Houston's Oldest Black-Tie Event
Diana Awards Gala Set for Saturday
MARCH 21, 1986/MONTROSE VOICE 13
By Connie Woods
Montrose Voice Staff Reporter
The 34th Annual Diana Awards Gala will
be held this Saturday night, March 22, at
the Tower Theater on Westheimer. The
annual black-tie affair is held to raise
money for various city organizations and
to provide scholarships for students ofthe
Amateur performers will be featured in
show business production numbers. Alice
B. Tokalas and Angela Lynnesbury will
be the featured masters of ceremonies for
According to the publicist for the gala,
which is a parody of Hollywood's
Academy Awards show, the Diana Foundation event is the oldest black-tie gala in
The invitation-only event started in
someone's backyard years ago but has
grown into one of the biggest and moBt
exciting events in Houston.
Members ofthe community will receive
such recognition as Best Makeup, Best
Costuming and other such awards. "It is a
type of roast recognizing members ofthe
community. We use the names of current
movies up for Academy Awards to recognize those who have misbehaved in public," the publicist said with a chuckle.
"It is one of the most fun evenings in the
community as those receiving the awards
have to walk on stage to receive the award
and be seen by everyone there," he added.
The Diana spokesperson, like many of
the other Diana members, asked that his
name not be used in this article.
Recognizing people who have been a
part of the community with a humorous
roast is not the only award presented by
the Diana Foundation.
In the recent past the Foundation has
also recognized outstanding people in the
city who have contributed to the community.
"We have started giving awards to those
people who have tried to help the community. No one knows until the night of the
gala who will receive that prestigious
award," the spokesperson said.
Last year the award was presented to
Houston City Mayor Kathy Whitmire for
her support of the referendum held in January 1985. Barbara Goldberg of the mayor's office accepted the award for
Some 750 people are expected to attend
the gathering. "It's a great event for all of
us," the spokesperson said. "There is just
such a sense of comradery among the participants and the guests."
Plans for the gala begin months before.
The actual work begins in late December
or early January. Many people donate
their time and talent to the planning as
well as the show business production
numbers which entertain during the evening.
According to the spokesperson, it is not
a gay-only participation in the event. Students from the ballet company and other
performing arts groups contribute their
Proceeds from the evening go to a
number of Houston area organizations,
plus college scholarships are offered to
selected graduates of the Houston School
for the Performing and Visual Arts.
"These four-year scholarships are presented to students selected by the school's
faculty," he said. "Any student in the performing or visual arts is eligible whether
the student may be a singer, dancer, journalist, or whomever."
In addition, the Diana Foundation contributes to other organizations including
the KS/AIDS Foundation, the Gay/ Lesbian Switchboard, the McAdory House
and the Houston Ballet Foundation.
"The Houston Ballet Foundation has
really helped us through theyears loaning
us lights and other equipment for the
awards night," he explained.
"We were the first major sponsors for
the KS/AIDS Foundation when it was in
its infancy. We were actually surprised
that a major portion ofthe KS/AIDS funds
came from us. It was at the beginning
when most people didn't really know what
was going on with AIDS and the research
that had begun," the spokesperson said.
The Diana Foundation even paid the
rent for the McAdory House through 1985.
Cost of the tickets for the gala event is
$40 per person. In addition, the foundation
holds a raffle in conjunction with the
awards night to raise more money. First
prize winner of the raffle will receive a trip
to Australia and the Fiji Islands.
For people who cannot get tickets for the
Saturday event, the foundation offers
tickets to the dress rehersal held tonight,
Friday, at 8:00 p.m. at the Tower Theater.
No awards will be presented tonight, but
people can pay $10 to see the production
numbers and the entertainment.
The black-tie formal event will be followed by a celebration breakfast to be held
at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel on South
Main. The breakfast tickets cost $20. "The
breakfast will be quite an extravaganza.
The Hilton is doing everything they can to
make it exciting," he added.
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