Family Gateway will host its first family fundraiser, DAY to PLAY, presented by Bank of America, on Saturday, April 7, 2018, from 1 to 4 p.m. at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Artist Square, honoring the late founder of Family Gateway, former Dallas Mayor Annette Strauss. The simple purpose of the event is to give children a day to just be kids - to make new friends and have fun while offering parents the opportunity to introduce or reinforce the importance of helping others. Event leadership includes Honorary Chairs Marlene and John Sughrue, Event Co-Chairs Lara Wilhelm-Harrison and Steve Harrison, and Event Co-Chairs Eddie Maestri and Adam Moore.
Play is children’s work; it is how kids learn about themselves and the world around them. For children affected by homelessness, play is a way of keeping their bodies and minds in the here and now rather than back in stressful and traumatic sensory memories. When children are fully and freely engaged in play, they learn new things, develop key social and emotional skills, feel part of a community, and take on new challenges.
DAY to PLAY will bring families together for a day filled with activities and discoveries geared specifically 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. Highlights will include music by DJ Souljah and Maya Delgado, bounce houses, slides, kids’ disco, robo-surfing, Rock Band, gaming truck, hamster ball races, giant sandbox, Maestri Studio architecture and construction zone, giant Jenga, giant Connect 4 and chess, sidewalk chalk mural drawing, storytime, face painting, and interactive booths presented by the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Zoo, DART, Hanuman Homies, HeARTS of Maya, KidKraft, Kids Helping Kids, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, TalkSTEM, Promise of Peace Garden and more. Healthy kids’ concessions will be available for purchase through Wolfgang Puck Catering.
A Family Pass is $50 and includes admission for 4 people. Additional guests are $5 each. Children two years of age and under are free. Attendees can also sponsor a $50 Family Pass for a family affected by homelessness to attend. Family Gateway will be collecting donations of new toiletries for client families at the event. Please visit www.familygateway.org for the wish list of items.
Exhibitor space at the event is $500 and includes a tent, table, signage and the opportunity to market to attendees while offering a child-friendly activity for event goers. Sponsorship opportunities start at $500. For more information, visit www.familygateway.org/events/dtp.
Proceeds from DAY to PLAY will support Family Gateway’s mission to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness in Dallas. Last year, the agency served 399 families including 897 children. The interventions Family Gateway provides give children the chance to build the resiliency and competence they need to break the detrimental cycle of homelessness.