The Wilkinson Center has been on a roll. No, take that back. It’s been in avalanche mode. The reason is that it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary of working with the poor of Dallas. It’s hard to imagine that it was back 30 years ago that Munger Place United Methodist Church’s Rev. Clayton Lewis started a neighborhood food pantry to help the poor in the area. Little did he, or really anyone else, suspect those early efforts would result in serving over 15,000 yearly nowadays.
With all that work, it’s about time to have a major party and raise money.
Because the center’s efforts impact people of all ages, it literally has friends of all ages, who have been busy plotting, planning and partying in preparation for the 30th Anniversary Black and White Gala on Saturday, November 3, at Dallas Contemporary.
First, there are the Friends of Wilkinson Center. In addition to providing hands, feet and hearts for the center, they’ve held Tinsel & Dreams since 2005. Featuring table-top Christmas trees created by designers, celebrities and businesses, the event has provided $785,000 for Wilkinson, along with countless hours of volunteering.
In fact, they’ve gotten so good at putting on fundraisers, Friends’ President Emily Dunn and the Leadership Council decided to put on the gala with Millie Winston serving as chair.
If the gala is going to be anything like the September 27 patron party at Ellen and Don Williams ultra-cool contemporary home in Bluffview, it’s going to make memories and money. For instance, Hunter Sullivan provided the entertainment. Whoa! He’s pretty darn big-time, and this party was an intimate one for 80. Seems that Jan Worrall had won Hunter (well, you know, his talents) at another charity auction and donated it to the Friends for the party. Talk about chic recycling! As for the food, it was delish. But, of course! The Food Company created “designer” mini-cheeseburgers, Asian crab cakes, chicken skewers with tarrago pesto and leek tartlets with over-dried tomato.
And while these “friends” would be considered youngsters by most, there’s another even younger group that is supporting Wilkinson. It’s the Wilkinson Center Young Friends. Created to specifically target that adorably, oh-so cute younger crowd, they are lightning fast at getting new members and raising $$ ASAP. For instance, Co-presidents Danielle Hardie and Laura Reeder kicked things off with a membership and raffle at The Dram, where they signed up 100 new members and raised nearly $3,000 in less than a couple of hours.
More recently they held “Fire and Ice” at Saint Ann’s Restaurant on September 28 with DJ Jennifer Miller in charge of the entertainment. Co-hosts Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Laura Reeder, Vodi Cook and Kristen Johnson made just two request — plan on having fun and wear red, white and black.
Both of these groups are coming together for the gala. While the Friends may be doing the heavy lifting coordinating the gala, the Young Friends’ Co-prez Danielle is chairing the gala’s “Late-Night Party.” Love those after-parties. The older folks have to rush home to relieve babysitters, while the younger guests party beyond closing time.
Photos provided by The Wilkinson Center