Black women LGBT-run Facebook group promotes diversity
“We hope to set an example that more people in the city come together to create something bigger than themselves”
To escape her mental struggles and adversity, she started curating and hosting her own small events.
In March 2016, she hosted her first viral event, titled “I Dream ENT Adult Easter Egg Hunt, presented by her entertainment and event planning company. IDream ENT. It prides itself on bringing people together who “wouldn’t normally be in the same room,” she said.
It was an impromptu event inspired by Ashley Turigliatto’s sold-out adult Easter egg hunt at Tower Grove Park. Within three days, Casey decided to share her own version of this with her family and friends.
She thought maybe 30 to 40 people would come, but in the end the event was more than she could ever imagine. Because it went so well, she decided to have it every year and open it to the public.
It was even noticed The Wall Street Journalwho published a story in 2019.
After the event, she fell in love with the feeling of seeing adults having fun as they did as children. She moved on to organizing other events in addition to the Easter egg hunt, including adult prom, speed dating, The Rise Open Mic, adult game night and more.
Although success was there for Casey, who produced cool and innovative events in town, she didn’t take her efforts seriously.
Despite her uncertainty, she took the courage to present the city museum with an idea in 2019 to organize an adult evening there.
“I was disappointed to find out they haven’t partnered with third-party companies,” she said. “I was really disappointed because I felt like I was still not good enough. However, I never gave up. I continued to learn and grew. “
Casey let her creative juices flow and started the Date ideas and activities in the STL Facebook group in July 2020 with her fiancé Donnah Thomas.
The black women-run LGBT group came about after Casey’s friend encouraged her to create a space so she could keep up with all the fun things Casey does and sees in town.
Like the feeling she had about hosting the Easter egg hunt, Casey thought once again that few people would be interested. Again, the success of their efforts far exceeded their expectations – within a year the group gained more than 162,000 members and now has an average of around two million viewers per month.
Her dream of working with the city museum has also come true. She recently hosted an umbrella event there, and the person who gave her a chance was none other than Turigliatto, the woman who started the Easter egg hunt at Tower Grove. She takes care of marketing and communication for the museum.
“I had so much pleasure looking around at how people of different races, genders, and sexualities come together and have the time of their lives,” said Casey.
She added, “It’s magical in itself that we come together in a situation where most people would call us competition.”
Based on the group, Casey and Thomas have developed their own marketing agency and partnerships with large companies and corporations.
“We do the marketing for individuals and local businesses, and we try to keep everything organic,” said Casey. “We have contracts with several companies that pay me to post (articles) for them three times a month.
The partnerships allow Casey and Thomas to host events with different companies. As a black women’s business, they love partnering with black and minority owned companies because they often have no budget for marketing or advertising.
“We’re trying to find ways to make things mutually beneficial. I’ve been very successful in helping many of our small black-owned businesses get lots of marketing and publicity, “said Casey.
Group posts go viral at times, with hundreds of shares and thousands of comments. One post that particularly helped the group was Casey speaking about the excellent customer service she received from a Jimmy John’s in Sunset Hills Candace Stroder.
When Casey stopped at the drive-thru window, she was overwhelmed that the lady taking her order was not only nice, but that she was the same person preparing her food, taking other orders, answering the phone, and hers Took payment. Despite all the multitasking, the employee remained very nice.
Impressed with their professionalism, Casey posted a post in the group with a picture of Stroder and their cash app information and asked members to donate their money.
Members also completed another tipping challenge, where Casey, Carol Daniel of KMOX Radio, and others teamed up to tip a server in the St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain with a $ 1,000 tip.
The group is open to people looking for recommendations on date night ideas, solo adventures, dog-friendly facilities, and fun for the whole family. Although Casey and Thomas generate income from the group, they want to turn it into a nonprofit site in the future.
“I want to start a non-profit organization where I can bring children whose parents can’t afford it to the city museum. Reception hall, and in other places. ” said Casey.
Many tourists ask what places to visit in the city. One day Casey even ran into a couple who said the reason they moved to St. Louis was the group.
“They said they were discussing whether or not to move here and they looked at the group and just saw all the different things there was to do in town,” she said. “And they said, ‘Yeah, let’s go to St. Louis.'”
Casey and Thomas’ mission for the group is to show pride in the city and shine a light on it in a positive rather than a negative way. One goal is to work with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and other political figures to promote St. Louis.
“We hope to set an example of more people coming together in town to create something bigger than themselves,” said Casey. “That’s one way I think we can make STL a better place.”
Casey dedicates all of her success and accomplishments to her son Mason High, who motivates and drives her to dream big.
“My son changed my life and everything I do is for him,” she said.
“My main goal is to ensure that my son has the opportunity to go to college or take over one of our businesses after he graduates from high school.”
A website for the group is currently under development that will include third party bookings for private chefs and AirBNBs. The website will also have a kids’ section for high, where they can video blog as they get older.