Sam’s Day Moves to NorthPark Center

By 2010/10/17Events

After 5 Years at White Rock Lake, Local Outreach Effort and Fundraiser Moves to a Larger Stage

Dallas, TX – October 4, 2010 – John Killian, Chairman of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), the largest non-profit organization in the United States focused on finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), and his wife Stefanie Killian, announced today that the 6th Annual Sam’s Day will take place on October 30, 2010 from 11am to 5pm at NorthPark Center in Dallas. Sam’s Day is named for the Killian’s son Sam (8 years old), the youngest of four children, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in early 2005. Sam’s Day was started in October of the same year by the Killian’s financial advisor and close personal friend, Chris Messick, CFP of Northwestern Mutual.

In its first five years, Sam’s Day was held at White Rock Lake in Dallas, but the event organizers were looking for a new venue this year to increase the event’s exposure, and found a willing partner in NorthPark Center. According to NorthPark’s Coordinator of Special Events, Lona Crabb, “We are excited about the opportunity to help grow Sam’s Day – we think it is a great opportunity to host a fun-filled, family focused event and it fits well with our goal of supporting our local community.”

Sam’s Day has become an annual destination for Dallas residents. It is a free, family-friendly event with bounce houses, obstacle course, clowns, face painters, magicians, and lots of other kid-friendly entertainment including performances by David Chicken and the Spooky Strings Marionette Show. The event will also feature a silent auction that will include items such as a seven day stay in a 3,000+ sq ft condo in Puerto Vallarta along with other travel packages, sports tickets, and sports memorabilia. This year’s event will have a Halloween theme.

Sam’s Day founder Chris Messick, who received a Northwestern Mutual Foundation community service award last year for his work on Sam’s Day which included a donation of $10,000 to the charity, is especially excited about this sixth anniversary year, and the move to NorthPark Center. “We really didn’t know what to expect the first year we held Sam’s Day. And now, here we are, five years later with an event that we are proud to say has increased awareness about Duchenne in the Dallas area and raised over $500,000 for research to help the thousands of amazing kids like Sam who are fighting this terrible disease. Our move to NorthPark Center will help make Sam’s Day 2010 our biggest event ever. ”

The Killians, while happy that people attend Sam’s Day to have fun as a family, emphasize the underlying message of the day. John says, “Fun games and great entertainment are all part of what have made Sam’s Day a success over the last five years. But what really excites us, are the conversations it sparks in the families that attend. Sam’s Day gives parents an opportunity to talk to their own children about what it means to face adversity in life, and to talk about accepting people with different physical and mental abilities. Sam is especially excited about the move to NorthPark Center – he thinks it will be the best Sam’s Day ever!”

Sam’s mom, Stefanie, adds, “There are so many distractions in today’s world making it tougher and tougher for families to connect with each other while having fun doing it. We wanted to create an experience that our family would enjoy going to and then hopefully, other families would want to come as well. CenterPark at NorthPark Center will be a beautiful new venue for us to welcome all of the families.”

Sponsors of Sam’s Day include Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P., ING, NorthPark Center,Vinson and Elkins, Northwestern Mutual, Asset Intertech Inc, Wischmeyer Benefit Partners, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Chicago Title, CB Richard Ellis, and Fire Safety First.

For more information on Sam’s Day, please visit

About Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne, the most common form of childhood muscular dystrophy, is a progressive and fatal muscle disorder affecting boys and young men that causes the loss of muscle function, wheelchair dependency and a decline in respiratory and cardiac function. It occurs in 1 in 3,500 births making it the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood.

About PPMD

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy. The organization’s mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy through research, advocacy, education and compassion. PPMD is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For more information, visit

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