According to Resource Center’s CEO Cece Cox,
If there is one thing that we’ve learned over 37 years at the Center, it’s being flexible and resilient in serving the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and HIV communities of North Texas. Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to create new challenges daily, the Center is adjusting its programs and services to continue meeting the needs of our clients and community and that includes our 22nd annual Toast To Life event.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and to keep the safety and wellness in mind of our guests, we have decided to pivot this year’s gala to a 100% virtual event. Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 4, Toast To Life Sequins and Saddles is now scheduled for Saturday, July 25, from 7-8 p.m. This is our single largest fundraiser of the year and it has helped us secure more than $4 million since its inception in 1999, raising funds for our organization’s programs and services. It’s an opportunity for North Texas’ LGBTQ community, our allies and our supporters to gather together for a night of epic fun with a lasting fundraising impact for the Center.
This year’s Toast To Life is presented by ASP Cares Pharmacy. Normally over 500 guests would attend our signature event but since this year’s event has gone virtual, the number of attendees is limitless! Sequins and Saddles is this year’s theme and while we won’t get to see our guests’ fabulous outfits in person, they can still show off the Western-glam theme by posting their pics on Instagram, tag @myresourcectr and include the hashtag #rctoasttolife for a chance to win a prize. This year’s event is co-chaired by Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak and Darin Kunz and hosted by Steve Kemble, America’s sassiest lifestyle guru. This fun-loving trio will be sure to keep our virtual guests glued to their screens!
Live music was originally planned at Toast To Life, but now everyone can dance at home like no one’s watching with tunes spun by DJ Blake Ward and live music by The Roof Raisers! Silent auctions items including fabulous custom art, home décor, hotel stays, fine dining gift certificates and more will be available to bid online two weeks prior to event with all proceeds benefiting the programs and services of the Center.
It’s not a party without wonderful food and this year is no different! Even though Toast To Life will be virtual, guests can still munch on tasty dishes from 14 of Dallas’ top restaurants who are graciously providing promotional discounts the entire weekend of the event. Local restaurants include Big Al’s Smokehouse BBQ, Dive Coastal Cuisine, Foxyco and Stock and Barrel, Luckys Café, Lucky Cat Vegan, Paradiso, Posh Cakes by Shane Morgan, Salum, Starbucks Coffee Company, Street’s Fine Chicken, Taco Y Vino, Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House and Tulum. Guests can also expect surprises from our beverage sponsors.
Toast To Life is a wonderful opportunity for our supporters to make a significant impact for the people we serve. Whether it’s nutritious groceries for those living with HIV, testing for those most at risk for HIV or support for LGBTQ teens so they can be their authentic selves, the funds raised during this event changes lives in our community.
Currently, each day is presenting new “challenges” that we are choosing to see as “opportunities” – determining the best way to serve our clients and community. We cannot yet see how this pandemic will play out in the long run but what we can do is continue to come up with compassionate and creative solutions to keep us all connected, and we will do that at this year’s virtual Toast To Life Sequins and Saddles.
Resource Center is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.
Toast To Life Sequins and Saddles is presented by ASP Cares Pharmacy. Additional sponsors include (to date):
- Platinum sponsors — American Airlines, David W. Carlson and Steve Smith, Fauxcades, Purple Foundation and Toyota;
- Gold sponsors — BearDance, Simona Beal; Celebrity Cruises; CultureMap; Dallas Red Foundation; David Nesser and Bob Shields; Farhad Niroomand, MD; Steven Pounders, M.D. and Jimmy O’Reilly; Clint Strong and Armando Rivera; Texas Capital Bank; Texas Instruments and The Empire Room.
- Silver sponsors — AT&T; Avita Pharmacy; Dana Barber; Lacey S. Brutschy; Dallas Capital Bank; Jones / Kahle; Deborah McMurray and Glen Davison; Peter David Oramas and Joe Mutti; Steven Rayl and Scot Presley; Rick Thompson; Veritex Community Bank; Walgreens and Mary and Matt Waller
- Bronze sponsors — 3DPT Physical Therapy; AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Ron Allen, CPA, PC; Reid Bonner and Glenn Segler; Patrick and Tom Boyd-Lloyd; Caven Enterprises; Cece Cox and Shelly Skeen; EMD Serono. Inc.; Sharon Fancher and Betsy Orton; Steven B. Hawkins and Tommy Phipps; Michael Kaufman and Durward Watson; James Lester; Terry D. Loftis; Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh; Linda G. Moore and Laurie Foley; Buddy Mullino and Joel Harris; Tom Newbury and Tom Sanden; Kate and Keith Newman; Ranil Ninala, MD; Jay Oppenheimer; Dr. Mark Parker and Eric Johnson; Michael Peterson and Douglas Pogemiller; Andy Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld; Senior By Design, Solender/Hall, Inc.; Scott and Janet Stockton; Tommy Stockton and Matt Davies; Texas Digestive Disease Consultants; Texas Women’s Foundation; Herb Weichsel and Philip Clemmons and David Wood and Don Hendershot
- In-kind — AlphaGraphics Market Center, Amanda Whatley Auctions, Artifex, Astounding Sounds and Lighting, Billy Can Can, The Botanical Mix, Dallas Voice, Eclipse Entertainment, Fantastic Moves, Gay Cornhole, House of Neuville Jewels, Jef Tingley Communications, Steve Kemble, Longhorn Photo Booth, Mama Tried Deep Ellum, Marquee Event Rentals, Pinky’s Valet, Bobbie Scott and the Miss Texas Organization, Shana Anderson Photography, Sheryl Lanzel Photographer, Jason Wallace and WJN Photo.
For more information, please visit the Toast To Life Sequins and Saddles website at www.myresourcecenter.org/toasttolife
* Graphic and photo provided by Resource Center