Friday, July 4, 2014

Emmitt Smith Charities honored Magic Johnson with first-ever Roger Staubach Award

Almost 1,000 guests packed the Omni Dallas Hotel for the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational, presented by SoftLayer, on May 9. They were there to pay tribute to Earvin “Magic” Johnson – an iconic NBA superstar who has inspired millions on and off the court with his philanthropy who also happens to be a powerhouse entrepreneur – and his wife Cookie as they received the first-ever Roger Staubach Award.
The ballroom at Omni Dallas resembled a gold and white wonderland.
Before the weekend was over, $1 million had been raised for the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, which creates and funds unique educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for underserved children. 
Pat and Emmitt Smith, Roger and Marianne Staubach, Cookie and Magic Johnson
Photo by Layne Murdoch
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.”  The award is given to recipients who exemplify excellence personally, professionally and philanthropically. It is the only award to be named in Staubach’ s honor other than one established at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy.

Guests entered the Friday Night Party, sponsored by Albertsons, on the traditional “Dallas Cowboy” blue carpet, sponsored by Cigna.

Pat and Emmitt’s longtime friend, Alfonso Ribeiro (best known as Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air) emceed the event, launching the program with the famous Carlton dance to Tom Jones hit It’s Not Unusual 
Alfonso and Angela Ribeiro
Magic praised Pat and Emmitt for their generosity, love and good work benefiting the Team 22 students, who are being mentored and provided with incredible opportunities, and the thousands of North Texas youth. 

“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our fifth year than with a new award named after our good friend and hero, Roger Staubach,” said Pat Smith. “And it’s such a thrill to give the first award to Cookie and Magic, an incredible power couple who have set the bar very high and been a true inspiration to Emmitt and me.”

After the program, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Darius Rucker sang over an hour and finished by donating a guitar that he and Emmitt signed. It was auctioned off for $25,000.
Darius Rucker performed for attendees.
Christie and Robert Ferguson and Marion and Bennett Glazer were the weekend’s honorary chairs. Event chairs were Lisa and Steve Lieberman

 There were celebs aplenty from NBA, WNBA, NFL and Major League Baseball and a local star of TV’s The Bachelor (Jake Pavelka) – Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Joe Carter, Richard Dent, Eric Dickerson, Michael Finley, Charles Haley, Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson, Jay Humphrey, Rickey Jackson, Daryl Johnston, David Justice, Nancy Lieberman, Kenny Lofton, Roland Martin, Coach Will Muschamp, David Nelson, Nate Newton, Drew Pearson, Preston Pearson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Donna Richardson, Trent Richardson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Winfred Tubbs, Nick Van Exel, Clay Walker, Spud Webb and Darren Woodson.
TEAM 22 and Magic
During the Saturday golf tourney held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney and sponsored by American Airlines, the $1 million mark was hit, thanks to fundraising held on the course and a special donation from Healthcare Highways owner Michael Wilson.

A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will be distributed to beneficiaries in North Texas chosen through a grant process this summer. Applications and criteria can be found at Other proceeds will be used to fund the Smith’s own Team 22 to attend Camp Champions, travel to Washington DC and participate in other unique experience throughout the year.

For more information or to watch a video recap of the Friday Night Party, go to

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