Tanner Kloven, Ashton Theiss, Uchenna Agu. Photo by Kevin Kazadi.
The 4th Annual “It’s A Jungle Out There” benefit took place on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the Deep Ellum Art Company. Former players from the hit TV shows Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother, and American Ninja Warrior gathered to raise funds for Cheer 4 Your Life, which helps teens pursue their passions and provides emotional support to help them stay focused on education and accomplish their goals. The evening’s festivities began with a red-carpet reception where celebrities mixed and mingled with guests dressed in “jungle chic” attire. Photo opportunities were plentiful not only with the with the celebrities in attendance but with snakes and tortoises provided by Wildlife On The Move.
Among those in attendance were Wendell Holland, Michaela Bradshaw, Keith and Wes Nale, Missy Payne, Baylor Wilson, Carolyn “Mama C” Rivera, Mike Holloway, Jill Behm, and Sunday Burquest from Survivor; Meg Malley and April Lewis from Big Brother; Uchenna Agu, Tanner Kloven and Ashton Theiss from Amazing Race; and Tom Doweidt, Brittany Hanks, Elliott Jolivette and Joy Strikland from American Ninja Warrior. Local media personalities Bret Mega from Hot Hits 93.3 and Brian Glenn of KEXB 620 AM radio also lent their names to the cause.
Missy Payne took to the stage to talk about how she competed on Survivor: San Juan del Sur in Season 29. She came in third place and although she lost the title of “Sole Survivor”, she walked away with a million-dollar idea to create Cheer 4 Your Life which raises funds to help high school youth discover their passion and pursue their dreams. Missy proudly introduced teens who are beneficiaries of the organization throughout the night who lent their talents to the evening’s entertainment. Kyndall Ash and Lacy Brent performed an original dance number choreographed by sister Layla Brent (alumni of C4YL). Jamilla Johnson sang an original that she wrote and recorded last summer thanks to Cheer 4 Your Life’s support. Sarah Seye, Mikaela Weiss and Brianna Woods performed a routine with cheerleading stunts and gymnastics. Tanner Perkins (downhill ski racer) and William Guichon (soccer goalkeeper) spoke about their growth due to the support of Cheer 4 Your Life.