Friday, January 22, 2021

Perot Museum and African American Museum announce winner of Staircase Project celebrating Black STEM leaders

Calling it a “bold and inspiring tribute to African American leaders who made momentous contributions to science,” the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, in partnership with the African American Museum, Dallas, today announced that local architect and emerging artist Daniel M. Gunn is the winner of the Staircase Project design competition. In addition to a $5,000 prize, Gunn’s larger-than-life image, titled “GIANT STEPS – Celebrating Extraordinary Achievements of African-American Leaders in STEM,” has been installed on the Perot Museum’s multi-story, outdoor staircase facing Field Street. The Staircase Project is presented by Kroger.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

“Far too often the important contributions made by African Americans to the advancement of STEM have been untold, unheard and unseen. This magnificent design from Daniel M. Gunn shines a much-needed light on these hidden figures,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer. ”Giant steps often begin by first taking small steps, so we encourage everyone to climb these stairs and find inspiration for the future through learning about the past.” 

Last fall, the Perot Museum and African American Museum conducted a call for entries to create a vibrantly colored, eye-catching design that celebrates African-American leaders in science – from history and modern day – who have made significant contributions to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Entries were judged by a diverse, blue-ribbon panel comprised of regional leaders representing the arts, education and STEM business communities. 

The creative design – which has been reproduced and professionally installed using weatherproof, vinyl materials – will remain in place through Memorial Day.
Daniel M. Gunn (designer)

Gunn is a 36-year-old architect employed at Oglesby Greene Architects in downtown Dallas. Born in Alabama, he has lived in New Jersey as well as Louisiana, where he graduated with an architecture degree from Louisiana Tech University in 2008. He picked up a pencil at age five and has been drawing and painting ever since. He states that “When I’m not busy designing buildings by day, I’m honing my skills with the paintbrush on canvas by night.”

His design features Dr. Charles Drew, known as the father of the blood bank; telecommunications inventor Shirley Ann Jackson, the first African-American woman to earn an MIT doctorate; Dr. Mae Jemison, physician, engineer and the first African-American woman in space; and Dallas’ Otis Frank Boykin, an engineer, entrepreneur and inventor with approximately 26 patents. Also included are famed agricultural inventor and “Wizard of Tuskegee” George Washington Carver, and NASA’s Katherine Johnson and Mary Winston Jackson (NASA scientists profiled in the movie Hidden Figures).
Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott CEO of the Perot Museum

Thursday, January 21, 2021

2021 Love Helps Valentine's Dinner Delivery Fundraiser


Celebrate Valentine’s Day from the safety and comforts of home! Have a lovely date night for you and your Valentine, or host an intimate, fun dinner party during Valentine’s weekend.

Your date night includes a four-course dining experience from Chef Jordan Swim of Vestals Catering and Front Burners Restaurants, a floral arrangement from Grey Gardens Florist, wine, and a special gift box.

February 12 and 13, 2021
Diners can choose delivery either evening.

For more information, contact Mary Catherine Benavides at or (214) 443-7770.

Go All Out for Wild Night In at Dallas Zoo

For the first time ever, the Dallas Zoo’s annual Zoo To Do fundraiser is relocating – to the internet! The Zoo To Do gala that would have been hosted at the Zoo in late 2020 has been reinvented as “Wild Night In,” a virtual fundraiser to be streamed online at 6:30 PM on January 28, 2021.

 Wild Night In will feature familiar faces from the Dallas Zoo (both human and animal), giving virtual “guests” a closer look at the work that went on and the fun that was still had despite the challenges the Zoo faced as an organization in 2020. The audience will have opportunities to support the Zoo during the event by bidding in a live online auction, participating in a raffle, or making a direct donation.

 The virtual fundraiser will be streamed on the Zoo’s website, as well as on its Facebook page and YouTube channel. If you are not able to join the event live, a video replay will remain available on the Zoo’s website and YouTube channel for you to watch at your leisure.

 “We all know 2020 was a year like no other, and that was particularly true for the Zoo, as we faced multimillion dollar financial losses because of an extended closure, and limited guest capacity once we were able to safely reopen. The fundraising we do through an event like Wild Night In is more critical now than it ever has been, and we’re looking forward to a great response from those who join us for this year’s virtual celebration,” said Hudson.

There are many ways to engage with and support the Zoo’s virtual fundraising event. You can find details and updates about the event at

 You can get in on the action soon by bidding in the online auction for items that include artwork and Zoo experiences or by purchasing a raffle ticket for a chance to win an animal encounter. Bidding is open now and ends February 1 at 6:00 p.m. CST.

It is free to simply watch the virtual event, but be sure to RSVP here in advance so the Zoo can send you event updates and information about the online auction.

 Plus, everyone who RSVPs will receive a digital event guide to help you make the most of your night. From social media stickers and recipes for sips and snacks, to a “party animal” playlist for your evening, the digital event guide is a must-have to make this event a Wild Night In! 

 You can elevate your Wild Night In experience by supporting the Zoo at a pre-set level starting at $750 to get additional perks, like an invite to the virtual Patron Party or a Wild Night In party kit delivered to your house on January 28 ahead of the event.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Soup's On 2021 with Award-Winning Chef Jose Andres


The 13th annual Stewpot Alliance Soup’s On! Luncheon and Art Sale goes virtual Thursday, February 25th at 12:00pm featuring award-winning chef, restaurateur and humanitarian José Andrés. Robert Wilonsky, Communications Director for Heritage Auctions and op-ed columnist for the Dallas Morning News joins Chef Andrés for a conversation about how his efforts ensure people worldwide are fed in the wake of catastrophe. Soup’s On! 2021 presented by The Stewpot Alliance is co-chaired by longtime Stewpot supporters Becky and Larry Sykes. 

Proceeds from the luncheon benefit The Stewpot which now, in its 46th year serves our neighbors who are experiencing and at risk of homelessness by providing meals (over 8,000,000 to date), counseling and case management, medical and dental services via onsite partners, youth and family stabilization programs, as well as therapeutic and vocational activities.

Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in both 2012 and 2018 and recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, humanitarian, and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. 

Chef Andrés has received the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” and "Humanitarian of the Year" awards. Andrés is a committed advocate of food and hunger issues and is known for championing the role of chefs in the national debate on food policy. 

In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, a non-profit specializing in delivering food relief in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters. Since serving nearly 4 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, World Central Kitchen has responded to dozens of disasters worldwide and distributing tens of millions of meals in the process. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has partnered with restaurants, small farms, and community leaders around the country to combat food insecurity.

This year, the art sale, featuring original pieces of art from the artists at The Stewpot will take place online in conjunction with the virtual luncheon. Single tickets begin at $250, which includes a gift box with sponsorships opportunities available. Since the 2021 event is virtual, a $35 view-only option will be offered. 

For more information, sponsorship and tickets, please visit

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Mentors Needed! YMCA and BBBS Partner to Provide FREE YMCA Memberships to Bigs and Littles

January is National Mentoring Month and throughout the month, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA are partnering together to put out the call to ask adults (Bigs) in North Texas to sign up and become a mentor to kids (Littles) in need in our community. Bigs and Littles have the opportunity to spend time together two to four times per month, and through an ongoing partnership, the Y provides a fun place to do that at no cost. 

The YMCA’s of Dallas and Fort Worth offer free YMCA memberships for Bigs and Littles, valid at all Dallas and Fort Worth Y locations. The YMCA provides healthy activities for Big and Littles to do together including swimming, sports, exercise classes and more experiences that will create long-lasting memories.

Currently, there are more than 500 kids from different backgrounds and situations waiting for a mentor. To learn more and apply to become a Big Brother/Big Sister visit Existing Bigs and Littles can also use this link to sign up for a free YMCA membership.

In the BBBS community-based program, Littles between the ages 7 – 14 are matched with a Big and are asked to see each other two to four times per month. The Match spends time in the community and plans outings together. Big Brothers Big Sisters is about sharing time together rather than creating time. You can go to the YMCA, park, community events, run errands, go to the library, or work towards a goal together like running a 5k or learning a new skill

 To learn more about the BBBS Community-Based Mentorship program, visit

Monday, January 18, 2021

Mercury One’s First Ever Virtual Event: America Goes Back to Work


Gena and Chuck Norris received the Bonhoeffer “Angel” Award at Mercury One’s first ever Virtual Event: America Goes Back to Work  hosted by founders Tania and Glenn Beck. Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit humanitarian aid and education organization focused on restoring the human spirit based in Dallas, Texas.

Gena and Chuck Norris.
Photo taken at the 2019 M1Ball by Dana Driensky. 

WATCH: Mercury One Next Chapter: America Goes Back to Work 

Thanking sponsors and those who made the night possible:

“This evening we celebrate an unforgettable evening of hope, heritage and the best of humanity,” Glenn Beck, Founder of Mercury One said. “On this special night, we rejoice in the lives of those impacted by our humanitarian relief efforts, education programs, and preservation of American heritage. Together, we will chart the way forward as we seek to better our country and the world around us.” 

“Without the support of the community, none of this is possible,” Suzanne Grishman, Executive Director of Mercury One said. “This event is critical to our success as the funds raised support Mercury One’s general operations, ensuring that all program donations go directly to those that need it most.”

Glenn and Tania Beck, Founders, Mercury One and hosts of the Virtual Event. Courtesy photo.

 Beck revealed that 2021 will be the 10th Anniversary and the beginning of the next chapter of Mercury One. He was joined by David Barton, founder of WallBuilders and his son, Tim Barton, president of WallBuilders, to unveil the American Journey Experience, a place where people can learn the real history of the United States and be immersed in the documents, artifacts, and stories that molded our country. The American Journey Experience features a myriad of American antiquities, including Franklin D. Roosevelt's wheelchair, the original script for Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds," and original letters written by President George Washington. 

Suzanne Grishman, Executive Director, Mercury One; Dana Harrington during the live auction.

Event sponsors at different levels received a virtual in-home package, a chef-prepared meal delivered to their home. Rodney Strong Wine Estates provided a virtual in-home wine tasting presented by their winemaker and educator. A raffle featured a 2020 Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan or A Once in a lifetime experience for an All-Expenses paid trip (airfare, transportation, hotel and meals) for two people to Dallas, Texas for a two-night stay and a day with Mercury One. The winner and guest will receive a tour of The New American Journey Training Center and the new American Journey Vault with Glenn Beck and David Barton.

Original artworks by Glenn Beck circa 2020.

 To learn more about Mercury One’s Next Chapter, click here. 

Sponsors included: an Anonymous donor, John Pellegrino, Jr., Patriot Mobile, Gena and Chuck Norris with KickStart Kids, Woodforest National Bank, Rodney Strong Vineyards, The Nazarene Fund, Operation Underground Railroad, Marcus and Sara Rhem, Paul and Wendy Tackett, Kelly and Cindy Johnson, Heather Moon, Don Ross Nabb, Randall Barringer, Glenn and Dee Simmons Foundation, Heather Hanks and Brett Kathey, and D’Andra and Jeremy Lock. Host committee members included: Suzanne and Michael Grishman, Richard H. Rudolph II, Kevin and Tracy Campbell, Dena and Titus Weller, Travis and Dawn Simpson, Rhinehart and Associates, Inc., Madeline Chao, Judy Taylor and Peter Holt.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

SAVE (Students Advocating for Vital Engagements) Summit: February 5-6, 2021


S.A.V.E. (Students Advocating for Vital Engagements) is an organization founded to inspire and galvanize young people to use their voices for change.  The virtual debut Summit will take place virtually on February 5 and 6 and is available to any high school or college student. Sign up is free at  Students are also sourced by directors of TRIO Programs nationwide, Federal outreach and student services programs that provide services for individuals from underserved communities.

S.A.V.E. is partnered with the 700 member National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), representing more than 50 million Americans of various racial backgrounds, which has worked diligently over the last several years to include students in their programs as a means of giving them the tools to learn about and implement their civic duties.

The S.A.V.E. Summit will present workshops with the help of experts and celebrities, notably Mark Cuban, Metta World Peace, Gene Simmons and MC Lyte, Missouri Senator Steven Roberts, Professor Kendrick Roberson and more, who will offer their experience and knowledge. The umbrella topics to be discussed include Police & Community Reform (Students Against Violent Engagements), Economic Equality (Students Addressing & Valuing Economics), Voting Rights (Students Advocating for Voting Expansion), Environmental Justice (Students Against Violating the Earth) and Health Disparities (Students Advancing Vitality & Exercise). 

Negative Exposure, a new film to be released in Spring 2021, will be previewed by the Youth Summit attendees on February 5, with a discussion to follow the following day. The compelling and controversial film addresses relevant contemporary social issues which includes police reform and community awareness.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Center for BrainHealth - Sips & Science


If getting more exercise is one of your New Year's resolutions, don’t miss the first Sips & Science talk of 2021!

On Thursday, January 21 at 7PM, the Center for BrainHealth will kick off the Sips & Science season with a virtual talk by Dr. Kirk Erickson from the University of Pittsburgh, a leading expert on the impact of physical activity on brain health across the lifespan. He will share the latest discoveries and science-based guidelines for exercise that can benefit cognitive function.

Learn how simple exercise like walking around your neighborhood can contribute toward brain growth and cognition preservation. Walk Like a Greek, Think Like Aristotle!

Register today – the talk is virtual and free.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Taste of the NFL@Home 2021


The Taste of the NFL@Home 2021 is a dynamic and delicious live-streamed event on Super Bowl Sunday – Sunday, February 7th – LIVE from Tampa Bay, Florida, site of Super Bowl LV. Don’t miss the opportunity to cook alongside with award-winning chefs Carla Hall, Tim Love and Andrew Zimmern as they prepare Game Day recipes for at home tailgating and support GENYOUth’s mission to tackle food insecurity in schools nationwide.

There will be surprise NFL and celebrity appearances, entertainment and you’ll enjoy an incredible interactive experience that is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite to do good and eat well!

Buy Tickets Here

Your ticket package includes:
Game Day Menu & Shopping List
Livestream Access
Super Bowl Sunday with the Chefs
The first 5000 ticket purchasers will receive a limited-edition PepsiCo Game Day snack box from with PepsiCo and Frito Lay snacks and NFL game day surprises!