The 4th Annual Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament weekend events proved that Dallas and Collin County giving is strong when it comes to kids. The 2-day event, held May 10-11 generated over $1 million in sponsorships and donations and was highlighted with a sold out “Dancing with the Smiths” gala on Friday night and Celebrity Golf Tournament on Saturday.
“We were amazed and humbled to see donors and sponsors come out to support our fundraisers at this level this year”, says Pat Smith, President of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities. “We had a great time both Friday and Saturday, with the gala party as well as the golf tournament itself. Fun people came in from all over the country to emcee, play golf and dance and we will forever be grateful for the time and dedication. This year, we will be able to support more kids than ever.”
Returning Title Sponsor, SoftLayer Technologies, Inc., and Presenting Sponsors Albertsons and American Airlines demonstrated their support this year by doubling their financial commitment from the previous year. SoftLayer CEO, Lance Crosby said, “The mission of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities (PESC) to make a difference in the lives of children resonates with the employees of SoftLayer as well as my personal goals. The kids that PESC serve are the next generation entrepreneurs, leaders and responsible adults; they are the kids that I will hire one day and I am delighted to help give them a chance to succeed and realize their dreams.”
FOX-TV broadcasted live from the red carpet at the Dallas Omni Hotel on Friday night, as Pat and Emmitt Smith welcomed celebrity attendees including: Tony Dovolani, Sabrina Bryan, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, Eric Dickerson, Marcus Allen, Anthony Anderson, Rolando Blackman, Spud Webb, Joe Carter, Will Muschamp, Floyd Little, Michael Finley, Darren Woodson, Trent Richardson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marshall Faulk, Charles Haley, Del Harris, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, Daryl Johnston, Jake Pavelka, Jay Novacek, Deion Sanders, and Marty Turco. Gala guest attendees included: Tina and David Craig, Lee Anne Locken, Dee Lincoln and John DiNardo, Sue and Jimmy Gragg, Rachael Gatenby and Mark Hearl, Abi Ferrin, Charlotte and Shy Anderson, Barbara and Steve Durham, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Ben Patton, Courtney Kerr, Suzie Humphreys, Lisa Pinero and Chuck Steelman.
The star-studded evening included a successful big board and live auction featuring unique packages such as the opportunity to attend the “Dancing with the Stars” finale with Pat and Emmitt Smith, and a private wine country tour hosted by Dee Lincoln and husband John DiNardo. The spirit of giving and competitive bidding inspired Dave Steiner, CEO of Waste Management to come to the stage to offer his private plane to fly 2 bidders to the Waste Management Open and play in the Pro-Am with Emmitt. Due to the generosity of the donors, the live auction raised $180,000 in bids.
The entertainment for the evening further elevated the event, as recent Dancing with the Stars All-Star Mirror Ball Winners Melissa Rycroft Strickland and Tony Dovolani performed, along with professional dancers from Studio 22. Determined to show her husband that she is worthy of a professional “Dancing with the Stars” gig, too, a surprise performance by Pat Smith performing a crowd pleasing cha-cha, resulted in the guests joining the Smiths on the dance floor with Emerald City.
The Emmitt Smith Celebrity Golf Tournament, hosted by TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney on Saturday did not disappoint, either, as Eric Dickerson’s team brought home the winning trophy and Nyle Pruitt, 8 times Professional Long Drive Contest Winner helped the Charity raise an additional $19,100 on Hole 18 while Team 22 kids stood by.
Event Co-Chairs Scott and Carole Murray along with Honorary Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich ensured that Dallas’ finest were out to support the cause, as well as have a good time. “The Ask” raised $125,000 from the room, plus an additional $50,000 challenge match, ensuring that Pat and Emmitt’s Team 22 Program is fully funded next year. An additional $100,000 has also been committed to Boys and Girls Club of Collin County through collaboration with Star Children’s Charity. The remainder of the net funds raised are planned to be distributed to annual scholarship programs such as Beat the Odds and Take Stock in Children, and recipients of the 2013 Grant Program.
Effective May 25, 2013, 501c3 organizations interested in requesting funding from Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities may apply for a 2013 Grant by following the instructions on the www.patandemmittsmithcharities.org website. Applications are due June 15, 2013. Funds will be distributed in September, 2013.