Top 10: Galas Across Texas, 10 Big Ones, To Ignite The Fall

October 12, 2023
5 mins read

The social fun continues in Texas as we enter the peak of the Fall social season. Here are 10 galas and signature fundraising events for you to have on your radar in the Lone Star State between October 16th and October 31st.

By Rob Giardinelli

San Antonio – Witte Museum – 53rd Annual Witte Game Dinner – October 16

One of the most popular Fall events in the Alamo City, the 53rd Annual Witte Game Dinner benefiting the Witte Museum, is back for another year of fun. Held on the Witte Museum’s grounds, this year’s theme Red, White & Boots is a nod to Texas flare…and flair. Co-chaired by Charlie and Debbie Gray Marino, the night will include a delectable array of wild game dishes provided by The RK Group and a spirited live auction. The night will be capped off with the Artimus Pyle Band featuring legendary Lynard Skynard Drummer Atrimus Pyle.

Tyler – 90th Annual Texas Rose Festival – October 19-22

Texas Rose Festival’s Tyler Rose Museum Tea

Continuing its annual bloom for a 90th year, The Texas Rose Festival has been a mainstay of many Texas sociables for decades. Using the Tyler Rose Museum as a hub, the four days of fun feature an array of activities for the entire family. Additionally, this year’s theme, A Story of Film, is bound to bring out both the fashion and the fun. In addition to the annual parade, guests can partake in the annual women’s and men’s luncheons, the Palette of Roses Art Show & Sale, an afternoon tea in the museum’s stunning rose garden, and a coronation ceremony that draws debs and families from throughout Texas.

Houston – Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Center Power of Literacy Luncheon – October 20

One of Space City’s most anticipated annual luncheons is back with one of its most impressive programs to date. The Power of Literacy Luncheon benefitting the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation returns to the Post Oak Hotel for an afternoon of fun and fundraising that draws hundreds of Houston’s most notable sociables and philanthropists. Before taking to their seats, the luncheon-chic crowd will sip on champagne while perusing and previewing an impressive array of live and silent auction items. The luncheon program will be capped off with a special guest speaker, iconic Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth.

Austin – The Center for Child Protection – Play Bingo – October 21

Play Bingo Center for Child Protection

Who says you can’t host a fabulous fundraiser during ACL or F1? The wildly popular PlayBingo Ladies Luncheon benefitting the Center for Child Protection is back for another year of fun. The event, emceed by Jim Spencer and Melissa Lowe, draws 1,300 of the Capital City’s most notable children’s advocates, sociables, and philanthropists for an afternoon unlike any other. Patrons of the event really get into the spirit, where the groups of 10 at each table can often be seen wearing identical outfits that bring out an extra level of inspiring creativity. Once at their tables, guests play bingo for an array of luxe prizes donated by many of Austin’s top retailers and businesses. Want to join in on the fun? A couple of sponsorships remain. Learn more by clicking here.

Dallas – amfAR and Dallas Museum of Art – Two X Two for AIDS and Art – October 21

Dallas – Two X Two Hosts Howard and Cindy Rachofsky

The 24th annual Two X Two for AIDS and Art benefitting amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art is back for another spectacular year. Dallas’ largest fundraiser each year, the event has raised over $100 million for these two storied organizations. The only thing that eclipses the amount raised is the level of fun patrons’ experience during the epic night. Held at the Rachofsky House, celebrity event planner Todd Fiscus, turns out all the stops in an event held inside a geodesic dome on the residence grounds. The 140 items silent auction and accompanying live auction are the stuff of Texas social legend, which this year will have the world-renowned María Berrío as this year’s featured artist.

San Antonio – San Antonio Public Library Foundation – Catrina Ball – October 21

Courtesy of SAPL Catrina Ball

Benefiting the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, the 7th annual Catrina Ball is the perfect way to celebrate Día de los Muertos Altar while giving back to a worthy cause. Held inside the Central Library, it is a one-of-a-kind experience to attend a gala inside the stacks of a library. Many in the black-tie crowd get into the spirit by adorning makeup and flower crowns in honor of those we love who are no longer here with us. The night features a scrumptious buffet meal, several event activations, an impressive live auction, and a dance floor where revelers dance until the stroke of midnight.

Houston – Houston SPCA –  Howl-O-Ween 2023 – October 27

Houston SPCA 2023 Howl-O-Ween Co-Chairs Cheryl Byington and Brian Teichman

No Fall gala season in Texas would be complete without an organization putting on a fabulous event that allows us to get into the Halloween spirit. Houston SPCA delivers this in spades every year at its annual Howl-O-Ween Ball. Co-chaired by duo Cheryl Byington and Brian Teichmann, hundreds of Houston’s top sociables, philanthropists, and animal lovers head to the Houston Equine Rescue Arena for an evening of spooktacular fun. Animal loving revelers don their favorite Halloween costumes and get a chance to explore the wide range of animals that Houston SPCA supports. The night will include a cocktail hour, live and silent auctions, dinner, and a dance floor where patrons dance the night away.

Austin – Texas Advocacy Project – Black & White Ball – October 28

Black & White Ball

The 17th annual Black & White Ball benefiting the Texas Advocacy Project will become the newest Austin gala to clear the million-dollar threshold. The black-tie event, held at the JW Marriott, features hundreds of Texas’ most prominent advocates, sociables, and philanthropists who don their favorite classic black and white ensembles. The festivities begin with a VIP Red Carpet event and cocktail hour to mingle with other guests. Once inside the JW Marriott’s Ballroom for the main program, guests are treated to a program, seated dinner, the presentation of the Annual Courage award, and one of Austin’s most anticipated and suspenseful live auctions. The festivities are capped off with the Afterglow Party where partygoers dance the night away.

Austin – The Contemporary Austin – Art Dinner 2023 – October 28

2023 Contemporary Art Dinner Co-Chairs Teresa Windham and Danielle Nieciag. Fellow co-chair Jeanne Klein not pictured

Held on the grounds of one of Austin’s most stunning natural spaces, Laguna Gloria, The Contemporary Austin’s Art Dinner is one of the state’s best al fresco nonprofit events, drawing several hundred top art patrons from the capital city and beyond each year. This year’s Art Dinner will be co-chaired by the terrific trio of Jeanne Klein, Danielle Nieciag, and Teresa Windham, where the Gussied Up Garden Chic attired crowd will begin the evening with cocktails on the upper tier of Laguna Gloria villa before heading toward Lake Austin for the dinner and the program. The highlight of the program is the innovative live auction where The Contemporary gives a portion of the proceeds raised from the auction directly back to artists whose work has been auctioned.

Dallas – Black Tie – October 28

The largest fundraising event dinner for the LGBTQ community in the nation, Black Tie Dinner draws over 1,000 sociables, philanthropists, community leaders, and advocates for a fabulous night of fun. The seven-figure fundraiser benefits 20 different North Texas nonprofit beneficiaries that serve the LGBTQ community. Held at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, the marathon Mirrorball-themed night begins well before sundown for a VIP reception and cocktail reception where guests get to browse one of Texas’ largest and most impressive silent auctions. After the main program, dinner and live auction, the revelry continues with its After Black party to dance the night away.

The Gentleman Racer by Michael Satterfield

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