MySweetCharity Opportunity: One Childhood One Chance Luncheon

According to Merry Munson Wyatt, Kathryn Munson Beach and Meg Munson McGonigle,

As sisters, we are excited to co-chair the Friday, November 17thOne Childhood One Chance Luncheon,” which brings Dallas an impressive opportunity to join Educational First Steps (EFS) in launching at-risk young lives into promising futures.

This is the fifth year of this shining event presented by an organization we’ve seen making inroads and creating quality early education centers in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods since 1990.

EFS has been a family affair for 27 years. It was founded by our great uncle, David Munson Sr., on his belief that every child, regardless of their economic circumstances or their zip code, deserves and needs a quality education.

We will join our cousins, David Munson Jr., Charles Munson and John Munson, who are serving as honorary co-chairs for the event.

Sonia Manzano*

Held at the Omni Dallas Hotel, the luncheon will feature Sonia Manzano, who inspired, educated and delighted children and families as “Maria” on Sesame Street for over 30 years. Named among the “25 Greatest Latino Role Models Ever” by Latina Magazine, Manzano broke ground as one of the first Hispanic characters on national television.

Her latest book, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx,” is Manzano’s tale of perseverance and courage in overcoming countless obstacles to become one of the most influential Latinas in television. She will inspire us as a community committed to supporting common sense, real-life solutions for narrowing the disparities among us in early childhood chances.  

Today, EFS partners with 93 daycare centers in at-risk neighborhoods, carrying out a results-driven plan for becoming nationally accredited preschools, at no cost to the centers, teachers or parents. These centers progress from daycares providing little more than babysitting to nationally accredited early education centers that become anchors in their neighborhoods while preparing more of our children for school and life success.

EFS, which started in south Dallas, has grown to serve Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Collin and Grayson counties, collaborating across 17 school districts. They are continually pushing the boundaries and aggressively scaling programs to place more students in quality learning environments. We are excited to invite you to be part of furthering their work.

We have found this luncheon to be smart, streamlined, elegant and mission-critical in so many ways. Once you’ve been, you’ll find yourself returning each year!  

For information about underwriting opportunities or tickets, contact Judy Schecter at 214.824.7940. Table for ten starts at $2,000, with six levels of increasing opportunities. Corporate and naming opportunities are also available. The event is open to the public, with single tickets priced at $175. More at

* Photo credit: Richard Termine 
** Photo provided by Educational First Steps

Academy Award-Winning Octavia Spencer To Be Keynote Speaker At Educational First Steps’ 25th Anniversary Luncheon

Octavia Spencer (Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas)*

Octavia Spencer (Photo credit: Randee St. Nicholas)*

The news for the upcoming fundraising season is starting to pour in. As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, Educational First Steps is going to host One Childhood One Chance Luncheon at the Omni Dallas on Friday, October 23, with some “help.” That help is thanks to “The Help”’s Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer.

In addition to her work in the film industry, the 5’2” Spencer is an author despite having dyslexia. She’s written two children’s books, the latest being “Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective: The Sweetest Heist in History” just released this past spring.

Educational First Steps*

Educational First Steps*

But she was doing more than making the book-signing rounds. In Los Angeles she hosted the 5th annual Spring Break: Destination Education event “to help young students succeed in high school and stay on track to graduate.”

According to Octavia, who was one of six children raised by a single mom, “This organization spoke to me because education was my own way out of poverty. My mom pushed me to do well in school, but many kids need a role model — not to mention academic support — to help them succeed in school and beyond.”

Like the Los Angeles organization, Educational First Steps “partners with preschools, daycare centers and at-home caregivers in impoverished neighborhoods, helping them to transform babysitting into teaching and to give the youngest at-risk children a strong foundation of social and academic skills.”

The luncheon is being chaired by Brett Levy and Michelle Lockhart, who have arranged to have Education First Steps Founders Mona and Dave Munson, Sandra Estess and Joyce and Linus Wright serve as honorary co-chairs.

* Photo and graphic provided by Educational First Steps