It was two years ago that Family Gateway was scheduled to have author/philanthropist/entrepreneur Chris Gardner at its annual Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon at the Omni Dallas Hotel. But like so may other fundraisers, the pandemic forced organizers to cancel the event. Or, at least, that’s what the COVID germs thought.
Today it was announced that Purvi Albers and Quincy Roberts will co-chair Family Gateway’s first in-person get-together since 2019. But they’ve tweaked the former luncheon a bit.
It has been rebranded to “Stronger Together Breakfast: Celebrating the Power of Community” with Selwyn Rayzor and Rich Moses as honorary co-chairs.
According to Family Gateway President/CEO Ellen Magnis, “Despite an ongoing pandemic, we have continued to expand our service delivery to serve more families than ever before. We are excited to celebrate the power of our community and everything that has been accomplished since 2019.”
Taking place at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Friday, October 28, the breakfast will indeed feature Chris, who will be telling the remarkable story on which his book “The Pursuit of Happyness” was based.
Purvi said, “Quincy and I are thrilled to have Chris Gardner join us for this special event. His personal story will inspire event attendees and help increase awareness for Family Gateway and the invaluable services that the organization provides.”
After emerging from a childhood “marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy,” Chris was committed to making a better life. But it wouldn’t take place without a series of daunting episodes that included being a single father.
Even when he was accepted in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program, the challenges continue for the father and his son. The stipend that he received as a trainee wasn’t enough to keep them from being homeless. They were forced to seek shelter in flophouses, motels, parks and airport. Still, Chris wasn’t giving up on his dream and eventually joined Bear Stearns and Co. in 1983, where he became a “top earner” and went on to found “the brokerage firm Gardner Rich in Chicago from his home with just $10,000.”
Chris’ story of being a single parent for 25 years faced with “surmounting acute obstacles throughout his life” is one that truly resonates with Family Gateway clients, who find the walls of life caving in on them.
At the breakfast, Chris “will share the keys to self-empowerment and a message on beating the odds and breaking the cycle of poverty.”
As Quincy explained, “Family Gateway operates the only emergency shelters in our community that serve all types of families, including single fathers with their kids. This means that for single dads like Mr. Gardner, Family Gateway is the only option.”
Sponsorships and tickets are available here!
* Photo provided by Family Gateway