Some of Dallas’ most visible community leaders and difference makers stepped out in their best sneakers for Toast for Charity’s Giving from the Sole Sneakerball.

Fit for the occasion, the space was filled with Jordans, Nikes, New Balances and even Versace sneakers.

Dallas Weekly’s LaToya Henry, Jessica Washington and Patrick Washington. Photo by Rayford Johnson.

The event raises funds, with a goal of $35,000 for the night, for youth through the Emergent Difference-Maker scholarship and programs fund. It all went down at On The Levee and featured a Community Champions Award recognition ceremony and a sneaker competition.

Aside from highlighting sneakers and partying for a cause, DeDe in the Morning host DeDe McGuire announced six Dallas awardees named Community Champions, including Dallas Weekly’s CEO Jessica Washington. 

“I feel like I am continuing the legacy of the Dallas Weekly and community service in the community for the last 70 years, and I just feel like there’s more to come,” Washington says. “If people love what they see now, then just get ready.”

Dr. Lamar Quinn, LaToya Henry and Lauren Quinn. Photo by Rayford Johnson.

Dr. Lamar Quinn, co-founder of Toast for Charity alongside his wife, Lauren Quinn, said the awards would also honor these community leaders with a parade.

“What we want to do is give them a real life count parade,” Dr. Quinn says. “We want to recognize in a way that’s a little bit different the traditional award ceremony,”

The other awardees included WFAA host Tashara Parker, Black Excellence Night founder Deonna McGary, Crowned Scholars CEO Michael G. Coleman II, CEO of Black Menswear NeAndre Broussard and Vice President and Director at Vista Bank Lubbock Smith.

Here’s what each had to say about the honor:

“Seeing amazing people in Dallas doing great things in business, in the community, and all walks of life, it’s amazing to see what we can all do when we come together. It’s definitely an honor. It comes full circle to know that I’m amongst individuals that impact our communities and everyone’s doing it at the same time.” — Lubbock Smith

“When it comes to being a community champion, I think that’s the work that we’ve been doing for years. Before I came to this city, I always wanted to make sure that I was doing work that empowered the community. It truly means the world to have an organization like Toast for Charity loop back around to make sure that people like myself and others are recognized for the work that we’re doing.” —Tashara Parker

“One of the biggest things about my platform is how can we change the narrative and amplify the community. The Toast for Charity team is doing that in their own way a couple times a year and shining light on opportunities to support the community … I’m very honored to receive this, but it’s also that standpoint of “You’re doing the right thing, but keep it going.’”— NeAndre Broussard

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized for the work and contributions that I’ve genuinely enjoyed giving back to my community,” “It takes a village to make a change — I’m proud to be part of the movement!” — Michael Coleman II said via Instagram.

“It’s an honor to be recognized alongside other extraordinary community champions in the Dallas community. I was not expecting this at all, but thank you Toast for Charity for recognizing the work done through Black Excellence Night.” — Deonna McGary said via Instagram.

During the Show Me the Sneaker Competition— hosted by fashion stylist and designer Tiffany Maxfield, better known as TifftheZeta— featured four categories for Best Male Combo, Best Female Combo, Solemate (couples) and Bring Your Whole Krew.

Dallas Weekly’s Patrick Washington, Jessica Washington and LaToya Henry. Photo by Rayford Johnson.

Dallas Weekly’s Jessica and Patrick Washington took home the win for Solemate as the couple with the best dress and sneaker combo.

The event was sponsored by D’ussé, Grey Goose, Patron and the Bacardi family. Dr. Quinn also made sure to thank the Toast for Charity board members and supporters.

“We definitely want to thank our board members, Terrence Lomeka, Jalyn and Marcus Robeson, and then my wife and the rest of our sponsors. And we definitely want to mention our difference makers,” Dr. Quinn says.