Prescott explains origins of event
By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Excitement is building for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ ONE Night, Sunday, Jan. 28. This year’s event will feature hilarious comedian Howie Mandel with musical guests the Maccabeats. For the third year, SMU’s beautiful McFarlin Auditorium will be the backdrop for this not-to-miss free (there is a minimum suggested pledge to the Federation) community event (doors open at 6:30; the program starts at 7:30). Having attended my fair share of Federation Women’s Events, I wondered how ONE Night evolved. I caught up with Dan Prescott, who was the sitting Federation board chair two years ago when ONE Night debuted.
TJP: What was the inspiration for having one fundraising event for the community?
DP: There were a few reasons:
- 1. Fundraising is important and needs to happen but there is no reason it can’t be fun and enjoyable.
- 2. We have so many factors in our world that try to divide us, to create rifts and split us by age, by gender, by religious affiliation and brand, and isn’t it nice when we can find reasons to join together, to create one strong vibrant community and show how strong and successful we can be and how wonderful when across our demographic we can pull together.
- 3. Partners wanted events they can attend together.
TJP: How do you decide on the talent?
DP: I thought there is enough in the news and on the airwaves that makes us concerned and sigh, comedy is a break. Also with comedians no one is excluded; Reform, Conservative, Orthodox all can attend.
TJP: What have you learned from the previous two events?
DP: They are not easy and people have significant expectations. People like SMU, and profanity is not necessary. We learned that it takes a village to get the word out and for folks to sign up. Also that each year we learn from the previous year’s efforts.
We are learning to make our case more impactful and our asks more effective.
TJP: Do you think men and women miss having an event to call their own?
DP: Maybe and they may come back at some point. These events have shelf lives. Men’s and Women’s events got a little tired. That said, I can see a time when they will come back. It is interesting how other communities are following our lead. Dallas leads on so many things.
TJP: It seems like everyone is doing a comedy show now. Do you think this is a trend?
DP: Don’t know but if it is, we started it! Comedy, as long as it is at no one’s real expense, is needed in this world. Especially during these troubling times.
There is still time to register for ONE Night at www.jewishdallas.org/onenight. This event is free to attend thanks to the generous support of underwriters and presenting sponsor, BB&T.
As this is the largest fundraising event for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, attendees will have the opportunity to make their commitment to the 2018 Annual Campaign. Attendees 31 years of age and older will be asked to make a suggested minimum pledge of $365. Attendees 30 years of age and under will be asked to make a suggested minimum pledge of $180 to the 2018 Annual Campaign.
Event chairs for the evening are Angela Aaron Horowitz and Doug French, Jolie and Michael Newman and Natalie and Michael Waldman.