Fort Worth Charity Guide
Coronavirus pivot

These hot-ticket Dallas-Fort Worth galas and fundraisers are going virtual

These hot-ticket DFW galas and fundraisers are going virtual

Loretta Marable, Jennifer Fornes, Kim Johnson
Cowtown Ball will be a virtual gala this year. Photo by Kelcee Harwood

As coronavirus continues to force events to cancel in Dallas-Fort Worth, more local nonprofits have shifted their efforts to virtual fundraisers. Instead of throwing big, in-person gatherings to raise crucial funds, they are focusing on raffles, auctions, and other happenings that can engage patrons online and through social media. 

While the trend started with spring and summer events (like the annual Fairmount homes tour), it's continued into fall and beyond. Even Christmas in Cowtown, the beloved holiday market, had to be canceled. Junior League is reimagining it as an online shopping event, with more details coming soon.

Below are the latest big DFW fundraisers to get creative online.

An Evening with Vogel Alcove with Martyn Lucas, World Piano Man, August 20
This virtual music event benefits Vogel Alcove, an early childhood education and parent opportunity center that is working to break the cycle of poverty for homeless children and their families in Dallas. It features a performance by "World Piano Man" Martyn Lucas and will be streamed live from Lucas' YouTube channel, 5:30-9 pm August 20.

Lucas, who played the Phantom in the London production of Phantom of the Opera, is dubbed the “World Piano Man” because of his many styles of piano playing. He also sings in the voices of 14 different singers, including Sir Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, Michael Jackson, and more.

Tickets are free, but there are a few ways to help raise money: $150 buys a dedication, and $1,000 offers the opportunity to sing along with Lucas during the show. A guitar signed by Jon Bon Jovi will be given away, and more surprises await. For more information, visit the event's website.

Secure Casa for Mañana, August 27
Instead of its previously scheduled Havana Nights-themed gala, the Fort Worth theater is giving patrons a chance to give (and receive great prizes) virtually. A virtual auction is live now, and continues through Casa's "Day of Giving" on August 27. That night at 7 pm, participants can join a 20-minute Facebook Live presentation and toast.

A raffle features a Louis Vuitton handbag, bucket of booze, and Casa Mañana theater tickets with Producer’s Club access (tickets are $25 each or five for $100). And a just-launched silent auction features dozens of fabulous prizes and experiences, including a trip to Maine, Peloton bike, custom boots, and dinner with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. There's also a virtual wine pull and a chance to donate any amount directly to the organization.

It's free to browse the auction items or register. To sign up, purchase, or contribute, visit the event's website.

Genesis Annual Luncheon starring Nicole Kidman, September 2
The biggest fundraiser of the year for Genesis Women's Shelter moved from spring to fall, and now it's headed online. Thankfully, they're bringing their big star along, too.

Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman will deliver the keynote address for the virtual luncheon. Kidman has received an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, and SAG Award for her portrayal of Celeste Wright — a seemingly perfect woman with an abusive husband — in HBO's Big Little Lies.

The program begins streaming at 11:30 am September 2. Tickets, $175, are still available here. Raffle tickets, $25, may be purchased separately here. Prize packages  include a stay in Seaside, Florida and a pearl bracelet; a ski trip to Taos, New Mexico via private jet, and more.

Kluber Family Foundation Curveball for a Cause Celebrity Gala, September 13
UPDATE: This is now an all-virtual event. For more information, visit the website.

The Kluber Family Foundation, established by Amanda and Corey Kluber, will present the inaugural 2020 Curveball for a Cause Celebrity Gala both in person and online September 13. Corey Kluber is a Coppell High School graduate and two-time Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, who recently joined the Texas Rangers (though he quickly got injured).

According to a release, in-person guests will enjoy a cocktail reception, multi-course seated dinner, and live entertainment at Arlington's new Live! By Loews hotel beginning at 6:30 pm. The event will feature silent and live auctions, and Kluber and several of his Texas Rangers teammates will make virtual appearances. All social distancing guidelines will be followed, including contactless check-in with volunteers and vendors required to wear masks.

For fans who would like to take part virtually, a “Stay-at-Home” package also will be available. It will include virtual access to the event, autographed swag, and a steak dinner and wine pairing delivered to the home.

Single tickets to the gala are available at $400 each, but just $250 for the at-home event. For more information and tickets, visit www.coreykluber.org.

Proceeds from Curveball for a Cause will support the Kluber Family Foundation’s community outreach programs, which work to impact the lives of families who have seriously ill and chronically ill children.

North Texas Giving Day, September 17
This isn't a new virtual "event," but it is the annual 18-hour online initiative that raises funds for Dallas-Fort Worth nonprofits. In 2019, $50 million was raised through more than 169,000 gifts benefiting 3,000 local nonprofits, bringing the 11-year total to over $290 million, the organizers say.

Participating nonprofits include food banks, shelters, churches, parochial schools, animal rescue groups, veterans charities, arts organizations, and many more. North Texas Giving Day is presented by Communities Foundation of Texas. Registration is open now for organizations and donors. Find out more and contribute here.

Texas Women’s Foundation 35th Annual Luncheon, September 29
Themed “Texas for All,” the Texas Women's Foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year will take place virtually and feature a celebrity keynote speaker: actress America Ferrera. The event will take place 11:30 am-1 pm September 29, and in honor of the 35th anniversary, tickets are just $35 each.

Business and community leaders Cynt Marshall (chief executive officer of The Dallas Mavericks) and Bonnie Clinton (vice president for Toyota North America) are co-chairing the luncheon. 

Ferrera, known for her roles on TV's Ugly Betty and Superstore, also executive produced and directed episodes of Netflix’s new Latinx Dramedy, Gentefied. She is the author of the best-selling American Like Me and is a prominent advocate of social justice causes.

The Texas Women's Foundation works to advance women’s economic security, leadership, education, health, and safety in Texas through research, advocacy, programs, and grantmaking. For more information or to purchase a ticket, visit txwfluncheon.org.

Cowtown Ball, October 1
Normally one of Fort Worth's biggest and most exciting parties of fall, this year the American Cancer Society fundraiser is headed online. Although few details have been released, patrons can count on a silent auction to offer unique prizes, culminating with a presentation from 7-8 pm October 1.

"During this difficult time, cancer won’t stop, so neither will we," the event website says. "Every day more people are diagnosed with cancer, and they’re more vulnerable than ever in the era of Covid-19. The American Cancer Society needs your help. The fight against cancer can’t be canceled, postponed or rescheduled. That’s why Cowtown Ball is going virtual."

Watch the event's website for more details as the event approaches.