DIFFA’ Annual Burgers & Burgundy Event Sizzles 

By Cynthia Smoot               Photography Danny Campbell and Thomas Garza

THE SETTING: Recently, generous and fashion-forward individuals joined renowned national and local chefs at Peace Plaza at the Cathedral of Hope for the twelfth annual Burgers & Burgundy event, benefiting DIFFA/Dallas (The Dallas Chapter of Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS). Partygoers sampled a wide variety of mouth-watering burgers created by participating chefs, including Sharon Van Meter, Luke Rogers, Samir Dhurandhar, and Dan Landsberg.

THE STYLE: The much-anticipated 2021-2022 DIFFA/Dallas Style Council Ambassadors  DIFFA Legends were announced during the event. The new members joining the Style Council are Alison Volk, Chris Angelle, David Dummer, David Putnam, David Weir, JD Miller, Ken Weber, Kimberly Alexander, Neil Thomas, and Yana Greenstein.

THE PURPOSE: Event chair and DIFFA Board member, Al James, shared that DIFFA is one of the largest and most successful fundraising organizations aiding HIV/AIDS. The Dallas chapter, formed in 1984, is one of the largest HIV/AIDS organizations in Texas that provides funding to local HIV/AIDS Service Organizations within the DFW community. The organization has granted more than $8 million to 25 frontline HIV/AIDS Service Organizations in North Texas, providing direct care to those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

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DIFFA’s Annual Naughty Or Nice Holiday Wreath Collection Draws Dallas’ Sociables

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Luis Martinez

The Trade Mart in Dallas helped kicked off the holiday season in grand style courtesy of DIFFA’s 24th Annual Holiday Wreath Collection. The event drew several hundred of Dallas’ most notable sociables for an evening full of fun, fashion and festive holiday spirit.

Jocelyn White and Jason McDaniel

The cocktail-chic crowd was came ready to play with this year’s theme of Naughty or Nice. Partygoers easily got into the holiday spirit courtesy of luxe cocktails courtesy of Kettle One, Diageo and Impeccable Brut. Additionally, guest perused the dozens of high-end, one-of-a-kind wreaths and other holiday goodies that were available for bid via silent auction.

Brittanie Oleniczak & Zach Hess and Greg Haynes Johnson

Patrons of the evening also had the opportunity to get first dibs to secure the best tables for the upcoming House of DIFFA Extravaganza event this May, which will mark the 30th anniversary of one of Texas’ most fun, best produced and legendary galas in Texas social lore. The festive evening vibe was enhanced by courtesy of the holiday tunes by DJEliz that had the crowd in a merry spirit. We can’t wait for the 25th silver anniversary Wreath Collection in 2020.

Jenny Figy, Morgan Heinrich, Regan Cole and Tina Jeppesen

The Wreath Collection raised funds for DIFFA Dallas. DIFFA’s purpose is to raise funds and grants to various HIV and AIDS organizations in North Texas including education programs as well as supporting those who live with HIV and AIDS in the region. For more information on DIFFA and to be a part of the 30th anniversary gala, please visit

Clint Bradley and Shayne Robinson


The 11th Annual Burgers & Burgundy Soars To New Heights

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Luis Martinez

The Klyde Warren Park in Dallas was the recent setting of one of Dallas’ most anticipated fall events, DIFFA’s 11th annual Burgers & Burgundy. Titled Feather Fete, it attracted hundred of the city’s most notable sociables, influencers and philanthropists for a night of fun and fundraising that those on hand will not soon forget.

Jim DiMarino, Brittanie Oleniczak, Justin Bundick and Clint Bradley

The evening began with a cocktail hour provided by Diageo, Casamigos, and Brut, among others. Here partygoers were able to see how many on hand really got into the Feather Fete theme with many patrons donning fun, elaborate feathers to their cocktail-chic ensembles. The event also featured a sampling of burgers from top chefs throughout the country. After sampling the cuisine, guests were able to peruse a luxe silent auction that included multiple culinary experiences throughout Dallas including cooking classes, five-star restaurant experiences, and much more.

Zakarian and Shane Allen

The festivities were capped off with the highly anticipated announcement of the 2019/2020 DIFFA Style Council for the 30th annual House of DIFFA to take place in the spring of 2020. The fun the continued well into the night as the party moved over to Savor restaurant for the after-party. Burgers & Burgundy, co-chaired by Christopher Baker and Robert Lee, raised funds for DIFFA Dallas. DIFFA’s purpose is to raise funds and grants to various HIV and AIDS organizations in North Texas including education programs as well as supporting those who live with HIV and AIDS in the region. For more information on DIFFA and to be a part of the 30th anniversary gala, please visit

Gabe Lambert, Justin Jezek, Noel Rodriguez and Mark Maryland



House Of DIFFA’s Futuro Gala Celebrates With Future Vision

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Joseph Brewster and Thomas Garza 


THE SETTING: Dallas’ Omni Hotel was the recent setting of House of DIFFA’s Futuro gala. Over 1,400 of Dallas’ social, philanthropic and community leaders turned out for an evening of fun and fundraising while looking forward to a future where there is zero stigma, deaths and new infections of HIV/AIDS. The evening began in the ballroom level of the Omni where guests enjoyed cocktails while taking part in DIFFA’s legendary silent auction. Each year DIFFA’s silent auction features dozens of custom tailored jackets from world-renowned designers. This year kept the tradition by featuring pieces from Zac Posen, Dolce & Gabbana, Badgley Mischka, Christian Lacroix and many others.

THE STYLE: The festivities moved to the ballroom where patrons made their way to their tables against the backdrop of dancers in LED light ensembles creating the perfect complement to the Futuro theme of the event. During the program, as guests dined on multi-course meals, members of DIFFA’s style council walked the runway, and speeches by DIFFA leadership and several awards were presented to those in North Texas who have been futuristic visionaries in combating the fight against HIV and AIDS. The program continued with a live auction sponsored by Ebby Halliday and hosted by comedian Dana Goldberg that raised over $325,000.

The fun continued as revelers, greeted by Bravo TV personality Carson Kressley, were treated to a dazzlingly futuristic fashion show. Among the treats viewed by the audience were fashions from Forty Five Ten and Traffic LA and a dance performance by Gwendolynne Murphy dressed up as a “Fembot”. The show was wrapped up with models donning three Iris Von Herpen dresses that were flown in from Paris specifically for the show. The festivities were capped off with an after party where partygoers danced the night away to the tunes of DJ Lucy Wrubel.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Tim Garippa, raised funds for DIFFA/Dallas which provides funds to organizations dedicated to fighting against HIV and AIDS in North Texas. Founded in 1984, DIFFA has given over eight million dollars to 25 organizations in North Texas providing care to those living with HIV and AIDS.

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