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Emmitt Smith to Speak at The Salvation Army’s Annual Inspiring Hope Fundraising Luncheon in Arlington
President and CEO of the Caffey Group, Mark Caffey, is chairman of the event.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams and his wife Karen, and Mansfield Mayor David Cook and his wife Tonya are honorary chairs.
ARLINGTON (April 3, 2017) – Emmitt Smith will be keynote speaker at The Salvation Army’s Annual Inspiring Hope Fundraising Luncheon on Wednesday May 3 from noon until 1:30 p.m. at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The NFL’s all-time leading rusher and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer has a record that only few players can match. And it’s no secret he won three Super Bowl championships as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. But what is often not mentioned in the list of Smith’s football accolades is that his career actually began when he played on a youth football team at The Salvation Army when he was eight years old.
It all started with a 70-yard touchdown run from scrimmage of his very first game in organized football back in 1977 in Pensacola, Florida. As quarterback for The Salvation Army Mini-Mites, Smith took the snap and ran straight up the middle to score against Ensley Park, another team in the 6-to-8-year-old division.
The Salvation Army was a safe haven in the neighborhood where Smith lived. His family experienced financial difficulties while he was growing up, and he had to work extra hard, doing various jobs to raise money so he could help care for his sick grandmother.
Like most children who lived nearby, Smith went to The Salvation Army every day after school. The organization provided a place for kids to gather, make friends and participate in activities they couldn’t afford to do otherwise.
“There always was a lesson that you could learn at The Salvation Army,” Smith said. “One thing about The Salvation Army, when they received kids they received them as their own. It was there not necessarily just for recreational [activities] but for learning skills and all those things as well.”
Smith currently serves as Chairman of the Youth Education Town (YET) at The Salvation Army in Arlington. The YET was made possible by Super Bowl XLV played at AT&T Stadium in 2011.
"It is truly an honor to have Emmitt Smith as keynote speaker for our 3rd annual Inspiring Hope luncheon,” said Lieutenant Timothy Israel, The Salvation Army Corps Officer for the Arlington-Mansfield area. “Knowing he participated in a Salvation Army program as a child brings excitement and hope to the children of the Youth Education Town. YET kids can achieve their dreams as well. Those who support the luncheon will help enable the Youth Education Town continue to be a safe place for kids that inspires them with hope for the future.”
Mark Caffey is the chair for the Inspiring Hope Luncheon, and Claire Wheeler is vice-chair. Caffey, an Arlington native, is President and CEO of the Caffey Group, an oil and gas development company. Wheeler is Senior Vice President of Wheeler Advertising, an integrated retail advertising and marketing agency that operates in various states across the US.
Veteran journalist and anchor, Karen Borta of CBS 11 news, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Borta has received numerous honors for her work, including regional Emmy Awards, and is also deeply devoted to the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer.
There will be a special guest performance by Aquile, singer-songwriter and NBC’s season-three contestant on “The Voice.” Aquile’s musical roots began in his early years singing in church with a strong influence from his mother. He moved to Fort Worth and became an instant local success playing in venues in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
The Inspiring Hope Luncheon aims to raise funds for the Gene and Jerry Jones Family North Texas Youth Education Town (YET), which is housed at The Salvation Army in Arlington. The Salvation Army’s Youth Education Town responds to the needs of Arlington residents living below the poverty line. It provides kids the opportunity to try new activities, find new talents, and make lasting memories. The center offers a comprehensive array of personal development activities to disadvantaged youth including the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, as well as technology and computer literacy, homework help, tutoring programs, a life-lessons curriculum, and nutrition and creative arts programs. Caring staff and volunteers strive to help children improve their communication skills, increase their graduation rates, and envision bright futures through careers in technology and creative arts.
Tickets to the Inspiring Hope Luncheon are $150 for individuals. Table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $100,000 for a table of ten. Sponsorships of various levels may include recognition on invitations, table signage, social media, and more. To buy tickets log on to www.sayet.org. For sponsorship information, contact Bridget Lenhardt at 817-860-1836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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