What: Educational First Steps 25th anniversary celebration
Where: Omni Dallas
The 411: How do you get more than 500 charitable patrons to a downtown luncheon? Entice them with an Academy Award-winning actress and a good cause, naturally. Recently Octavia Spencer, best known for her role in The Help, for which she won an Oscar, came to Big D to speak at a luncheon celebrating Educational First Steps' 25th anniversary. Spencer chatted about her childhood and the critical role that reading played in her life. Her mother, who worked as a custodian in the school system, befriended librarians so she could take home tattered old books for her seven kids to read. "We had no money, but through books I could go to the moon," Spencer said, through tears of joy.
In fact, the actress was so taken with the nonprofit's good work — improving the quality and availability of early education for children in impoverished neighborhoods — that she declared she was donating her speaker's fee back to the organization. Following her speech, she sat down with WFAA's Shelly Slater for a Q&A. When asked about the roles she now seeks, Spencer replied, "Anything that educates, entertains, and enlightens."
Who: Educational First Steps founders Mona and Dave Munson, Brett Levy, Michelle Lockhart, Kathryn Lake, Beth Gold, Joyce and Linus Wright, Sandra Estess, Tiffany Cuban, Stacey and Nicholas McCord, Liz Seabury, Jon Morgan, Kelli Ford, Christina Gonzalez, Emily Feldman, Claudine Roberts, Abby Williams, Lynn McBee, Rachel Goldberger, Linda McFarland, Michele Valdez, and Gayle Sands.