Houston Treasure for 2007
Photo by: Gittings
Texas-native Dorace Allais is a performer in the best senses of the word: entertainer and one who gets a job done. After graduating from Texas Women’s University in Speech and Drama, and studies at American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she starred in the first off-Broadway production of “The Country Girl.” Small wonder for a girl whose pre-teen visits to her grandparents’ ranch would find her on top of their windmill acting out her self-created one-woman shows.
Her foray into more conventional business included a role as Director of PR for the Houston Bar Association and its magazine editor. Her creative outlets then were television and stage writer/director/actor, children’s book author, artist, interior designer, and gourmet cook (authoring a cookbook on onions entitled “No Tears”).
Today, Dorace is a full-time volunteer, having chaired more than 70 events. In 1978, she found her life’s calling: she hosted a luncheon in her home for 20 close friends to share her dream of The Cancer League—a group to raise funds for research, education and service to people with cancer—a dream that has grown a phenomenal 100-fold. Two thousand volunteers now constitute The Cancer League, helping patients and their families at St. Joseph’s (Stehlin Foundation), Texas Children’s, M.D. Anderson, Ronald McDonald House and other institutions (thanks largely to Dorace’s nearly three decades of tenacious motivating). Once a figment of Dorace’s imagination, hospital patients now enjoy a “Living Room” (a home-like setting for visiting and entertainment) and “Sunshine Carts” (providing free “luxury” items hospitals don’t typically provide).
Dorace was co-founder and president of Houston School for the Deaf Auxiliary, is a life member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (International Committee Captain for 3 years) and a Group Leader for Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. Other beneficiaries of her beneficence are American Cancer Society (VP for 4 years), Terry Fox Run (4 years), Sheltering Arms Senior Services, Alzheimer’s Day Centers, and Houston Repertory Theatre (co-founder).
A CCFA Woman of Distinction, Dorace assured her legacy by producing the very first social fundraiser for cancer research in Houston ever. What magnificent beanstalks she has planted!