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Black women LGBT-led Facebook group promotes diversity, unity and fun

"We hope to set an example for more people in the city to come together to create something bigger than themselves"
Credit: St. Louis American
Couple Morgan Casey and Donnah Thomas' Date Ideas and Things to do in STL Facebook group sheds a much needed positive light on St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Similar to many new moms, Morgan Casey dealt with depression and struggled with becoming her true self after giving birth to her son, Mason High, in 2013.

To escape her mental battles and adversities, she began 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 uniting people that “normally wouldn’t be in the same room as each other,” she said.

It was a spur of the moment event inspired by Ashley Turigliatto’s sold-out adult Easter egg hunt in Tower Grove Park. In a matter of three days, Casey decided to hold her own version of it with her family and friends.

She thought maybe 30 to 40 people would come, but the event ended up being 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 even caught the eye of The Wall Street Journal, who published a story in 2019.

Following the event, she fell in love with the feeling she got seeing adults have fun like they did as kids. She transitioned 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 the success was there for Casey producing cool and innovative events in the city, she didn’t take her efforts seriously.

While there was uncertainty about herself, she mustered up the courage to pitch an idea to the City Museum in 2019 about hosting an adult night there.

“I was let down by finding out they didn’t partner with third party companies,” she said. “I was really disappointed because I felt like I still wasn’t good enough. However, I never gave up. I continued to learn and continued to grow.”

Casey kept her creative juices flowing and launched the Date Ideas and Things to do in STL Facebook group in July 2020, with her fiancée Donnah Thomas.

The Black woman LGBT operated 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 the city.

Like the sentiment she had about hosting the Easter egg hunt, Casey once again thought only a few people would be interested. Again, the success of her efforts far exceeded her expectations—within a year the group gained more than 162,000 members and now averages about two million viewers a month.

Her dream to partner with the City Museum has also come true. She recently hosted a rooftop event there, and the person to give her a chance was none other than Turigliatto, the woman who created the Tower Grove Easter egg hunt. She handles marketing and communications for the museum.

“I felt so much joy looking around seeing people of different ethnicities, genders, and sexualities come together and have the time of their lives,” Casey said.

She added, “For us to come together in a situation where most people would call us each other’s competition is magical in itself.”

Their own marketing agency and partnerships with large companies and corporations have developed for Casey and Thomas based on the group.

“We handle marketing for individuals and local businesses and try to keep everything organic,” Casey said. “We have contracts with several companies that pay me to post (items) for them three times a month.

The partnerships allow Casey and Thomas to host events with various companies. Being a Black woman entity, they love having partnerships with Black-owned and minority-owned businesses because they find a lot of times they don’t have a budget for marketing or advertising.

“We try to figure out ways to make things beneficial for both parties. I have been very successful with helping a lot of our small Black owned businesses get a lot of marketing and promo.” Casey said. 

Posts from the group sometimes go viral, with hundreds of shares and thousands of comments. One post in particular that has helped the group included Casey discussing the excellent customer service she received from a Jimmy John’s in Sunset Hills by Candace Stroder

When Casey pulled up to the drive-thru window she was blown away that the lady who took her order was not only nice, but that she was also the same person making her food, taking other orders, answering the phone and taking her payment. With all the multitasking, the employee still remained very nice.

Impressed by her level of professionalism, Casey made a post on the group with a picture of Stroder and her Cash App information asking members to donate money to her.

Members also completed another tip challenge where Casey, Carol Daniel of KMOX Radio, and others teamed up to bless a server at St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain with a $1,000 tip.

The group is open to people seeking recommendations for date night ideas, solo adventures, dog-friendly establishments, and fun for the entire family. Although Casey and Thomas make revenue from the group, in the future they would like to create a nonprofit side of it.

“I wanna create a nonprofit where I can take kids whose parents can’t afford it to the City Museum, Rec Hall, and other places.” Casey said.

Many tourists ask what places they should visit while in town. One day Casey even ran into a couple who said the reason they relocated to St. Louis was because of the group.

“They said they were debating if they were gonna move here or not and they were looking at the group, just seeing all the different things to do here in the city,” she said. “And they were like ‘yeah, let's go to St. Louis.’”

Casey and Thomas’ mission for the group is to show pride in the city and shed a positive light on it rather than negativity. One goal they have is to partner with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and other political figures to promote St. Louis.

“We hope to set an example for more people in the city to come together to create something bigger than themselves,” Casey said. “That’s one way I think we can make STL a better place.”

Casey dedicates all her success and accomplishments to her son, Mason High, who motivates and pushes her to dream big.

“My son changed my life and all that I do is for him,” she said.

“My main goal is making sure when my son graduates high school that he has the option of going to college or taking over one of our businesses.”

A website for the group is currently in development, which will include third party booking for private chefs and AirBNBs. The site will also feature a kids section for High to go on and do video blogs once he gets older.

Visit Date Ideas & Things to do in STL on Instagram and TikTok.

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