Since the late Annette Strauss founded Family Gateway, the Strauss name has continued to be part of the mission to help the plight of homeless children. So it makes perfect sense that Family Gateway’s 2020 Day to Play will not only be returning to the Annette Strauss Artist Square in the AT&T Performing Arts Center, but that Whitney Strauss along with Sarah Katherine Zavala will co-chair it.
From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, children and families will be able to experience “an event filled with activities and discoveries geared specially to children with a focus on volunteerism and community service, including a basic overview of the scope of family homelessness in our community.”
Thanks to The Birthday Party Project, Capes for Kindness, Chamberlain Studio of Martial Arts, The First Tee of Greater Dallas, Hearts of Maya, Kids Helping Kids, Nasher Sculpture Center, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Play Street Museum, Spark!, Studio Bella and Wee volunteer, youngsters will party hearty with DJ Souljah and Maya Delgado, superheroes and characters, an inflatable obstacle course, giant slides, a ninja climbing wall, hamster ball races, train rides, a photo booth, lawn games and arts.
According to Sarah Katherine, “Day to Play is not only a fun event, it is a day for families to serve together and teach their children the importance of philanthropy. We must support organizations like Family Gateway if we want to make our community better. Plus, there’s nothing like seeing your kids throw off their shoes and run around barefoot, jumping in bounce houses. Laughing and making new friends.”
In addition to being presented by AT&T, this year’s Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award will be presented to AT&T’s Shannon Reed, who has “been an active volunteer at Family Gateway for more than five years. Every Tuesday afternoon, he helps kids with their homework in the after-school program. When Reed first started volunteering, he would bring three or four other AT&T employees with him. Today, 10-15 AT&T volunteers help in Family Gateway’s after-school program every Monday and Tuesday.”
Family Gateway President/CEO Ellen Magnis reported, “Shannon’s passion, leadership and servant’s heart have done wonders for children and families experiencing homelessness in our community. Our volunteers are the heart of our organization. We are grateful for Shannon’s service and dedication and for AT&T’s continued commitment to our work.”
The opportunities for being part of Day To Play include family passes going for $50 with no restriction on the number in the family, sponsoring a family pass for a family affected by homelessness, sponsorships starting at $500 and spring picnic packages for companies.
Guests are also encouraged to donate snack items like granola bars, sandwich crackers, Goldfish and animal crackers for Family Gateway’s “Pack A Snack” drive benefiting client children.
* Photo provided by Family Gateway