DALLAS, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Heart of Dallas Young Professionals (HODYP) today announced Lagardere Sports as the title sponsor of the inaugural Fast Pitch event. The competition is open to DFW nonprofits focused on the areas of youth sports, education, illnesses and family support. HODYP will distribute $100,000 in total funds to local charities through this event. The Fast Pitch will take place on Wednesday, November 4th at d.e.c on Dragon St. at 6:30 p.m.
Dallas Maverick star Dirk Nowitzki will also be on hand to accept the HODYP's first Community Excellence Award. The award, presented by Bud Light, honors a deserving Dallas athlete for his/her charitable and philanthropic impact to Dallas-Fort Worth. The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation will be presented with a $10,000 check on behalf of HODYP and Bud Light.
"We are proud to serve as the title sponsor of the Heart of Dallas Fast Pitch Event," said Kern Egan, Executive Vice President of Lagardere Sports. "This is, without a doubt a great opportunity for Lagardere to align with this group of young professionals, who are expanding their footprint in DFW and impacting this community in significant ways."
Fast Pitch Finalists
More than 50 local nonprofits that focus on children's programs applied to compete. Eight finalists from that group were chosen by the HODYP's Steering Committee to participate in the final event on November 4.
The finalists are America SCORES Dallas, Behind Every Door, Bryan's House – Open Arms, Inc., Dallas Tennis Association, Education Opens Doors, Equal Heart, HopeKids North Texas, Rae's Hope, Inc.
The finalists will be judged on their live on-stage performance in presenting three-minute pitches before an audience and a five-person panel of judges whose backgrounds range from business, civil service and nonprofit management.
The judges for this year's Fast Pitch Event are:
Mallory Martin, President of Heart of Dallas Young Professionals
Kern Egan, Executive Vice President of Lagardere Sports
Britton Banowsky, Executive Director of College Football Playoff Foundation
Claudia DeMoss, Community Funds Manager, the Dallas Foundation
George Ellis, Chief Financial Officer, the Studer Group & Partner at Dallas Chapter, Social Ventures Partners International
Representatives of the organizations have three minutes to tell judges the mission, vision, and why their organization brings value to the community and is deserving of the funds. All eight finalists will receive grants of between $2,500 and $25,000. The audience will determine the People's Choice Award, which will receive a $5,000 grant.
Mike Leslie of official media partner WFAA will serve as the emcee for the evening. Other sponsors include: Smith Thompson Home Security, Papa John's Pizza, Enterprise Holdings, Social Venture Partners Dallas and RGT Wealth Advisors.
"The Heart of Dallas Fast Pitch Event is a wonderful opportunity for young professionals to learn, engage and impact area nonprofits that are doing invaluable work in our community," said Mallory Martin, President of Heart of Dallas Young Professionals. "We are particularly grateful to see so many corporate partners support this initiative and we look forward to making this inaugural event into a Dallas tradition for many years to come."
Tickets are $50 for guests and $25 for employees affiliated with nonprofits, which can be purchased online at theheartofdallas.org.
The Heart of Dallas Young Professionals group is comprised of young business professionals in the sports and entertainment industries in DFW and works to fuel bold social change. In 2013, Heart of Dallas inked a deal with ESPN Regional Television to produce the Heart of Dallas Bowl Game through 2019. As part of the arrangement, ESPN agreed to contribute an annual gift to advance the mission of Heart of Dallas.
The HODYP formed a Fast Pitch event to make a significant contribution to the community and recognize DFW nonprofits that support local youth programs and projects. Through this event, area nonprofits will receive grants to support their efforts in addition to the opportunity to engage with potential new volunteers, donors and supporters.
About Lagardere Sports:
Lagardere Sports is a leading sport marketing agency, with a global network of local experts dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that meet our clients' needs. We believe sport inspires emotions and passion that are essential to enrich people's lives and generate powerful collective experiences. At Lagardere Sports, we dedicate our expertise and passion to provide our clients with privileged access to the infinite opportunities of sports. Lagardere Sports is part of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, a company with more than 1,600 employees worldwide and 50 years of experience. http://www.lagardere-se.com/
About Heart of Dallas:
The Dallas Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of Heart of Dallas Fund, a component fund of The Dallas Foundation, a 501(c)(3), publicly supported charity. The official launch event was the Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank on January 1, 2013 at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Demonstrating Heart of Dallas' commitment to its home city, net profits from the event went to benefitting the homeless population in Dallas. A year later The Heart of Dallas Young Professionals was formed to convene and engage the next generation of leaders in the Dallas sports and entertainment fields by connecting young professionals with one another and opportunities to fuel bold social change. For more details about the event and Heart of Dallas, visit www.theheartofdallas.org.
SOURCE Heart of Dallas Young Professionals