The Dallas Alumnae Chapter’s Philanthropy is Cookies & Castles, which began in 2008. This Gingerbread Extravaganza is a fun-filled way to celebrate the holiday season together – whether with children or grandchildren, neighbors, Tri Delta Sisters, or friends. Event activities include: Decorating gingerbread castles & cookies, photos with Santa, raffle, holiday music, and light refreshments. In addition to our Saturday Family Day activities, we also host a Friday Ladies Luncheon. The events are held at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. Giving opportunities include: Sponsorship, Table packages, Individual tickets, and sponsorship of a TSRHC patient family; Cookies & Castles is a designated 501(c)(3) organization.
Dallas Tri Deltas have long supported a number of philanthropic causes via different events. The Tri Delta Charity Antiques Show was a very successful event, both in funds raised and in community visibility. Beginning in 1975, it ran for 22 years. A similar event, the Delta Delta Delta Antiques for Charity was held in 2000. Over a 25-year period, Dallas Tri Delta alumnae raised in excess of $3 million for a number of health and education related charities. Beneficiaries included:
- Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Baylor University Medical Center- patient care, research and educational activities, approx. 18-20 year partnership with DDD
- Children’s Medical Center of Dallas Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
- Camp Esperanza for Pediatric Oncology
- UT Southwestern Pediatric Oncology
- Tri Delta Endowed Scholarship at SMU (established in 1977)
- Decorative Arts Department at Dallas Museum of Art
Once the Antiques Show ended, the Dallas Alumnae Chapter then partnered with a respected local institution, The Museum of Nature and Science- assisting with the Auction as part of their annual Dinner in the Wild event. While very proud of this association, the Dallas Alumnae chapter had strong a desire to: re-connect with tradition and our national philanthropic focus of Children’s Cancer Charities; as well as, reintroduce the timing of the original Sleigh Bell Day. It was equally important to support a cause in our own backyard, as well as the Tri Delta Foundation. It was apparent there are many worthy causes in our community- many of whom do extraordinary work in the field of children’s cancer research, patient care, etc. Several options were explored and it was determined the beneficiaries would be: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in support of the Prosthetics Department (90%) and Delta Delta Delta Foundation Crescent Fund (10%) in support of financial assistance and hope to collegians and alumnae in financial need.
- Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in support of the Prosthetics Department. The Hospital treats the largest population of amputee patients — some as a result of cancer-related amputations — in the Southwest region. Their comprehensive prosthetics program, including on-site custom fabrication for patients, provides a child with the opportunity to experience life at its fullest, enabling them to play and function optimally. There is no charge to patient families for treatment at the hospital, and admission is open to Texas children from birth to 18 years of age. Thanks to generous donors, the hospital is able to continue carrying out its mission of making children’s lives better and their futures brighter.
- Delta Delta Delta Foundation Crescent Fund in support of financial assistance and hope to collegians and alumnae in financial need. The Tri Delta Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the Fraternity’s purpose of assisting its members in every possible way and providing funding for numerous beneficial programs for collegians and alumnae.
As members of the Alumnae Chapter discussed developing a new philanthropic focus in Dallas, it was important for the group to embark on a project that was inclusive – one that brought together alumnae of all ages, legacies, and community members. Cookies & Castles is truly a multi-generational event. Young alumnae serve both as committee and day-of volunteers. Alumnae with young families flock to this fun holiday activity, alumnae with junior high or high school-age legacies are thrilled with the opportunity to engage their daughter in volunteering for a Tri Delta project, older alumnae utilize the event as a holiday treat for grandchildren, and many empty-nester Tri Delta sisters come together to celebrate the holidays. With the addition of monthly shopping events with local retail partners in 2012, and the Ladies Luncheon in 2013, Tri Deltas of all ages can now participate in gingerbread decorating and celebrating the season with their sisters and friends.
What began in 2008 as a 4-month planning adventure has now launched into a yearlong planning effort with a full committee structure. Committee recruitment alone served as a vehicle for engaging Tri Deltas of different ages who represented many different collegiate chapter experiences. In 2015, the committee has twenty-five members from eight Tri Delta chapters.
We regularly have more than 450 guests in attendance at our events, and have raised over $170,000 since 2008.