While UNICEF USA has quietly had a stronghold in Dallas for years — many of the city’s brightest philanthropists are heavily invested in the organization, making field visits, serving on local and national boards, et al — it wasn’t until February that it held its inaugural gala, here.
And my how it made a splash, raising $1.3 million with help from a pack of celebs that included TV personality and model Brooke Burke, actor Rob Lowe, and a surprise on-stage moment by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.
This year, UNICEF is back in full force, having just announced plans to honor country music phenom and three-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Brad Paisley and his wife, The New York Times bestselling author, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, at its second annual Dallas Gala — set for Friday, February 1, 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, sponsored by PaperCity and chaired by UNICEF devotees Moll Anderson and Jan Rich.
The couple is a worthy recipient, having supported numerous initiatives that support families and children and that encompass UNICEF’s values of helping those in need, from launching The Brad Paisley Foundation to working with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Most recently, Kimberly made headlines when she advocated for healthy pregnancy practices in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Paisleys have also spent much time in Haiti, supporting clean-water initiatives and supporting families via the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
So, what are our hopes for the upcoming gala? We have a few.
First, we pray Fergie makes a return appearance, and that she will spill all the details about her daughter Eugenie’s recent royal wedding. Of course, we hope Mr. Paisley surprises us with a performance — and we wouldn’t complain if he brought along a posse of cowboy crooners with him.