Day to Play

Dallas families get in the game at outdoor fun-themed fundraiser

Dallas families get in the game at outdoor fun-themed fundraiser

Family Gateway Day to Play
Jenny Koziol, Thompson Koziol Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
Surfing was harder than it looked. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
LyAnn Hou, Maya Delgado, Emily Kelavos, Gabbie Owens Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
Andy O'Connell, Alexis O'Connell, Barrett O'Connell, Marilee O'Connell, Charlie O'Connell Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
The slides were great fun for kids. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
John Sughrue, Jennifer Chandler Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
Kids could get their faces painted. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
The giant chess board provided a good challenge. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
The arts and crafts stations proved popular. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
A gaming truck was a highlight for all ages. Photo by Lisa Stewart
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play
Family Gateway Day to Play

What: Family Gateway Day to Play

Where: Annette Strauss Artist Square

The 411: The inaugural family-friendly fundraiser took place on an unseasonably chilly April day in the Dallas Arts District. The event, co-chaired by Lara Wilhelm-Harrison and Steve Harrison, and Eddie Maestri and Adam Moore, honored the late founder of Family Gateway, former Dallas mayor Annette Strauss. ​Marlene and John Sughrue were the honorary chairs.

Families bundled up to support Family Gateway's mission of aiding families experiencing homelessness. The purpose of the event was to give children a day to play and make new friends while offering parents an opportunity to stress the importance of helping others.

From lawn games and yoga to live music and crafts, entertainment came with a focus on volunteerism and community service. Highlights included music by DJ Souljah and Maya Delgado, bounce houses, slides, kids’ disco, robo-surfing, "Rock Band," gaming truck, hamster ball races, KidKraft playhouses and sandboxes, Maestri Studio architecture zone, giant Jenga, giant Connect 4 and chess, storytime, face painting, and interactive booths presented by the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Zoo, and more.

Proceeds went to Family Gateway, which last year served 399 families — including 897 children — affected by homelessness in Dallas. Family Gateway believes in providing housing first and then wrapping trauma-informed services around children and families experiencing homelessness to help them break the cycle of poverty. 

Who: Mandy and Clayton Main, Marilee and Charlie O’Connell, Marlene and John SughrueJanese and Rick Deitch, Emily and Toby Thomas, Taylor and Munear Ashton Kouzbari, Ellen and Rick Magnis, Paula and Bay Miltenberger, Gowri and Alex Sharma, Jennifer Chandler, Jenny Koziol, Andy O'Connell, and Alexis O'Connell.