DALLAS, TX – December 21, 2022 Big Thought, an impact education nonprofit, announces the highly anticipated return of its BIG NIGHT fundraising event, to take place on March 4, 2023 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Factory in Deep Ellum. The evening is slated to include a cocktail reception, seated dinner, youth-led entertainment, and a vibrant live auction of experiences with an impactful paddle raise. BIG NIGHT will also honor several creative visionaries and community leaders for their commitment to BIG ideas and their Big Thought impact.

“Celebrating a three-decade legacy of work, BIG NIGHT provides our organization the opportunity to generate additional support and lift up our young creators,” says Byron Sanders, President and CEO of Big Thought. “We can’t do this important work alone and we applaud and thank our supporters that strongly believe in our mission. This generosity is what propels us forward and allows us to reach our youth across our Dallas community and beyond.”

BIG NIGHT will feature a distinguished set of honorary and event chairs who have demonstrated influential leadership of significance throughout the Dallas community. The 2023 chairs include:

  • Honorary Chairs: DeMarcus & Sasha Lawrence and Donna Wilhelm, and
  • Event Chairs: Lynn & Allan McBee and Christa & Ketric Sanford

“We are excited to serve alongside Christa and Ketric as co-chairs of BIG NIGHT! The programs and services that Big Thought provides helps to close the opportunity gap for our youth that need it the most,” said Lynn and Allan McBee. “The money raised from BIG NIGHT will go far in helping to achieve that goal,” Christa and Ketric Sanford added. “We hope to have a great response from new and steadfast Big Thought supporters to make this event a success.”

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys Defensive End and Honorary Chair for BIG NIGHT further adds, “I understand what it means to come from a tough background, and I want to help kids become leaders. That’s why I chose Big Thought and what they represent and stand for.”

Big Thought believes in the innate greatness of youth and is creating creators by retooling the traditional thought behind what creativity is — and who is creative. BIG NIGHT will assist in strengthening the organization’s commitment to the next generation of innovators, creators and changemakers. The financial support from the fundraiser will ensure that Dallas area youth will have resources and build skills for the 21st century workplace, through the continued development of programs and community partnerships.

“Big Thought fosters my philanthropic mission to support underserved youth by empowering their learning, emotional maturity and creative thinking,” said Donna Wilhelm, author, arts advocate and philanthropist.  “As honorary co-chair of BIG NIGHT, I ask that we contribute our talent, time and resources to improve young lives now—so that they will flourish as stronger and impactful citizens of tomorrow.”

More exciting announcements will be revealed for BIG NIGHT including the 2023 Honorees and the event’s celebrity emcee. To view sponsorship opportunities (ranging from $5,000 to $75,000) or to purchase tickets (ranging from $300 to $1,500), please visit www.BigThought.org/BN23.



Big Thought is an impact education nonprofit that closes the opportunity gap by equipping all youth in marginalized communities with the skills and tools they need to imagine and create their best lives and a better world. Driven by its mission to make imagination a part of everyday learning, Big Thought has become a national model in arts education, out-of-school time systems, summer learning and juvenile justice intervention.

Media Contact:

Leah Frazier

Think Three Media