Parties for a cause
Philanthropic Fort Worthians are ready to flex some fundraising muscle again, if this season's schedule of glamorous galas and elegant soirees is any indication. For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, fall is filled with black-tie balls and chic, be-seen parties.
Beyond being fun, fancy parties to attend, these events raise crucial funds for local nonprofit organizations, many of which are still recovering from COVID-related setbacks.
Now, grab your pen, circle these all-important dates in your social diary, and click the links for tables and tickets.
Mad Scientist Ball, September 17
One of the most creative (and on-brand) fundraisers of the year, the Mad Scientist Ball takes over every space of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, after hours. Guests don their best "lab-coat chic" (white lab coats are provided) and partake in chef-driven food and cocktails, auctions, dancing to a DJ, photo booths, museum exhibits, and more. The event's signature "Mad Scientist" experiments will take place throughout the evening, as will the chance to soar in a Lockheed Martin flight simulator and enjoy drinks under the stars. Tables and tickets (from $500) are available here.
Main Table, September 25
Downtown Fort Worth, Inc.'s annual foodie fundraiser is sold out with a waitlist, but still worth mentioning in case you can snag an invite at a friend's sponsor table. Participants dine al fresco at long tables set up along the cobblestones of Main Street. Everyone enjoys a steak dinner from one of downtown's premier steak restaurants: The Capital Grille, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Reata Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, or Grace. Each elegant table is set with beautiful florals to fit a theme, and the fine wine keeps flowing all evening. For information, visit the website.
Cowtown Ball, September 30
The 29th Cowtown Ball, the American Cancer Society’s uber-popular Western-chic gala, heads to the Fort Worth Zoo for a "Spurs on the Savanna"-themed evening. This year’s ball is co-chaired by Paige Chappell Pritchett and Wade G. Chappell and honors Ann and David F. Chappell. The fun event will include a sit-down dinner and open bar, live and silent auctions, and a crowd favorite, giraffe feedings. Survivors will be recognized, and there will be a special paddle raise to help fund lodging and transportation needs for patients during cancer treatments. Then guests will boot-scoot under the stars to live entertainment by Shane Smith & The Saints. Tables and tickets (from $350) are available here.
Communities in Schools Behind the Mask, October 7
Communities in Schools of Greater Tarrant County hosts its annual fancy fundraiser, Behind the Mask — a reference to going "behind the mask" of challenges faced by local at-risk students. Themed "The Jazz Age," the elegant evening promises to be a "roaring '20s" good time that Gatsby would approve of. Think hors d'oeuvres and libations, a Prohibition-style cocktail competition, dancing to Emerald City band, wine pull, raffles, and more. Don your dandy cocktail attire, including masquerade-style mask. It all takes place at River Crest Country Club. Tables and tickets (from $250) are available here.
Cool Night for The WARM Place, October 8
The WARM Place's biggest fundraiser of the year goes "Into the Garden" at River Crest Country Club for 2022. Guests will enjoy an evening of elegant cuisine, live entertainment, auctions, and more — all under the guidance of chair Lauren Bailey and her committee. 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 well over $1 million for the organization. For table opportunities (from $500), visit the website.
Christmas in Cowtown Preview Party, October 12
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 12-16 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. 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 cocktails and nosh on bites from local restaurants, enjoy live music, complimentary valet and porter service, and shopping galore. Preview party tickets are $125, available here. And if you want to avoid the shopping masses, don't worry, as there's another private shopping experience available from 9 am-12 pm October 13, complete with breakfast bites and mimosas ($75).
Royal Bash Monster Mash, October 14
The Halloween-time party known for over-the-top costumes and a rollicking good time raises crucial funds for The Women's Center. Taking place at Ridglea Country Club, the event encourages guests to "come dine and make merry with your fellow royals." Special guests, they say, may include Queen Elizabeth, the Homecoming King Prince, The Duke, the Kansas City Royals, Queen bandmates, Princess Fiona, and even King Kong. Dress in your majestic best and plan to dine, drink, play in the Casino Royale, and dance to the "minstrels" of Emerald City Band — huzzah! Tickets (from $300) are available here.
65 Roses Wine & Food Extravaganza, October 19
Over two decades strong, the popular 65 Roses Wine & Food Extravaganza will take place at Benbrook Stables. Dress code: outdoor chic. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser will feature an all-star lineup of chef-driven cuisine, under the direction of lead chef Derek Venutolo of Meehan's Chophouse. Guests will enjoy signature bites while wine flows throughout the evening and auctions take place. Event chairs Paige and Ryan Montgomery, along with their event committee, promise a fun evening of fundraising under the stars. Tickets (from $200) are available here.
Legacy of the West 2022 Black and White Gala, October 28
Legacy of the West Gala brings the Western community together to support the fight against human trafficking. Taking place at Billy Bob's Texas (attire: Western best, of course), the evening includes dinner, drinks, and a performance by country star Easton Corbin. Since 2018, this organization has raised over $200,000 to help aged-out foster kids get the support they need as they enter adulthood, and their goal this year is $100,000. Tickets (from $75) are available here.
Camp Fire An Artists’ Christmas, November 4
This cherished event, now it its 38th year, brings together artists, art lovers, and Camp Fire fans and patrons — all to support kids. Taking place at the Fort Worth Convention Center, the "relaxed formal attire" evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner, comedy from Four Day Weekend, live music and dancing to Trey & the Tritones, and of course, an art auction. All guests can enter the Party Wagon raffle for a chance to win a high-end wagon stocked with bar supplies. Former Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price and Tom Price are honorary chairs, and Erma Lee is the event chair. Tickets (from $300) are available here.
Lone Star Film Festival Gala, November 11
To make the most of the big Lone Star Film Festival, plan to get gussied up and head to the Stockyards' Hotel Drover for this Hollywood-style ball, complete with red carpet. Presented by Visit Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Film Commission, this year's gala promises a night of food, libations, and celebrity appearances. Yellowstone fans (and who is not one?), won't want to miss it, as creator Taylor Sheridan is being presented the prestigious Larry McMurtry Award. Singer-songwriter, and Yellowstone star Ryan Bingham will receive the Stephen Bruton Award. The gala benefits education outreach programming of the Lone Star Film Society; tables and tickets ($750) are available here.
Folds of Honor Gala, November 12
The annual Folds of Honor gala brings together military families, veterans, scholarship recipients, and members of the North Texas community on the field at Arlington's AT&T Stadium. Always timed to Veterans Day, the event's proceeds go to educational scholarships for spouses and children of military members who have fallen or been disabled while serving in the United States Armed Forces. (Last year's gala alone raised $2 million.) The black tie-optional evening will include seated dinner, auctions, live entertainment, and a few patriotic surprises. Honorary chairs are Molly and Rusty Reid and Marilyn and Mike Berry; host committee includes Kristen and Nicholas Cassavechia, Macy and Gordon Huddleston, Annie and Travis Jones, Meredith and Daniel Rath, and Brittany and Aaron Sizemore. Tickets are $250, available here.
National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon & Ceremony, November 15
The 46th edition of this distinctively Fort Worth luncheon will welcome four new cowgirls into the Hall of Fame: Sherry Cagan, Gretel Ehrlich, Heidi Redd, and Kirsten Vold. The Fern Sawyer Award recipient is entrepreneur and cowgirl and Nadine Lipson, and country superstar (and 1883 actress) Faith Hill will receive the coveted Patsy Montana Award. The mega-luncheon includes a multicourse meal, shopping at a boutique, and award presentations — all at Dickies Arena. Individual tickets are not yet on sale; watch the museum's website and social media pages for information to come.
Fort Worth Margarita Ball, December 3
Benefiting Children's Charities of Fort Worth, this black-tie gala attracts a young professional crowd, and they dress to impress in traditional or Western formal attire. Taking place, per usual, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel downtown, this year's gala will feature hors d'oeuvres and complimentary margaritas (while they last), plus a casino room, dancing to Stratosphere band, silent auction, photo booths, and more. Tickets are $150 per person in advance, $175 day-of. In an extra-charitable twist, a ticket includes a toy donation for local children. Tickets and information here.
Texas Ballet Theater Caren Koslow Fashion Show & Luncheon, December 8
Named for late Fort Worth ballet patron Caren Koslow, this beloved daytime event at Bass Hall 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 the hottest designer looks of the season. The event benefits the company’s scholarship program and regularly sells out quickly, as reservations are limited and coveted. Tickets are not even advertised; to inquire, call the TBT box office at 877-828-9200.