News Release | Nowitzki Event Raises Over $1.3 Million in Support of Early Childhood Education

Dallas, Texas, March 23rd, 2023 – The Ritz Carlton Dallas was the scene for “An Evening with The Great Nowitzki,” a fundraiser held by Educational First Steps (EFS) to benefit childcare providers across North Texas. NBA legend and local icon Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks headlined the event, sharing his story of perseverance and determination with a sold-out crowd of 500 fans and EFS supporters.

According to President & CEO, Vickie Allen-Brown, “Dirk really brought his soul to the conversation and the interview was a reflection of his and Jessica’s care for children and the North Texas community as a whole. We were honored to have hosted him and we are forever grateful to each and every individual who stepped up to invest in the lives of children and their early education experience.”

As a special addition to the evening, Susan Hoff, Chief Strategy & Impact Officer for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, presented the Inaugural Early Childhood Champion Awards to philanthropist and early childhood education advocate, Regen Horchow, and EFS’ corporate partner, PNC Bank. The award recognizes those that go above and beyond to advocate, support, and ensure high-quality early childhood education is accessible to all.


Based in North Texas, Educational First Steps is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create and support high-quality early learning environments that ignite the minds of children from birth to age five. EFS delivers professional development, training, classroom resources, and business support to educators to help existing childcare centers achieve and maintain national accreditation. By investing in early childhood education, Educational First Steps helps close achievement gaps for early learners, break cycles of generational poverty for families, and create a brighter and more equitable tomorrow.

Contact: Savannah Espiritu 
Phone: 214-824-7940 x 252