An iconic sports figure who has inspired millions on and off the court, legendary NBA superstar and powerhouse entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and his wife Cookie, will receive the first-ever “Roger Staubach Award” at the fifth-annual Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational weekend, presented by SoftLayer, on May 9-10, 2014.
Pat and Emmitt Smith will present the award to the Johnsons at the “Friday Night Party,” sponsored by Albertsons, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Omni Hotel Dallas in the Dallas Ballroom. The festivities continue Saturday, with an 18-hole charity golf tournament, sponsored by American Airlines, at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney. Proceeds from the weekend will 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.
The Staubach Award has been established “to recognize individuals who have brought together the world of sports/entertainment and business to make an extraordinary impact on the lives of children and youth.” Named for the legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and real estate icon, the award is given to recipients who exemplify excellence personally, professionally and philanthropically. This is the only award to be named in Staubach’s honor other than one established at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy.
“I’ve been a friend of Pat and Emmitt’s for years and I really respect what they do to help North Texas kids, so it was an easy call to attach my name to this project,” said Staubach. “I’m doubly honored – first, to have this award named in my honor but also to have the first recipients be Cookie and Magic Johnson. They’ve lived courageously, created jobs and opportunities, and helped so many kids in countless ways.”
Other highlights of the Friday Night Party include a performance by Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Darius Rucker, who in 2009 became the first African American to win the New Artist Award from the Country Music Association. Also on tap is a celebrity reception, presented at 6 p.m. by Tequila Herradura; the live red carpet event, presented at 6:30 p.m. by Cigna; the live auction at 7 p.m.; and the dinner and the presentation of the Staubach Award, presented at 7:45 p.m. by Healthcare Highways. Rucker will perform at 8:45 p.m. followed by Emerald City at 9:30 p.m. Dress is cocktail attire.
Christie and Robert Ferguson and Marion and Bennett Glazer are the weekend’s honorary chairs. Event chairs are Lisa and Steve Lieberman.
The Saturday golf tournament begins with registration at 7:30 a.m. – including breakfast presented by the Ryan Foundation; “Dapper Den” gifting suite presented by DAPPER Magazine; and the driving range presented by Informatica. The shotgun start is at 9 a.m., and from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The VIP Pavilion will be presented by Park Place Lexus, and lunch will be presented by the Ryan Foundation. At 3:30 p.m., the players-only award ceremony will feature food donated by Cattleack BBQ. Scott Murray will be the master of ceremonies.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our fifth year than with an new award named after our good friend, Roger Stauch,” said Pat Smith. “And it’s such a thrill to give the first award to Cookie and Magic, an incredible couple who have set the bar very high and been a true inspiration to Emmitt and me.”
To date, the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational has raised more than $2.4 million in support of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities. Past beneficiaries include After-School All-Stars North Texas, Autism Speaks, Boys and Girls Clubs of Collin County, C5 Youth Foundation, Community Council of Greater Dallas, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Symphony Association, Dallas Tennis Association, Dallas Wind Symphony, Foundation for the Education of Young Women, Fort Worth Public Library, Hendrick Scholarship Foundation, The Jason Terry Foundation, Inc., LeadersKids Fort Worth, ManeGait, Minnie’s Food Pantry, North Texas Food Bank, North Texas Youth Education Town Center – The Salvation Army, Play Like a Girl, Rainbow Days, The Turning Point, and many more. Funds also go to PESC’s own Team 22 program, which provides personal mentoring and unique experiences to underserved youth in the North Texas area. The program is a gateway that opens doors to the future for high-potential kids. Tickets for the Friday Night Party begin at $500, and pavilion passes for the Saturday Golf Tournament are $50 each.