Newlyweds D’Andra Simmons Lock and Jeremy Lock opened their home for the After-School All-Stars North Texas annual benefit with guests spilling out the front door.
But what would one expect when Event Co-Chairs Kersten Rettig and Clark Knippers arranged to have native son/sports hero Michael Johnson as the keynote speaker. Despite having won four Olympic Gold medals and eight World Championship Gold medals, the 46-year-old retired sprinter and entrepreneur stood on the staircase landing and told of his early life in Oak Cliff. The youngest of five children, he admitted that unlike his classmates, his mother didn’t work and ended up inviting kids over to their home after school. He joked that there had been times when he wished that his mother had worked. But in his eyes, she was an “after-school all-star herself.”
As a result he places a high priority on kids having a place and a purpose after they have left their classrooms. That was why he got involved with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s After-School All-Stars program “because of the absolute need for disadvantaged young people to be matched with mentors.”
Joining Michael to emphasize the importance of the Dallas program were ASAS Board Chair Phil Terry and National Network of ASAS Executive VP Aaron Dworkin, who said, “We try to close the opportunity gap.”
In the crowd were Event Sponsor Clay Cooley with his daughter Ciara Cooley, Connor Cook, McKenna Cook, Lynn McBee, Betsy Orton and Debra Witter.
Michael’s talk and presence plus an anonymous matching donation allowed the event to raise enough money “to send more than 40 students to ASAS’s CampUS program in North Texas that helps rising 9th graders bridge the gap between middle and high school by giving students the opportunity to live, learn and walk on a college campus — fully immersing them in the college experience.”