If you’ve ever dreamed of going behind-the-scenes of St. Louis Rams’ football, The Magic House’s annual gala, Friday Night Lights, will give you that chance.
On Friday, Sept. 27, gala guests will dine and play like a pro at Rams Park. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a VIP cocktail hour and tour of the players’ and owners’ areas of the park. It continues with a seated dinner on the football field, live and silent auctions, and meet-and-greets with the Rams’ cheerleaders. Attendees also can get athletic by participating in NFL PLAY 60 challenges, such as racing down the field through tires and inflatables.
A record 350 guests and more than $150,000 in fundraising dollars are expected for the high-energy event, which will benefit The Magic House’s health initiative, Good to Grow. “It encourages kids to get outside and play, make healthy food choices, increase exercise and reduce screen time,” notes Kevin Demoff, who is serving as honorary co-chair, along with his wife, Jennifer. Event chair is Devon Fischer.
Gala proceeds also will help support The Magic House’s additional educational programs, which annually bring more than 50,000 kids into the children’s museum free of charge. “For many of these kids, it’s their first opportunity to come to The Magic House,” Jennifer Demoff explains. “And it offers teachers great opportunities to enhance their curriculums through the museum’s hands-on learning.”
The museum’s education outreach programs also include Free Family Nights; The Magic House “on-the-go,” where museum activities are taken into libraries and hospitals; and educator training, which offers ways for teachers to incorporate the museum’s hands-on lessons in the classroom.
The Rams-themed gala, presented by the museum’s Friends Committee and Edward Jones, also kicks off The Magic House’s new traveling exhibit, Football, running from Oct. 5 to Jan. 5. Football will show visitors the science, mathematics and technology behind the game through interactive areas such as Forward Pass and Game at the Line of Scrimmage. And participants will have the chance to try to match the speed of an NFL running back and learn the secret behind kicking the ideal field goal. The football theme continues with a permanent exhibit featuring a replica Rams’ football training facility with even more hands-on activities.
Beyond Football, The Magic House has more new tricks up its sleeve, including the Sid the Science Kid exhibit coming next year. Museum guests also can venture to the rooftop to view a self-sustaining hydroponic garden and learn where our food comes from, Jennifer Demoff adds. In addition to new exhibits, The Magic House continues to offer classic favorites, from the Bubble Room and Children’s Village to the three-story Jack and the Beanstalk Climber.
The Magic House is a St. Louis gem, Jennifer Demoff notes. “It is such an amazing place…I’ve never been anywhere like it. It has grown up with our city and provided unique memories for families. And being involved in its gala helps kids in St. Louis with the fewest resources with their health and education.”