8th Annual Emmitt Smith Celebrity Golf Invitational & Gala

Larry Fitzgerald Jr. to Receive Roger Staubach Award

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"To whom much is given, much is required," is a mantra often shared and repeated by Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities co-founder, Emmitt Smith. The weekend of May 12 & 13, this mantra will become action as the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational golf tournament and gala, presented by title sponsor Healthcare Highways, marks its 8th year of grand-scale fundraising to directly impact the lives of thousands of North Texas children, families and their communities. The fundraising activities will begin with a Friday Night Gala presented by Albertsons/Tom Thumb, led by Honorary Chair Faye C. Briggs and Event Chairs Carmaleta Whiteley Felton and Otis Felton, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  The theme for this year is “Celebrate” and a host of celebrities from the sports and entertainment world, as well as local business leaders and officials will do just that as they begin the evening by walking the red carpet sponsored by Cigna followed by dinner, sponsored by E Smith Legacy, and a live auction. WFAA’s Dale Hansen will serve as the evening’s emcee with Amy Vanderoef and Cheryl “Action” Jackson providing red carpet coverage via Facebook Live.

“We are honored to lead the 2017 Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational. The needs of our young citizens in North Texas are great.” says Carmaleta Whiteley Felton and Otis Felton. “For the past eight years, Pat and Emmitt Smith have worked to address these needs.  We are thrilled to join their team and campaign to give back to more than 100,000 North Texas children.”

Legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and real estate icon, Roger Staubach, will present his namesake award, courtesy of Toyota, to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver and 2017 Walter Payton NFL Co-Man of the Year Award winner, Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. for his exceptional work with The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund supporting education and recreation for youth, as well as supporting children and families experiencing health challenges. This award recognizes sports and or entertainment professionals who positively impact the lives of children by living courageously and creating opportunities for today’s youth. This is the only award to be named in Staubach’s honor other than the one established at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I am truly honored to be receiving the Roger Staubach Award.  Being able to give back to my community has always been an integral part of my life,” said Larry Fitzgerald, Jr.  “The importance of ‘making a difference’ was instilled by my parents and it is something that I will continue to do long after my professional career ends.”   

Pat & Emmitt Smith are thrilled to have members of TEAM 22 participate throughout the evening’s program to be representatives of their efforts to promote and encourage education and leadership development in our community’s youth. TEAM 22 is the flagship program of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities that provides hands-on, one-to-one mentoring, unique enrichment experiences, leadership development and college scholarships for underserved North Texas students. Entertainment for the Celebrate gala will be provided by the Emerald City band. 

The “Celebrate” gala ushers in the Celebrity Invitational golf tournament on Saturday, May 13 hosted at TPC Craig Ranch. Players will be paired with celebrities to create foursomes to vie for bragging rights and the $5,000 purse sponsored by Waste Management. Now in its 8th year, the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational has raised more than $6.2 million in support of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities and supported over 137 charities in North Texas, including 3,500 DISD students and families through their annual back to school program. Proceeds from the weekend go to Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, (PESC), a 501(c)(3) public charity that creates and funds unique educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for underserved children. 

Friday Night Gala tickets begin at $750 each, and limited tables at $10,000+ with sponsorships available.

Saturday Golf Tournament Pavilion passes are $50 each. For ticket and sponsorship details contact Executive Director, Dana Vilardi, at dvilardi@ejsmithenterprises.com or 972-468-0870. For more information, visit www.emmittsmithcelebrityinvitational.com 

2017 Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitatational Sponsors (As of April 3, 2017)         

Healthcare Highways Shell
Faye C. Briggs Fossil Group
Alberstons/Tom Thumb                                            Brad and Michelle Chumley                                              
Waste Management E Smith Construction
Cigna Women’s Foodservice Forum
PlainsCapital Aimbridge Hospitality
Service King Joan and Pat Williamson
Toyota Moss Adams
E Smith Legacy


Pat and Emmitt Smith have a passion to help young people by providing them with opportunities to reach their fullest potential, even when there may be barriers in front of them. At Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, we are committed to providing resources to children to help them see and dream beyond the restrictive opportunities of their environment or the limitations others have placed upon them by supporting high quality programs in North Texas through grants, scholarships and partnership efforts. In this way, our efforts are amplified throughout the community and allow us to impact thousands of children each year. Pat and Emmitt Smith personally mentor a group of high potential, high performing, underserved students from the Dallas area through our signature program, TEAM 22. In order to nurture their growth into confident young leaders we host unique educational experiences, send them to leadership camp, pair them with mentors and require that they give back through community service. 

For more information, visit http://www.emmittsmith.com. 


Larry Darnell Fitzgerald, Jr. is an American football wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Pittsburgh, and earned All-American honors. The Arizona Cardinals chose Fitzgerald with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he has played his entire professional career for the team. He has been selected for the Pro Bowl six times, and currently ranks fourth all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game for a career (76.0 yards per game), behind Andre Johnson, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison. He created the 

Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund to support education and recreation for youth, as well as supporting children and families experiencing health challenges. Larry recognizes and appreciates the support he received from his family and the community when he was growing up to enable him to reach his full potential and Larry works tirelessly to provide that support to youth through his charitable work.

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