By Cheryl Smith
Sometimes the best-laid plans are disrupted. You can plan and mark your calendar, but then guess what? Life happens! That’s right. You map out your life, sometimes in a vacuum and other times, with the help of friends or loved ones. It seems perfect, easy to achieve if you take certain steps. It sounds easy and you are confident; that is until life happens. Which brings me to my truth. I wasn’t trying to come up with something I planned to be doing into another century. I was living for the moment.
I asked for friends to help me fulfill a need. Today, I come with the same mission: raise funds to help our youth go to college, participate in educational programs, and grow. First Chuck D of Public Enemy gave his support, followed by comedian Dick Gregory (who came almost every year prior to his death in 2017). We even bought a suit for a young man to wear to his high school graduation. Can you imagine graduating with honors and not having anything to wear to the ceremony?
Well, the Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation has fulfilled similar needs for over 25 years. In addition to funding trips to journalism conferences/conventions from Seattle to D.C. and Milwaukee to Baton Rouge, a student in Sen. Royce West’s Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program received a scholarship for the past 25 years and aspiring journalists received over $50,000 between the DFW/ABJ scholarship program and Urban Journalism Workshop. Usually, our biggest fundraiser, the Celebrity Bowl-a-Thon, is held in June and people from all over come to support. With major corporate and community support this much-anticipated event was always a success. We are grateful to the “leaders,” celebs and media who participated.
Sure, we are going to have an event this year. It’s year 26! But right now, we have to put safety and health first. In spite of COVID-19, we still want to award scholarships, but we need your help. Won’t you please make a contribution? The Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and we also have the Healthy Living Expo at the African American Museum on Martin Luther King Day every January. We serve our communities. You can make your donation to the Don’t Believe the Hype Foundation – Bank of America, through our Facebook page, or by mailing to
320 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway
Suite 220, Dallas, TX 75203
TX ID # 20-4646384
Our communities have been in a state of pandemonium for a long, long time. We must survive COVID-19 and we must continue working for our future.
Here are just a few of the scenes from previous bowl-a-thons. I’m looking forward to gathering again, one day. In the meantime, let’s continue supporting our youth. Please give today. I’m calling on everyone who cares about our future, all who have participated in the past, previous scholarship winners, or benefactors. Let’s all continue to lift as we climb!