One has to hand it to North Texas women. When it comes to fundraising, they are tireless. Within the next six days, they’re ramping up efforts to fight cancer thanks to Komen Dallas Race for the Cure, Cattle Baron’s Ball and Celebrating Women.
Well, darn it. The Dallas Women’s Foundation 31st Annual Luncheon is just a week away and Co-Chairs Selwyn Rayzor and Joyce Goss report there are only four tables left as of this morning.
One of the reasons for the near-sellout is the speaker — Candy Chang. No, she’s not the spokesperson for Hershey. The Taiwanese-American artist has a background in urban planning and architecture that has had her working in Nairobi, New York, Helsinki, Vancouver, Johannesburg and New Orleans.
It was in New Orleans that a turning point in her life came. After “losing someone she loved” in 2009, she was at that turning point of either grieving and suffering from depression or applying her talents to help others. It was also a time when Fat City was still struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The citizens, as well as the city itself, was in shambles. Candy used an abandoned house in her neighborhood for her canvas. “She covered the crumbling house with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with the prompt, ‘Before I die I want to ______.’ The wall quickly filled up with responses, from the poetic to the profound: Before I die I want to… see my daughter graduate, abandon all insecurities, get my wife back, eat all the candy and sushi in the world, be a Youtube sensation, straddle the International Date Line, tell my mother I love her, be completely myself.”
Her effort went viral with more than 2,000 Before I Die walls being created in 70 countries.
And that’s just a smidge of Candy’s story. There are so many other ways that Candy has used public spaces to bring people together.
It’s this creative spirit of compassion that will be featured at Friday’s lunch. So, if you haven’t got your tickets, stop reading and lock down one of the very few remaining seats.
* Photo provided by Dallas Women's Foundation ** Photo courtesy of Candy Chang