Space Between Time. The ticketed event ($500-$1,000 for a table for 4) will feature socially distanced private tables with special appearances from artists, live music, food, limited edition prints, gifts, discounts on art, and refreshments. A virtual VIP experience ($100) will allow collectors access to an exclusive virtual preview of the new artwork available, as well as discounts on purchases. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Tarrant Area Food Bank. For more information and tickets, visit the Artspace111 website.

The Women’s Center of Tarrant County Victory Over Violence campaign, April 6
In lieu of its annual Victory Over Violence Walk/Run fundraiser, The Women's Center of Tarrant County is launching a “Victory over Violence-Hope Starts Here” campaign by selling $25 T-shirts to “Turn Tarrant Teal.” (Teal is the color used to represent Sexual Assault Awareness Month.) On April 6 — Sexual Assault Community Action Day — the group will address the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. There also will be events with universities and colleges all month long. The organization encourages the community to wear their teal T-shirts on April 6 and throughout the month to raise awareness about issues of sexual violence. For more information and T-shirts, visit the website.

33rd Annual Jim Bradshaw Memorial Stars in Recovery, April 15
The Annual Jim Bradshaw Memorial Stars in Recovery event will feature a conversation with singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. The afternoon event, chaired by Shauna Jenkins, will be offered both live and virtually from Artspace111 in Fort Worth. Proceeds will benefit the Recovery Resource Council, which assists individuals and families struggling with alcohol, substance misuse, and trauma. Virtual tickets are $100, and in-person tickets are $200. For more information and tickets, visit the website.

American Heart Association Go Red for Women Experience, April 23
The AHA's beloved Go Red for Women Luncheon, which traditionally takes place each February in Fort Worth, is morphing into a multimedia experience this year instead. Patrons can click to help raise money and awareness of women's cardiovascular health at the Go Red for Women Experience – Tarrant County, an all-digital event from 12-1 pm. During the virtual "luncheon" (Don't forget to wear red!) viewers will learn healthy living strategies to reduce their personal risk for cardiovascular disease, hear inspiring stories of community impact, bid on auction items, and help support the mission of AHA. Featured speaker is Kathryn Childers, one of the first five U.S. Secret Service Special Agents charged with protecting the Kennedy children while traveling with former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. For more details and tickets ($40), visit the website

Ladder Alliance presents It's in the Bag, April 29
Ladder Alliance will present its eighth annual It's in the Bag — formerly a big luncheon packed into a country club — as a socially distanced, limited-capacity evening event. Emceed by Justin Frazell of 95.9 The Ranch, the event will include a seated dinner, open bar, live entertainment by Brad Thompson, remarks by Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price, and live and silent auctions. Capacity is being capped at 50 percent, and patrons are encouraged to buy tables to sit with their own guests; masks will be required and temperatures taken. The event starts at 6 pm at Stockyards Station. All proceeds support Ladder Alliance's mission to provide low-income women and victims of domestic violence with the tools to lead successful, and independent lives. For more information, to view the auction catalog, and buy tickets ($150), visit the website.