Let’s hear it for Cassie Nova and her cast of fellow freaks who raised more than $7,000 for the students of Sam Houston Elementary School with the second annual “Cassie’s Freakmas Christmas Show” on Monday night, Dec. 5, at JR.’s Bar and Grill.
The record-setting total happened thanks to donations from Caven customers and local businesses — including a $5,000 check from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to cap off the evening.
Caven Enterprises, JR.’s parent company, adopted Sam Houston Elementary School, the poorest school in the Dallas Independent School District, more than 20 years ago. During those 20-plus years, Caven and its employees have been able, thanks to the generosity of the LGBT community and businesses who donate, to provide money to help with the school’s fall and spring carnivals, the Reading is Fundamental program, field trips and the annual Secret Santa program.
Thanks to the Caven Secret Santas, each child at Sam Houston Elementary receives a gift of their choosing, a goody bag full of fresh fruit and other snacks and some special surprises. The program also brings Santa in to visit each class, and it provides every teacher and faculty member with a gift card, too.
“I have to say that last night’s Freakmas Show was a huge success,” Cassie wrote this morning (Tuesday, Dec. 6) on her Facebook page. “We raised $2,265, and then at the end of the show Chad Mantooth handed me a check from the very generous Mark Cuban for $5,000 [for a] grand total of $7,265.
“I am so proud of last night and want to thank all of my girls that performed. It was an amazing show,” Cassie added. “Thank you to anyone that bought a raffle ticket. Thank you to anyone that donated any of our fabulous prizes.”
She also thanked audience members who showed up in their “cutest onesies,” and the “JR.’s crew.”
Among the local businesses and organizations donating prizes to be raffled off were Street’s Fine Chicken, Ojeda’s, Cedar Grove, Hard Rock Cafe, Hash House A-Go-Go, Hollywood Feed, Italia Express, Original Market Diner, Spunk Lube, Hair Today Gone Tomorrow, Toni & Guy, 18th and Vine Barbecue, Vertigo 12, ATT Performing Arts Center, Dallas Summer Musicals, Uptown Players and North Haven Gardens. More than 15 entertainers also donated their time and tips to effort.
“I want every child that goes to that school to wake up on Christmas morning with at least one present under the tree,” Cassie said.