Rainbow Days hosted its 22nd annual Pot of Gold Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole Grand Ballroom where 545 supporters and guests gathered to raise more than $179,000 for Rainbow Days through sponsorships, individual seats, auction bidding, raffle ticket sales and donations.

Held annually since 1997, the Pot of Gold Luncheon is a cheerful and celebratory fundraising event benefiting Rainbow Days’ mission and services. Each year, the luncheon features an inspiring keynote speaker, special performances from the Rainbow Days children, moving program testimonials and silent auction bidding.

The 2019 event did not disappoint: Guests enjoyed an intimate keynote address from Academy Award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin. Although Matlin lost her hearing when she was only 18 months old, she never let her challenges dictate her future or deter her dreams; in 1986 at age 21, she became the youngest woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress.

At the luncheon, Matlin inspired guests with the story of how she pursued her goals and dreams while overcoming adversities, abuse and addiction. Further, she encouraged guests to support and believe in the children of Rainbow Days: kids who, just like her, have boundless dreams and limitless potential despite the present situations they may be facing. Matlin left guests with one final message, a mantra to always remember: “Courage + Dreams = Success.”

Rainbow Days program participants from Exodus Ministries and Tom Field Elementary School also took to the stage at the 2019 Pot of Gold Luncheon. In honor of Matlin’s presence, the children performed a touching rendition of “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” using American Sign Language.

Another highlight of the luncheon program was the premiere of Rainbow Days’ new short film, “Reflections of Hope: A Short Film,” which features program participants of the past and present. Their raw, uplifting testimonials demonstrate the true impact of Rainbow Days and how it feels to have supportive people who care in their lives. M3 Films helped film and produce this moving piece.

This year’s event was made possible through the hard work, time and resources of the wonderful 2019 Pot of Gold Committee members. Event leadership included Luncheon Chair Nikki Chriesman-Green and Auction Chair Nicole Williams. Special thanks are also in order for Todd Whitthorne, who served as the event’s emcee. 

Rainbow Days top sponsors included: 

Diamond: Nancy Ann & Ray L. Hunt, Anonymous, Hilton Anatole, Mary Kay and PwC

Gold: American Airlines, Citi, ORIX Foundation and Thompson & Knight Foundation

Silver: Advanced Group, Phyllis & John Horan, Jill & Dale Hurd, Mary Jo & James McKellar, The Oxley Family and USI

Additionally, Rainbow Days is honored to have had The Park Cities News and Good Life Family Magazine as Media Sponsors for the 2019 Pot of Gold Luncheon.

rainbowdays.org  Photo Credit: Rob Wythe/Gittings


Sherri Ansley, CEO, Rainbow Days, Inc.; Marlee Matlin, featured speaker; Nikki Chriesman-Green, luncheon chair.


Mary Jo McKellar, James McKellar


Nicole Williams, Auction chair; Elissa McClure


Tiffany Beaudine, Director of Development; Rachel, a Rainbow Days child


Marlee Matlin, featured speaker


The Rainbow Days Children “This is Me” Song