Lindsay Allen Billingsley, Carly Allen-Martin (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Lindsay Allen Billingsley, Kameron Westcott, Samantha Wortley, Whitney Turner, Brianna Wright-Guay (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Sarah Burns, Murphey Sears (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Brittney Stracener, Scott Everett (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
A record-setting crowd of 750 filled General Datatech warehouse (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Maxine & Ben Trowbridge (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Melissa & Brent Ellis (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Marisa & Frank Howard (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
A bright lineup of art donated for the silent auction (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Randall Goss, Lynn Davis (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Catherine MacMahon, Angelique Waddell, Helen Kaporis (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Gowri & Alex Sharma (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Nicole Franco, Blake Martin, Carly Allen-Martin (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Stacie & Christopher Martin (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Merritt & Taylor Russ (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Ellen & Trey Hatcher (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Preston & Carly Malm (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Co-charis Carly Allen-Martin and Lindsay Allen Billingsley electrified the crowd before the auction (Photo by Tamytha Cameron)
Teresa & Steve Gee (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Tracey & Justin Bailey (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Sarah Groves, Ashley O'Malley (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Art For Advocacy supporters enjoy champagne before bidding on the 84 art pieces donated to the auction (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
Carron Batt, Christina Jasar (Photo by WJNPHOTO)
As an eager law student in our nation’s capital several years ago, I spent my final year of law school practicing in a program that provided pro bono legal counsel in criminal and family cases in federal court. Among the many sobering realities of the job was seeing the tragic, heartbreaking effects of child abuse that can transcend and haunt every aspect of a young person’s life.
But for abuse victims in Dallas County, the generosity of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Art For Advocacy supporters is helping to paint a much brighter picture for the future.
This year’s record-breaking gala, co-chaired by sisters Lindsay Allen Billingsley and Carly Allen-Martin, drew a crowd of 750 and was the largest Art For Advocacy in the event’s history.
DCAC works together “with public and private agencies to investigate, prosecute and provide healing services for child abuse cases.” Art For Advocacy is DCAC’s biggest annual fundraising event.
“Tonight we are celebrating the resilience that brings us together,” Billingsley says.
In a glittering evening presented by City Electric Supply, Dallas socialites, interior designers, collectors and overall champions of the cause lit up the General Datatech warehouse to meet Billingsley’s call to action.
Allen-Martin, a celebrated Dallas artist, donated a brilliantly-colored abstract piece to the silent auction, which included works contributed by fellow Dallas artists such as Tom Hoitsma, Brenda Bogart and Melissa Ellis.
In total, 84 pieces of art, including works by internationally renowned artists Hunt Slonem, Mads Christensen and Ashley Longshore were up for sale.
After a seated dinner, Billingsley and Allen-Martin’s remarks underscored the cause to save “Jane and John Doe” (DCAC aliases to protect child victims’ identities). The sold-out crowd responded with a youthful enthusiasm for the live auction, and more than a few friendly bidding wars ensued..
One such tussle was had over a piece donated by artist Meredith Pardue and her representative gallery, Laura Rathe Fine Art, as bidders affectionately dubbed the piece “the Hungry Caterpillar,” citing a resemblance to the beloved children’s book character.
At more than $35,000, the winning bid for a Shane Pennington sculpture set an Art For Advocacy record for the highest-ever auction sale. The auction proceeds, which DCAC chief marketing officer Sarah Burns anticipates to be “the most successful ever” will help the organization continue assisting more than 6,500 children and their non-offending family members who are hurt by abuse and violence in Dallas each year.
Working with DCAC “warms your heart and makes you feel like you have made a difference,” says Melissa Hernandez, a bilingual family advocate who has been with the program for two years. “It’s wonderful to see this turnout for the cause — the kids would love to know that everyone is here for them.
“They just light up.”
One of the paintings for sale at the event, entitled “Happy Space,” was created through a collaboration between DCAC children and Christopher Martin of The Christopher Martin Gallery. Just like its littlest artists, the piece’s listed value? Priceless.
PC Seen: Angelique and Ray Waddell, Stephanie and John Roberts, Brittney Stracener and Scott Everrett, Gowrie and Alex Sharma, Marisa and Frank Howard, Kameron and Court Westcott, Maxine Trowbridge, Tom Hoitsma, Christopher Martin, Lucreccia Waggoner, Alan Simmons, Lindsey Carneal-Howard, J.M. Rizzi, Emil Cerullo, Tara Lewis, Melissa and Brent Ellis, Samantha Wortley, Whitney and Ryan Turner, Traci and Caperton White, Brianna Wright-Guay and Jason Guay, Jordan and Marty Brainerd, and Lindsay and Cameron Leggett.