Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational Benefits Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities
By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Thomas Garza
THE SCENE: The Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational took place this May at the Omni Frisco hotel, marking its ninth year of grand-scale fundraising to directly impact the lives of thousands of North Texas children, families and their communities. the theme for this year was Rising Stars. A star-studded red carpet, hosted by Cigna, kicked off the evening and included sports and entertainment notables such as Bishop TD Jakes, Thurman Thomas, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, Andre Reed, Woody McClain, and Kavon Frazier.
THE VIBE: Entertainment Tonight’s Nischelle Turner hosted the evening that showcased the impact of the organization’s community work by interviewing three of the young adults their programming had benefited on-stage. The evening culminated with the presentation of the 2018 Roger Staubach Award that was presented by Haggar to Jason Witten, who had retired from the Dallas Cowboys just days before. The gala wrapped up with a surprise performance by 90s pop star Montell Jordan joining Emerald City Band on-stage to sing his hit song This Is How We Do It.
THE CAUSE: Event chairs Janiece Evans-Page and Mark Page led the event along with honorary chairs Torii and Katrina Hunter. To date, the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational has raised more than $7.2 million dollars in support of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities and has supported more than 150 charities in North Texas, including 7,000 Dallas ISD students and families.