KidneyTexas Inc. President Sandy Secor and The 2020 Runway Report Chair Sharon Ballew didn’t let a little thing like a pandemic and its restrictions dim their mission to hold the annual fashion show/luncheon fundraiser. Working together with fashion producer Jan Strimple, Tootsies’ team of Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb, video producer Maurice Ballew and a bevy of area hostesses, they celebrated the organization’s 21st anniversary on Tuesday, September 22. Here’s a report from the field:
There has been nothing like it in this nonprofit’s lifetime, which began in 1999. That is 21 years. Dealing with COVID-19 as a society, plus the added responsibility of leading the nonprofit’s fundraising were KidneyTexas Inc.’s President Sandy Secor and 21st KidneyTexas, Inc. The Runway Report 2020 Luncheon and Fashion Show | Our Sole Mission: Transformations Chair Sharon Ballew. It was unlike anything that has even happened before.
Last spring, the future of their major fall fundraiser rested in their hands, as did so many nonprofits’ events and their leaders. “What to do? Can the dollars crucial to the survival of our organization and our beneficiaries still be raised?”
With countless hours of hard work, the dedicated support of their board, membership, community and business leaders, they took a leap into the totally virtual world and made it happen with flourish and great success!
Sharon said, “With the onset of COVID-19, we had to re-think how we can continue with our mission of transforming lives by fighting Kidney Disease – but doing it safely. With this in mind, we tried something new, a little outside the box.”
With many months of planning and execution, rehearsals and videography, the entire event was streamed to all ticket holders, underwriters and sponsors on Tuesday, September 22. Champagne and a floral table centerpiece were delivered to underwriters at certain levels. Preston Hollow Catering delivered lunch in wonderful favor bags, which included place settings, wine, water, face masks and more to ticket holders’ homes and businesses. Teams of society photographers dropped by many hosts’ homes and captured photos of the fun. While everyone enjoyed lunch, the Kidney Texas Show was streamed to watch in the comfort of their home or business.
Opening the show, butterflies flew across the screen representing the spirit of the theme Our Sole Mission: Transformations symbolizing the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
Murray Media/ Event Emcee Scott Murray began the show by welcoming Sandy and Sharon and introduced Honorary Chair Jolie Humphrey. She revealed a Special Recognition Proclamation from City of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson recognizing KidneyTexas Inc., its fundraising, beneficiaries and adherence to all city and state recommendations and guidelines.
Murray gave a brief history about the late Sue Goodnight, who initiated the Children’s Hospital annual Christmas Party and namesake for the Sue Goodnight Service Award. This year’s honorees were Lorraine Meenan and Mary Miller. The 2020 Everson Walls Legacy Award honoree was Surgical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant, General and Vascular Surgery at Methodist Health System Dr. Richard Dickerman. Scott also recognized founding members, longtime volunteers and supporters Barbara Bigham, Patricia Cowlishaw, Emilynn Wilson, Patty Jo Turner, Carole Murray, Patty Caolo and Nancy Carter. Brief testimonies were shared from the beneficiaries Camp Reynal of the National Kidney Foundation, Texas Health Resources Foundation and Methodist Health System Foundation.
Fashion Show producer Jan Strimple introduced stila Global Education and Events Director Devon Freeman, who shared tips and tricks to enliven our makeup even with masks on, concentrating on eyes, texture, tone and a sheer finish.
Taking the next scene were Nerissa von Helpenstill and Dustin Holcomb from fashion show sponsor and longtime supporter Tootsies, who delighted everyone with eight scenes of very wearable fashions, including trends of paper bag waist pants, vegan leather, 90s plaid, a favorite color cobalt, a little more hippie chic patchwork, fuchsia, embellished sleeves, flower prints and more. They also included a scene of each of their favorite fashions including jewelry designer Zofia Day’s butterfly collection, with a 10% donation back to KidneyTexas, Inc. as well as designer Catherine Regehr’s creations, perfect to fit three generations of women, grandmother, mother and daughter. And continuing a Tootsies’ longtime tradition of supporting KidneyTexas, Inc., a $50 discount of a purchase of $100 or more through Thursday, October 15. As the finale, the models stood all together and MCBVIDEOS Production video producer Maurice Ballew worked his magic transforming them into a gold cloud chrysalis letting loose butterflies, flying to the sky.
The event finale brought smiles with an upbeat tongue-in-cheek rendition by Phoenix Chamber Choir from Vancouver BC, Canada in multi-screen style joining together and singing a song with adapted lyrics by Nicholle Andrews and Zach Timson about COVID-19’s impact on our everyday lives to the tune of Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time.”
- Social Distancing Runway: Baylor Scott And White Health.
- Facemask Designer: Honorary Chair Jolie Humphrey.
- The Highnesses of Hand Hygiene: Luncheon Chair Sharon Ballew, Children’s Health, Helga Feldman, Ed Haggar Family Foundation, Methodist Health System Foundation, Diane Scovell and Tootsies.
- Zoom Trendy Accessories: Charlotte Kimberlin, Mona Munson and Venise Stuart
In closing, Sandy wants everyone to know, “One thing remains the same, Kidney Disease continues to strike all ages and is devastating for our friends and family. Since its founding in 1999,
KidneyTexas, Inc. has provided more than $3.7 million in local funding to help in the search for a cure, to promote research, enhance treatment and support quality renal care in our community. We thank you for joining in our efforts to find a cure, improve treatment and provide better care for our neighbors in need.”
Membership in KidneyTexas, Inc. is open to everyone! Benefits include receptions and events in private homes, special parties, educational meetings, field trips and more. Visit the web site at http://www.kidneytexas.org, email [email protected] or call 214.891.0896.
* Photo credit: Dana Driensky ** Photo credit: Daniel Driensky *** Photo credit: Sharon Adams **** Photo credit: Danny Campbell ***** Courtesy photo