Mother Nature was playing nice on Wednesday, April 3, for Family Gateway at Sallie and Cavan Groves‘ home. The Day to Play patrons were able to gather poolside to hear from Day to Play Co-Chairs Jen Fahrenbruch, Jennifer Hull and Mandy Main about plans for the upcoming kid-friendly fundraiser on Saturday, April 27, as well as a new Kicks of Kids shoe drive. Here’s a report from the field:
Sallie and Cavan Groves’ beautiful patio along with cool weather provided the perfect setting for a festive evening on Wednesday, April 3, celebrating Family Gateway’s upcoming 2nd Annual Day to Play family fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Artist Square.
The 50+ donors, board members, staff and guests including Tiffany Bell, Chad Bieber and Robert Ivey, Ashley and Mike Blurton, Kristin Briner, Exa and David Whiteman, Michelle and Chris Dupre, Scott Goldberg and Katie Croft, April and Corey Henegar, Mirjam Kirk, Kristin and Brian Moore, Pam and Bobby Nichols, Gowri and Alex Sharma, Stefanie Tovar, Exa and David Whiteman and Sarah and Daniel Wentworth enjoyed bites and sips while listening to tunes spun by 12-year-old DJ Ryan Hull (otherwise known as DJBOWTY3 –named for his signature bow tie). Ryan is the son of Day to Play Co-Chair Jennifer Hull, and rumor has it that the young DJ is also planning to mix a few tunes for guests at the big event. A set of earbuds and his playlist served as a fun parting gift to guests as they exited the patron party.
Fellow Co-Chairs Mandy Main and Jen Fahrenbruch joined Hull in greeting and thanking guests throughout the evening. Fahrenbruch kicked off the speaking portion of the evening by thanking everyone for their support of Day to Play, an incredible event that celebrates families, now in its second year. Main shared her passion for Family Gateway by telling guests how volunteering there with her husband and children truly pulled on her heart strings.
“Family Gateway is a very special organization, and everyone is looking forward to a great event.” Hull encouraged each attendee to invite five families to attend and reminded everyone that they could also sponsor attendance for a family affected by homelessness with a donation of $50. Additionally, the chairs announced the launch of the Kicks of Kids shoe drive and asked attendees to bring a new pair of children’s tennis shoes to the event as the shelter is experiencing a high number of children coming in without shoes.
Family Gateway President and CEO Ellen Magnis shared with the crowd that Family Gateway has the only emergency shelter in Dallas that will serve a family of any kind and keep them together. She added, “We have taken a leadership role over the last year, making changes to respond to important data on what works with homelessness. We make sure all family shelter rooms in our community are full and then overflow into hotels when necessary. Many families with children are living in cars, or their money has run out from staying at hotels, or they have been recently kicked out of their living arrangements. We immediately work with them on their long-term housing. The kids we see experiencing homelessness are traumatized emotionally, developmentally and socially, and are struggling in school. Family Gateway offers them educational programming and support to get them on track. We truly appreciate the support of everyone here tonight for this event, which helps us in our mission to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to these families.”
Day to Play will bring families together for a day filled with activities and discoveries geared to children. From lawn games and yoga to live music and crafts, entertainment will be paired with a focus on volunteerism and community service, including a basic overview of the scope of families who are experiencing or are near homelessness in Dallas. Visit www.familygateway.org/events/dtp
Highlights include: Music by DJ Kaivan “KB” Bazleh and kids’ DJ lessons from OontzKids; a live performance by singer, dancer, and HeARTS of Maya founder Maya Delgado; group yoga by Hanuman Homies; bounce houses; inflatable slides; an obstacle course and climbing wall; life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos game; dunking booth; bungee run; gaming truck; Giant Chess, Jenga, and Connect Four; hamster ball races; kids’ disco; Lego building; robo-surfing; dual hoop basketball; an appearance by Dallas Stars mascot Victor E. Green; putting green courtesy of The First Tee of Greater Dallas; selfies with 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 Stars Foundation, Dallas Zoo, Hanuman Homies, HeARTS of Maya, Kids Helping Kids TX, National Charity League, Nasher Sculpture Center, The First Tee of Greater Dallas, Wee Volunteer and more. Exhibitor booths by area businesses catering to kids include DART, DFW Child, Explore Horizons, OontzKids, Pediatric Associates of Dallas 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.
Sponsors to date include:
- Field Day ($10,000) – Mandy and Clayton Main, Marilee and Charlie O’Connell, TurningPoint Foundation and Amy Warren
- Rainbow ($5,000) – Janese and Rick Deitch, Stephen Hipp and Brian Rogers, Jennifer and David Hull, Oakview Capital Management, Renovo Capital LLC, Texas Capital Bank and Emily and Toby Thomas
- Sunshine ($2,500) – Ben E. Keith Company, Cinemark, The Dallas Stars Foundation, Evolution Spine, The Frymire Family, Goldberg and Croft Family, Ellen and Rick Magnis, The Miltenberger Family, Nichols Family Foundation and Brittany and Jamize Olawale
- Fun and Games ($1,000) – Jen and Jeff Fahrenbruch, Lara and Steve Harrison, Anne and Nathan Johnson, Minda and Gary Moor, Sandy Nachman, Gowri and Alex NK Sharma and Exa and David Whiteman
- Picnic ($500) – Carmen and Gary Barrett; Chad J. Bieber and Robert William Ivey; Biewenga/Cutshall Family; Ashley and Mike Blurton; Kristy and Taylor Bowen; Kelly and Calvin Carter; Michelle and Chris Dupre; Ellie, Jack, Franny and Sadie Dyer; Lindsey and Jonathan Dyer; Ailsa and Steve Ellis/Layette; EyeMax Optical; Kerri and Charlie Gale; Sallie and Cavan Groves; Hall Group; Juanita Harris; Harris Orthodontics; Kessler Collins P.C.; Mirjam and Chris Kirk; Meg and Troy Manson; Christy and David McAtee; Kelly and Jeff Miller; The Brian Moore Family; The Morales Family; Susan Hensarling Nahkunst; The Naudo Family; Alexis and Andy O’Connell; The Scowden Family; Amanda and Charlie Shufeldt; Libby and Jacob Smith; Lauren Soulis and Tim Burns; Meghann and Matt Strickland; The Waters Family; Leslie and Geoff Wayne; The Wentworth Family; Jamie and Trey Whatley; and Sarah Katherine and John Zavala.
- Print sponsor is DFW Child.
- Digital media sponsor is My Sweet Charity.
* Photo credit: Lisa Stewart