We have now opened registration for the Second Annual First Response Appreciation Gala.

The gala will be held at Vouv Dallas, a high-tech venue near Midway and LBJ Freeway in Dallas on Saturday, September 22nd.

The black-tie-optional event will feature high-quality and unique silent and live auction items, casino games, live entertainment and a cash bar. And it’s not for first responders only, rather it’s for first responders AND those who appreciate them.

Individual tickets are available at an early-bird price of $85 each. A limited number of tables for company or personal use, as well as sponsored tables to be used by first responders are available as well. Your sponsorship of a table will be prominently recognized with a card on the stanchion of your table.To register, please click the button below.

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker for this year’s event will be Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson. D.A. Johnson is a pioneer. Her recent appointment as the first African-American female to serve as the District Attorney of Dallas County is one of Ms. Johnson’s several “firsts.” She has the distinction of being the first African-American female district criminal judge elected in Texas, serving as a presiding judge for 17 years, and was also the first African-American female to attain the highly regarded status of Chief Felony Prosecutor during her time in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

As a judge, she handled thousands of felony cases ranging from drug possession and theft to sexual assault, child abuse, and capital murder. After leaving the bench, Ms. Johnson practiced with a non-profit law firm for two years before establishing Faith Johnson & Associates, L.L.P. in 2009.

Ms. Johnson is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Bar Association, and the U.S. Christian Chamber of Commerce, among other professional organizations. She is secretary and a board member of The Potter’s House of Dallas, and a past board member of several non-profit organizations.

In 2014, Ms. Johnson was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Public Safety Commission, where she was one of five
Commissioners who oversee homeland security, border patrol, and terrorism in Texas. She served on the commission until December 2016.

Ms. Johnson received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in community counseling from Georgia State University, and a law degree from Texas Southern University. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she is the youngest of 13 children born to Benjamin and Eva Simmons.

Master of Ceremonies

We are honored to have Shannon Murray, reporter and anchor for Fox 4 News in Dallas as master of ceremonies.

Shannon was ever-present in Rowlett after the tornado covering all types of stories regarding the recovery effort, including many Rowlett Strong events. She was instrumental in helping get the word out about the continuing need for funds to help Rowlett residents get back into their homes where they belong.

Shannon is a reporter and fill-in anchor for Fox 4’s Good Day from 4:30 – 9 am. She grew up in DeSoto and is a graduate of Duncanville High School. She studied broadcast journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. Since graduation, Shannon has worked as a reporter, anchor and radio correspondent with jobs in Midland/Odessa, Austin and now DFW.
Shannon is also a coach for Girls on the Run, an after school mentorship program. In her spare time, she enjoys going to concerts, running the Katy Trail and traveling the world.

Stay up-to-date on details about the 2nd Annual First Response Appreciation Gala. Click to button below to receive emails whenever we make major announcements about the event such as speaker, emcee, venue, ticket sales, etc. We won’t email you unless we have something to say. That’s a promise.

For first responders and their department members. Please sign up to stay informed about our grant program for responders, as well as details on the gala as they become available. We’ll only email you when we have information we know you need.

The First Response Appreciation Gala was our first annual black tie gala featuring awesome food and cocktails, a special guest speaker, live music, dancing, silent and live auctions and casino night

It was an awe-filled evening as we recognized the multitude of police, fire,
public works, OEM and volunteer organizations that came from all over
to help us through the aftermath of the Rowlett Christmas tornado.

Addison Fire Department

American Medical Response

Balch Springs Fire Department


Carrollton Fire Department

College Mound Fire Department

Dallas Fire Department

Farmers Branch Fire Department

Forney Fire Department

Medic One

Mesquite Fire Department

Murphy Fire Department

Payne Springs Fire Department

Richardson Fire Department

Rockwall Fire Department

Royse City Fire Department

Rowlett Fire Department

Sachse Fire Department

Terrell Fire Department

Trenton Fire Department

Wylie Fire Department

Texas Task Force 1

Texas Task Force 1

Texas Task Force 2

Addison Police Department

Allen Police Department

Dallas County Sheriff’s Office

Heath Department of Public Safety

Plano Police Department

Richardson Police Department

Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office

Rowlett Police Department

Sherman Police Department

Texas Department of Public Safety

Waxahachie Police Department

Allen Public Works

Arlington Public Works

Carrollton Public Works

Chickasha, Oklahoma Public Works

Dallas Public Works

Denton Public Works

Euless Public Works

Farmers Branch Public Works

Frisco Public Works

Fort Worth Public Works

Grand Prairie Public Works

Keller Public Works

Little Elm Public Works

Mesquite Public Works

Plano Public Works

Richardson Public Works

Rockwall Public Works

Rowlett Public Works

University Park Public Works

Boy Scouts

Girl Scouts

Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS)

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
(nearly two dozen of them)


Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

Keep Rowlett Beautiful


Looter Booters

Rockwall Running Center

Rowlett Chamber of Commerce

Rowlett Community Center

Rowlett High School

Rowlett Long Term Recovery Committee

Rowlett Strong, Inc.

Texas A&M Commerce

Transitional Resource Accessibility
& Community Engagement

Rockwall Office of Emergency Management

Rockwall County Office of Emergency Management

Dallas County Office of Homeland Security
and Emergency Management

Plano Office of Emergency Management

Farmers Branch Office of Emergency Management

Southlake Office of Emergency Management

Grand Prairie Office of Emergency Management

Dallas Office of Emergency Management

Grapevine Office of Emergency Management

Richardson Office of Emergency Management

Lewisville Office of Emergency Management

Sachse Office of Emergency Management

Wylie Office of Emergency Management

Rowlett Office of Emergency Management

NCTCOG Emergency Preparedness

Texas Division of Emergency Management
DDC 4A – Garland

Here’s the video of the complete program from our first annual

First Response Appreciation Gala. It’s kinda long but well worth the watch if you were

affected by the tornado, or you’re a first responder. Check it out below.


We had a great turnout and hope for an even larger one this year
(we’re already deep in the planning stage for this year’s event!)

Watch the video and you’ll see what we mean!

Proceeds from the 2018 gala ticket sales, silent auction, tax-deductible donations, and casino games will provide continued funding for the Rowlett Strong Foundation. Our foundation will continue to grow with additional fundraisers and the annual appreciation gala and will eventually be able to provide grants for officers and fire fighters from the police, fire and EMS agencies that responded to our needs, in their future times of need. We want to show them that our gratitude doesn’t end when the recovery ends.

Sponsorships are available to help us pull off our 2nd annual gala. Your sponsorship will help us pay for food, entertainment, decor and all the other expenses that go into throwing an event like this. It will provide visibility for your company and further show the community that you care. Rowlett Strong, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Use the contact form below for information on available sponsorships and pricing for the 2018 event, to be held in September (First Responders Appreciation Month).

For sponsorship info or questions about the First Response Appreciation Gala, please use this form

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