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Through the Community Partners program, the Center works with key community groups to distribute tickets to individuals and families who face challenging circumstances or are students of the arts. The Center provides approximately 1,900 free tickets each year through the generous support of the Donna Wilhelm Friendship Fund and individual donors. Please consider supporting this program on North Texas Giving Day.

When a child is seriously sick or injured, the rest of the family is hurting as well – no one wants to see a loved one in the hospital, much less their little girl or boy. But thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, families with ill children can access a home-like, caring environment with proximity to healthcare facilities, helping to ease the considerable weight upon the families’ shoulders.

The AT&T Performing Arts Center wants to lighten this load by giving families a night out seeing a performance on the house, so that families can – even for one evening – feel a sense of normalcy and togetherness, to buoy their spirits and give them hope.

Gracie Thompson is in charge of Family Activities at the Ronald McDonald House, and says that families are often under great pressure while their loved one is sick or injured. “These families are dealing with depression and loneliness,” she explains. “They are trying to balance life here at the Ronald McDonald house and life at home.” Often, residents are consumed by care, doctor visits or being at the hospital. As part of the Center’s Community Partners program, they can get a break from this painful grind.

“It gives them an outlet from the stress; it’s a breather for them where they can just enjoy an activity together,” Thompson says. “For many, it’s their first exposure to the arts, and they tell me that they want to go home, wherever that is, and look for more.”

But for the children, the experience is pure bliss. “The kids get so, so excited. They enjoy it immensely,” Thompson says. She explains that the children are able to see themselves in the characters – especially when they saw the beloved Broadway musical Annie and needed the message of optimism and hope.

As for Thompson, the program is a boon to her work as well. “I’m just so thankful for receiving this wonderful donation of tickets,” she says.

It’s so important that the Center be able to extend tickets to the Ronald McDonald House and our other Community Partners so that everyone can access the arts – for a variety of causes that enrich lives all across North Texas. Please consider supporting this program with a donation of $25. If you give on North Texas Giving Day, that gift will be matched, allowing us to serve even more people.

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