Society / The Seen

Filled With Fashion, an Olympian, and a Touching Surprise, This Annual Luncheon Was Dallas Fundraising Perfected

KidneyTexas Never Disappoints

BY // 10.16.23
photography Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio

There’s something comforting about watching a Lifetime movie where the film’s title summarizes the entirety of its plot. Stalked By My Doctor. Deadly Daycare. Will You Merry Me? We know exactly what we’re in for, and we readily tune in anyway. Similarly, the mission of KidneyTexas, Inc., which began in 1999, requires no explication. The organization provides funding in the search to prevent and cure kidney disease, as well as to improve the methods of treatment for those suffering from the disease that affects more than 35 million people in the United States. 

Each fall, KidneyTexas hosts its annual fashion show and luncheon to raise funds that, as the name suggests, remain with designated beneficiaries right here in north Texas, including National Kidney Foundation’s Camp Reynal, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Methodist Health System Foundation, and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

On September 26, KidneyTexas hosted its 24th annual The Runway Report at a fittingly nostalgic venue: Brook Hollow Golf Club. Poised powerhouse Venise Stuart, who is no stranger to Dallas’ charity circuit, chaired the luncheon, with Cindy Feld serving as Honorary Chair. 

Following a champagne reception, guests found their seats on either side of the runway. Sportscaster and newly-minted first-time grandfather Scott Murray, the emcee for the event’s robust (albeit lengthy!) program, welcomed the crowd of elegantly dressed ladies, with a few handsome gentlemen peppered throughout. 

Tablesetting (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)
Tablesetting at the 2023 KidneyTexas Luncheon and Fashion Show in Dallas. (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)

Crissy Perham, a gold medal Olympian swimmer, received the Everson Walls Legacy Award for selflessly donating her kidney to her best friend’s father, and KidneyTexas honored Charlotte Kimberlin with the Sue Goodnight Service Award. Murray returned to the stage to present a third award, only to be surprised with the knowledge that it was he who was being honored with the Community Lifetime Achievement Award. Visibly touched by the gesture, Murray expressed his gratitude before quickly returning to the task at hand– running the live auction. 

Finally, after the awards and live auction concluded, Murray turned over the runway’s reins over to – who else? —  Jan Strimple. Models with necks registering longer than arms highlighted finery from Betty Reiter, St. John, Tootsies, and Nardos Design. (When one male model, wearing Pockets, walked on stage during the awards, Stuart interrupted her own speech to say, “What an attractive-looking person!” I found this particularly charming.)

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KidneyTexas, Inc. The Runway Report 2023 – TGP_2693 (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)
KidneyTexas, Inc. The Runway Report 2023 (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)

A low-hanging chandelier knocked off a statement headpiece atop one of the final looks, a shimmering metallic Nardos ball gown. The model refused to miss a beat, though. She held her head high, prominently displaying the crown like Jared Leto carrying a Gucci iteration of his own head at the Met Gala. Even the St. John selections felt fresh, with a tinsel taffeta bomber jacket shining in particular. 

KidneyTexas, Inc. The Runway Report 2023 – TGP_1991 (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)
KidneyTexas, Inc. The Runway Report 2023 (Photo by Thomas Garza and Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio)

After the models took their final spin around the ballroom, it was time for Brook Hollow charity chicken, which tasted predictable in the most comforting way. 

If this luncheon was a Lifetime movie, I’d call it FALLing for Philanthropy or Chipper Chicken. 10/10 would watch. 

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