Wednesday’s brief break from the gray, rainy days of February was just a refreshing reminder that sunny, user-friendly times are up ahead. Knowing that 2nd Annual Day to Play Tri-Chairs Jen Fahrenbruch, Jennifer Hull and Mandy Main and Honorary Chair Stephen Hipp have just revealed plans for the Family Gateway fundraiser.
First, let’s get the housekeeping done. The date has been set for Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Artist Square.
And that’s the absolutely perfect spot for uber family-friendly activities — lawn games, yoga, live music, crafts, loads of entertainments and breathing fresh air — to take place. After all, it was the late Dallas Mayor Annette Strauss who founded Family Gateway to assist families affected by homelessness in 1986.
And speaking of Annette, Family Gateway has created the Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award to honor “families that have provided exemplary support for families affected by homelessness.”
According to Annette’s daughters Nancy Halbreich and Janie McGarr, “We are honored that Family Gateway has created the Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award in recognition of our mother’s long history and involvement with this organization that she founded. It will be exciting to see this honor presented to a family each year at Day to Play, recognizing the many young community leaders who are truly making an impact.”
Receiving the inaugural award will be of no surprise to anyone associated with Family Gateway. It will be Paula and Bay Miltenberger’s family.
Family Gateway President/CEO Ellen Magnis recalled how the Miltenbergers “first became involved with the nonprofit in 2009, when they prepared a shelter room at the Annette G. Strauss Family Gateway Center for a new family’s arrival. In 2011, they organized the ‘adoption’ of 75 families during the holidays and have been deeply involved in the holiday program ever since, organizing donation drives and volunteering in the Holiday Store. In conjunction with a generous group of friends, they ensure dozens of kids get to attend summer camp at Kids Across America Kamp in Missouri. Paula co-chaired the Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon in 2016 and 2017 and now serves on the board of directors. Bay, a former member of the board of directors, now sits on Family Gateway’s Affordable Housing Board. The entire family continues to work tirelessly, from serving meals and organizing donation drives to connecting their networks to the nonprofit’s mission.
“We are thrilled to present the first Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award to the Miltenberger Family at the event. We hope their unwavering passion and dedication to Family Gateway will inspire other families to join us in our mission. Come be a part of this special day, learn how to give back, and spend time with your kids – it’s the greatest gift we can give them.”
And the price of admission is a bargain. It’s $50 for a Family Pass with no restriction on the number of attendees in each family in honor of Family Gateway’s inclusivity of families of all kinds. If you can’t make it or want to share the fun, you can always sponsor a Family Pass for a family affected by homelessness to attend.
Already on board for the day of G-rated fun are a live performance by singer, dancer, and HeARTS of Maya founder Maya Delgado, Kids’ DJ lessons & spinning by kid DJs from OontzKids, group yoga by Hanuman Homies, bounce houses, inflatable slides, an obstacle course and climbing wall, life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos game, dunking booth with local celebrity guests, bungee run, gaming truck, Giant Chess, Jenga, and Connect Four, hamster ball races, kids’ disco, Lego building, robo-surfing, dual hoop basketball, superheroes and characters, photo booth, and more. Interactive booths by nonprofit partners offering education, outreach and volunteer opportunities for children include Capes for Kindness, Dallas Zoo, Hanuman Homies, HeARTS of Maya, Kids Helping Kids, National Charity League, Promise of Peace Gardens, Wee Volunteer and more. Exhibitor booths by area businesses catering to kids include Explore Horizons, OontzKids and Raising Cane’s. Kid friendly concessions and beverages (including beer, wine, and champagne for adults) will be available for purchase through Wolfgang Puck Catering.
And for those who want to have their services and/or products displayed, exhibition spaces are going for $500. Sponsorships are also starting at $500. The following folks and organizations have already become sponsors:
- Field Day Sponsors – Mandy and Clayton Main, Marilee and Charles O’Connell, TurningPoint Foundation and Amy Warren
- Rainbow Sponsors – Janese and Rick Deitch, Jennifer and David Hull, Renovo Capital LLC and Texas Capital Bank
- Sunshine Sponsors – Anonymous, Evolution Spine, The Frymire Family, Goldberg and Croft Family, Ellen and Rick Magnis, Paula and Bay Miltenberger and Nichols Family Foundation
- Fun and Games Sponsors – Jen and Jeff Fahrenbruch, Stephen Hipp and Brian Rogers, Anne and Nathan Johnson, Minda and Gary Moor, Sandy Nachman, Gowri and Alex NK Sharma and Exa and David Whiteman
- Picnic Sponsors – Carmen and Gary Barrett, Biewenga/Cutshall Family, Ashley and Mike Blurton, Kristy and Taylor Bowen, Michelle and Chris Dupre, EyeMax Optical, Kerri and Charlie Gale, Hall Group, Juanita Harris, Harris Orthodontics, Chad J. Bieber and Robert William Ivey, Kessler Collins P.C., Mirjam and Chris Kirk, Cristy and David McAtee, Kelly and Jeff Miller, Morales Family, Susan Hensarling Nahkunst, The Naudo Family, Alexis and Andy O’Connell, Lauren Soulis and Tim Burns, The Waters Family, Leslie and Geoff Wayne, The Wentworth Family, Jamie Whatley and Sarah Katherine and John Zavala
* Photo provided by Family Gateway