photos co/ Marcy Meeks Photography
Each year, thousands of North Texas families in need struggle to provide adequate clothing, food, supplies and medical coverage for their children. I was pleased to be a part of this year's back to school event on Wednesday, August 17, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities teamed up with Belk and Dallas ISD to provide students of two underserved Dallas ISD schools with brand new uniforms, dental and vision screenings, healthy groceries to take home, and much more. “To achieve your dreams, you must create a foundation for success and that begins with education and good health. Families shouldn’t need to choose between clothes, medical services and other basic needs. This year’s back to school event was a true community partnership and shows how committed leaders in Dallas are to helping local students start the school year ready to learn. Pat and I are so pleased to see so many community partners come together to help these children start the school year off with new clothes and glasses, full bellies, and a healthy smile.” said Emmitt Smith. The Ellis Davis Field House, located at 9191 South Polk Street, was converted into a “pop-up shop” to provide a special shopping experience for students at John Neely Bryan Elementary School and Boude Storey Middle School. The Dallas Mavericks Foundation provided giveaways and entertainment, along with 10 passes for 2 to in-season games. The Carter High School Marching Band, the Thomas Jefferson’s Modern Band, Mavs Dancers, the Mavs Drumline and representatives from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders provided live music and entertainment during the registration process.
Belk provided more than $50,000 in uniforms to outfit more than 1,200 students so they can start the school year with confidence and enthusiasm, as well as alleviate the burden of purchasing these new items for their parents who may be struggling to make ends meet. This is the third year Belk has supported the initiative. To date, Belk has partnered with Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities to provide more than 3,600 uniforms, a value of more than $177,000, for Dallas ISD students. Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities was pleased to deepen the impact of this event with additional community partners who are committed to providing critical services to Dallas families in need. DECA Dental provided onsite dental screenings and is offering follow up services for all children for six months; TONI&GUY Hair Salon and San Francisco Barbershop of Dallas provided haircuts; and The Essilor Vision Foundation provided on-site screenings and new glasses for children in need. Albertsons/Tom Thumb served lunch to every family that attended, as well as sending each family home with a bag of healthy groceries and non-perishable food.
Dignitaries and Corporate supporters included: • Dr. Michael Hinojosa - Dallas ISD Superintendent of Schools • Senator Royce West • Dr. Lew Blackburn - Dallas ISD Board President • Toni Cordova - Dallas ISD Chief of Communications • Leslie Williams - Dallas ISD Executive Director of Intensive Care Network Schools (Boude Storey and John N. Bryan) • Dr. Cynthia Wilson – Dallas ISD Chief of Staff • Marlene Norcross – Vice President and Regional Manager for Belk. As the publicist for PESC, I was in charge of leading media coverage for the event. It was great to see so many local media outlets like FOX 4, CBS, WFAA, the Dallas Morning News, Oak Cliff Advocate and Inspire 'N Style out to shine a spotlight on this event. To learn more about the work of Pat & Emmitt smith charities, visit http://www.emmittsmith.com/pat-and-emmitt-smith-charities