Once Again Pat And Emmitt Smith Prepare To Tee Off For The Community

Why, oh why, can’t the MySweetCharity team of elves be everywhere? January was supposed to be Zen month, but oh, no! Here’s report from the field about the latest doings of the Emmitt Smith clan. Do the Smiths ever sleep? Nope! Not if the Lieberman clan is involved. Here’s a report from the field:

Steve and Lisa Lieberman, Pat and Emmitt Smith*

Steve and Lisa Lieberman, Pat and Emmitt Smith*

“Event chairs Lisa and Steve Lieberman opened the doors to their beautiful Preston Hollow home on Wednesday, January 22, to help kick off the fifth annual Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational, presented by SoftLayer. The 2014 event is set for May 9 -10 with a “Friday Night Party” at the Omni Dallas Hotel featuring a VIP red carpet, followed by a celebrity reception, dinner, live auction, dancing and other entertainment. The Saturday, May 10, charity golf tournament takes place the following morning at TPC Craig Ranch with players and other sports and entertainment celebrities partnered with each foursome, followed by an afternoon awards ceremony.

“In informal remarks, Steve thanked Pat and Emmitt (Smith) for using their ‘extraordinary talents and their superstar status’ to help local kids through their works with the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities (PESC). In 2013, PESC distributed over $400,000 to 47 charities predominantly in North Texas.

“Next up were Pat and Emmitt, who thanked sponsors and Host Committee members for stepping up and helping to raise to date more than $500,000 towards the 2014 event. Emmitt also announced the inaugural Emmitt Smith Golf Challenge, consisting of several regional events scheduled at top-rated ClubCorp courses throughout the U.S., where winning players and top fundraisers will win a variety of prizes plus the opportunity to advance (or attend) the May 9-10 festivities in Dallas.

“Pat expressed her gratitude, calling the event a “journey for us” that has grown from a small golf tournament to an event that benefited 47 agencies and 35,000 children last year. She recognized top-level sponsors, including Title Sponsor SoftLayer (at the $100,000 level). At the $50,000 level, Presenting Sponsors are Albertson’s (for the Friday night event) and American Airlines (for the Saturday golf tournament and as the official Airline Sponsor). In addition, event sponsors at the $25,000 level were recognized — Dallas Healthy Aging Institute, Cigna, Waste Management Brown-Forman and G Wear.  While the list of $10,000 sponsors was long, Pat graciously took the time to extend the organization’s appreciation for each one of them as well.

Pat Smith, Ronelle Iance, Giselle Garcia and Christian Quintero*

Pat Smith, Ronelle Iance, Giselle Garcia and Christian Quintero*

“The program concluded with heartfelt thanks from two teens — Christian Quintero and Giselle Garcia — who are members of Pat and Emmitt’s Team 22, a PESC-funded groundbreaking program designed to mentor students to develop leadership and character skills through unique enrichment opportunities.

Marion and Bennett Glazer*

Marion and Bennett Glazer*

Sheryl and David Pidgeon*

Sheryl and David Pidgeon*

“Attending that evening were honorary chairs Marion and Bennett Glazer, NFL superstar Larry Brown (a TCU alum and Super Bowl XXX MVP), Texas Senator Royce West, Katy and Lawrence Bock, Sheryl and David Pidgeon, Jim and Beth Gold, Mike Ablon and Ronnie Berg. (NOTE:  The other honorary chairs – Christie and Robert Ferguson – were unable to attend).

“For ticket and sponsorship details, go to www.emmittsmith.com/celebrity-invitational  or contact Jenny Heiser at [email protected].”

* Photo credit: James Edwards

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Dancing With The Smiths

There were just too many photos from the “Dancing With The Smiths” to include on yesterday’s post, so check the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for all of them. Pat and Emmitt Smith really know how to throw a party and raise a cool million!

Emmitt and Pat Smith, Melissa Rycroft Stickland and Tony  Dovolani

Emmitt and Pat Smith, Melissa Rycroft Stickland and Tony Dovolani

“Dancing With The Smiths” Was A Million-Dollar Night For Pat And Emmitt Smith Charities Despite Celebrity No Shows

The May 10th “Dancing with The Smiths” had all the markings of that high school prom — promises of hot babes in tantalizing outfits and quarterback types strutting their stuff. Organizers had impressed with namedropping such folks as “Dancing With The Stars” host Tom Bergeron, former DWTS celebs Mark Cuban and Michael Irvin as co-hosts with DWTS mega-winner Melissa Rycroft Stickland. To add to the ABC-show dancing vet lineup were Olympian Shawn Johnson, Jake “The Bachelor” Pavelka, Sabrina “Cheetah Girl” Bryan and professional dancers Maksim “Max” Chmerkovsky, Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani.

It was a bit like a promised reunion of the original “Charlie’s Angels,” “Friends” or “MASH.”

But great expectations were understandable. After all, the Friday night dance-athon was part of the two-day fundraising activities benefiting the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities. Saturday Emmitt and golfers would participate in the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, if the weather held out.

And that didn’t even include their partnering with the Star Children’s Charity for the Stiletto Strut at Neiman’s Willow Bend earlier Friday, with “a percentage of funds raised from the golf tournament [benefiting] Boys and Girls Club of Collin County.”

But back to Friday night.

All the hoop-la was at the Omni Hotel Dallas’s oversized red carpet. Against a longer-than-long sponsor backdrop, the carpet was divided into two lanes — a slo-mo lane for XVIP’s (Extremely Very Important People) to be interviewed by media, and the HOV lane next to the backdrop where the rest of the 950 guests like Shane Walker with his mom, Joani White and Ron Corning, Barbara and Steve Durham, Sue and  Jimmy Gragg, LeeAnne Locken, Daniel Lewis and JB Hayes walked to get to the reception area, where the live auction would take place.

Steve Eagar

Steve Eagar

Mark Jones

Mark Jones

For the media set-up, KDFW was first in the lineup. After all they were doing a live half-hour show starting at 6 with Steve Eagar and Clarice Tinsley leading off, and Calvert Collins doing follow-up. Producer Mark Jones never stopped moving cables, coordinating the next celebrity to be interviewed and talking to prevent civilians from walking into equipment. At one point Clarice was downright giddy over her dancing with Tony, while Steve appeared to attempt an interview with the mirrored ball.

Steve Eagar, Tony Dovolani and Clarice Tinsley

Steve Eagar, Tony Dovolani and Clarice Tinsley

At the opposite end of the carpet were Pat Smith’s The Broadcast buds Courtney Kerr and Lisa Pineiro. Being last in the media lineup worked out perfectly for the twosome, as they ended up creating a traffic jam playing “Truth or Dare” with celebrities.

To the side, Pat’s stylist Jennifer Cloutier was having a friend adjust the back of her Nicole Miller.

Jasmin Lawrence and Rheagen Smith

Jasmin Lawrence and Rheagen Smith

Skylar, Elijah and Pat Smith

Skylar, Elijah and Pat Smith

But just as the celebs arrived, Emmitt entered with son EJ from one end of the lobby. From the other end of the lobby, Pat in glimmering blue, form-fitting gown led the rest of the Smith brood (daughters Jasmin Lawrence, Rheagen Smith, Skylar Smith and son Elijah Smith). Pat and Emmitt come together in the lobby just before the red carpet like the Central Pacific and Union Pacific at Promontory Summit. Only thing missing was the “golden spike.”

While Steve was interviewing the Smith family, three-year-old Elijah decided to crawl around the legs of the family and more or less act his age. In a pass that would have impressed Roger Staubach, Pat picked up Elijah and handed him off to her sister, the equally gorgeous Pam Southall. Elijah’s moments on the red carpet were done. He wasn’t seen again.

Pat Smith and Elijah Smith

Pat Smith and Elijah Smith

Pam Southall

Pam Southall

But something was amiss. Sure, there were plenty of super jocks (Marcus Allen, Rolando Blackman, Daryl Johnston, Trent Richards, Charles Haley) that made sportscasters like WFAA’s George Riba and Ted Madden and TackleThis Lauren Barnette (she used to be a “suitcase girl” for “Deal or No Deal”) along the media line happy. But where were the other non-sporty celebrities? Word was being passed. Tom Bergeron was home sick. Cheryl Burke, who had once before been a no-show for a reunion with Emmitt in Dallas, was doing a repeat non-performance. Shawn, Max, Mark and Michael were nowhere in sight.

Marcus Allen

Marcus Allen

Daryl Johnston

Daryl Johnston

The Bergeron MIA was a problem. He and his ability to ad-lib would be missed. Who would fill his shoes? Luckily, Melissa and Tony were not only available, but they were right at home working together. So, while others were filing along the red carpet and schmoozing in the reception, the production crew, Melissa and Tony were doing last-minute rehearsals and adjustments to the evening’ program. A sticky situation was the intro. It was to be a video of Deion Sanders introducing Tom. Hmm. How would that be handled? More about that later.

Once the reception area was filled to capacity with people cocktailing and posing for photos with two mirrored ball, auctioneer Mike Jones took over. It almost took on a pep-rally atmosphere as the numbers impressed. Why, one item hit a nosebleed level of $50,000.

Tony Dovolani, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, Tye Strickland, Clay and Tiffany McNutt, Sabrina Coates, Jake Pavelka and Carole and Scott Murray

Tony Dovolani, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, Tye Strickland, Clay and Tiffany McNutt, Sabrina Coates, Jake Pavelka and Carole and Scott Murray

At 7:40, inside the ballroom, Tony, Melissa and her husband Tye Strickland, Tiffany and Clay McNutt, Jake and his bud Sabrina Coates and Honorary Co-chairs Carole and Scott Murray were chatting when a voice over the PA announced, “It’s 20 minutes until the doors open.” Scott asked Melissa, who looked like she had been dipped in barbecue sauce, how she got her tan. She confided that it was a spray tan. Scott was worried whether it was healthy. Melissa assured him it was.

Carole Murray and Melissa Rycroft Strickland

Carole Murray and Melissa Rycroft Strickland

The TV crews finished setting up their equipment. Zona Pidgeon entered the ballroom looking for table #18. She’d been at the event since 6:30 and “can’t stand any longer.” Seems there were no chairs in the reception area to be had.

At 8:05 the voice announced “We’re opening the doors.” The Omni staff stood at attention and one set of doors opened and then closed. The voice reported, “False alarm. Evidently they have one more auction item.” The staff didn’t budge. The “DWTS” types, who had been talking near the doors, moved to the tables near the stage.

At 8:16, the auction was over and the doors were opened with people pouring in like a Best Buy’s Thanksgiving midnight sale. A photographer accidently bumped into Krystal Herrera, resulting in wine being splashed on her black cocktail dress. He apologized. She laughed, saying she was now wearing her drink. Tony continued to be a babe magnet. In black coats a Studio 22 couple wandered around the front of the ballroom in front of the mega-stage. Every now and then the coats slipped open to reveal colorful garments.

At 8:27 the voice returned and gave everyone a five-minute countdown to sit and to silence cellphones. Charlotte and Shy Anderson arrived and said “Hi” to former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Melissa. Tall Charlotte and diminutive Melissa were both in stilettos. Luckily Melissa’s were taller than Charlotte’s, so she at least stood as tall as Charlotte’s chin. Didn’t matter. They were both cute and happy to see each other.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders

The lights dimmed and Deion’s video introduction of Tom rolled. Lights came on and so did Melissa and Tony. They explained that Tom was home sick. Jokes were made about little blue pills. From backstage, Deion entered the stage demanding that he get to introduce the replacement team. He did it after joking with Tony about the dancer’s sharp dressing. Tony reported that his snappy look was due to his wife. To which Deion said, “I can’t say my wife dressed me.” The 950 guests got the joke and laughed.

Dinner was served, but Pat and Emmitt hardly got a nibble. They had people lined up like Baskin Robbins in August just to visit with them.

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller

Jeff Rich and Jan Miller

At 9:25 a video of Pat and Emmitt was shown about their foundation. Honorary Chairs Jan Miller and Jeff Rich and Carole and Scott Murray take over the mic. Now, in fundraising circles it’s well-known that when Jan Miller puts out a request, she’d better get some responses. Otherwise, she’ll start calling out names in the audience, putting them on the spot. So, when the “Ask for Cash” was announced by the honorary chairs, Jan zoned in on familiar faces like an ophthalmologist performing laser cataract surgery. Among those in her scope was Steve Durham, who kicked in $5,000. Jim Keyes, who was sitting table-side with Steve, knew his usual jovial smile had become a bulls-eye for Jan. . . and it worked. Pretty soon, auctioneer Jones joined the foursome on stage for that last push. They were down to the $1,000 ask level. Jones reported that if they could just get three $1,000 contributions, Emmitt would let him share some news. Two folks raised their hands. Just $1,000 was holding the news back. Jones could stand it no longer and gave up. He answered the call for the final $1,000 himself. With that he announced that they had just achieve the evening’s goal of $1M. Emmitt smiled. Everyone smiled.

Now there was real cause for dancing. First on the floor were a barefooted Melissa and Tony, who performed the Samba that had won them the mirrored ball. Despite making it look effortless, it almost hurt to watch them do their moves.

Sergey Korshunov and Michelle Hafle

Sergey Korshunov and Michelle Hafle

Then Sabrina and Jake came on stage. They didn’t dance. They introduced two sets of Studio 22 dancers, who made Latin dancing even hotter than a jalapeno. The fourth team was made up of Studio 22 owners Sergey Korshunov and Michelle Hafle. They proved why they’ve earned international titles.

Courtney Kerr, Suzie Humphreys and Lisa Pineiro

Courtney Kerr, Suzie Humphreys and Lisa Pineiro

Next up were the Broadcast twosome, Courtney and Lisa, joined by Broadcast co-host Suzie Humphreys, who had just flown in for the event. As usual Suzie stole the show, talking to Emmitt one-on-one from the stage. The ladies were there to introduce a surprise performer. Just as the lights dimmed, Emmitt hollered, “Cheryl showed up. . .  my bad.”

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

Pat Smith

It was Pat Smith. From the audience, Smith daughter Skylar shouted, “Go, Mom!” And go she did, proving to have more moves than Goldie Hawn in her “Laugh-In” days. She was paired with Sergey, but . . . no offense, Sergey, no one noticed you. Pat’s performance was so wowser that Emmitt jumped on stage and cut in. The two Smiths were a 21st version of Fred and Ginger, only they made it look hot.

Pat and Emmitt Smith

Pat and Emmitt Smith

Emmitt and Pat Smith

Emmitt and Pat Smith

1992 Dallas Cowboys Reunion For Pat And Emmitt Smith Charities Huddled In the Westin Stonebriar Ballroom

While the Texas Exes and other college-football lovers were partying down at Eddie Deen’s, the 1992 Dallas Cowboys were in full force at the Westin Stonebriar. Who would assemble this Super Duper Super Bowl team for a Friday night dinner and golf tournament the next day to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Super Bowl Championship?

Emmitt Smith (in pink tie) and teammates on stage

Pat and Emmitt Smith did just that for the “How ‘Bout them Cowboys!” reunion.

Pat Smith

Benefiting the Smiths’ foundation, it initially appeared that Mother Nature was going to rain on their parade.

The originally planned outdoor red carpet was forced indoors in a very crowded hallway. It might not have been so jammed but every media outlet except KERA was there.

But it was not without some casualties. It seems that the hotel had removed two trees to accommodate the outdoor media meet and greet.

Gene Jones

But the cramped conditions of the red carpet was sort of a dress rehearsal for what was to come. Just past the media gauntlet, guests found a cozy situation in an equally crowded reception. The jammed group around the mega bar was glad to see familiar faces from the past. It was when the doors to the ballroom opened that it became apparent that this was Super Bowl of crowded conditions.

Rosalind and Rich Dalrymple

While it made perfect sense to have the dinner at the Westin, since the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational golf tournament the next morning was taking place at TPC Craig Ranch, the ballroom made maneuvering upfront and personal. Sorta like fitting a size 10 foot into a size 8 shoe.

Camera platform

The 6,200-square-foot ballroom with its 16-foot-high ceilings can normally accommodate 310 for dinner. But on this night it had to make room for staging at the front of the room for the team to gather and interviews and presentations to take place. And then there was the stage for the television crews to set up and against the back of the room, the event production team. Somewhere organizers managed to cram in seating for 350+ and a head table for the Smiths and Dallas Cowboy owners and high-ranking executives. As hard as it was for guests to make their way through the back-to-back chairs, pity the poor servers who had to work the room.

Dennis Haysbert and MIchael Irvin

But don’t go thinking that it was professional football guys and their families only. Heck, no. There was Nancy Lieberman,  “24’s” Dennis Haysbert, Jana and Mike Brosin, Nancy and Robbie Briggs and Event Chairs Dee Lincoln and husband John DiNardo.

Dee Lincoln and John DiNardo

The program opened with former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson on a really big screen telling the players to sit down and get ready for the evening that included the entire team on stage leading off with Troy Aikman and concluding with host Emmitt. In between Brad Sham‘s interviewing members of the team on stage, Newy Scruggs picked out certain guests for their comments that was hard to hear due to guests catching up at tables. And yet, no one couldn’t hear Michael Irvin as he stood at his table to interject comments with those on stage.

While everyone was on good behavior, leave it to Nate Newton who brought up the subject of “bounties.”  According to Nate, back in those days “I don’t want to say they were giving out bounty money, but we made a lot of money doing something. [Laughter] . . . They were called big plays.”

Mystery Man Surprises And Honors Pat And Emmitt Smith At The Robert S. Folsom Leadership Awards Dinner

Not only are they one of Dallas’ most dazzling couples, they’re also one of the most proactive teams in community services. They are none other than Pat and Emmitt Smith (pictured). For their “demonstrated commitment to community leadership,” the Methodist Health System Foundation presented the twosome with the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award last Thursday at the Hilton Anatole to a packed house that raised $915,000.

Event chairs were Emmitt’s old Cowboy buddies Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston, but there was a problem. Troy was out of town and “at the last minute” Daryl had to duck out. Yipes! What was Foundation President/CEO April Box Chamberlain (pictured) going to do? There she was with the Smiths seated at the table in front of her and no “official emcee.”

April put out a plea for someone to volunteer. Search lights surveyed the room for a volunteer. As guests looked at each other in confusion, a voice from the back of the room said he might help. He seemed a little out of place wearing a Cowboys baseball cap, weather vest and the sunglasses (pictured).

April: “Do you know about Pat and Emmitt?”

Mystery Man: “A little bit. She was Miss Virginia.”

April: “How about Emmitt?”

Mystery Man: “Who?”

By this time the ever-classy Smiths were looking just a little bewildered, as was the rest of the audience.

Mystery Man admitted that he knew Emmitt had been a Cowboy.

April: “So Emmitt’s on your fantasy team”

Mystery Man: “You’re kidding. No chance! Can he shoot? Dribble? I know he can’t rebound! I like guys who can play basketball.”

By this time the man was marching up to the stage stripping off the sunglasses, baseball cap and vest revealing himself to be Dallas Mavericks owner/former Dancing With The Stars competitor Mark Cuban (pictured). The crowd plus the honorees loved the surprise emcee and his “last minute preparations.” High fives and hugs were exchanged as Mark proceeded through the crowd.

Putting on a jacket and standing at the podium, Mark acknowledging Emmitt’s success at DWTS: “I’m the one who should have won Dancing With The Stars!”

Then one-of-a-kind Mark got serious about the couple telling the crowd: “I’ve known them for a long time. They’ll have a long impact on the city of Dallas. That’s what this award is all about! . . When this couple sets their mind to something, it happens.”

Then looking at Pat, Mark got downright school boyish: “Pat won Miss Virginia. She should have been Miss America!”

So, what is it about the Smiths that motivates them to personally and professionally support people and causes? Earlier in the evening Pat and Emmitt talked about their efforts, both individually and through the Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities. With Pat watching attentively, Emmitt (pictured) said, “We’re just trying to improve on the things we’ve started. For kids, especially at-risk kids. Biggest thing for them is exposure to me. Exposure to the possibilities that they might not otherwise see. If that makes me a role model, I guess I’m a role model.”

Pat (pictured), who just gave birth to the newest Smith less than two months ago, looked pageant ready. Adding to her husband’s comments, she told how they had had a parent-teacher conference earlier in the day about their eight-year old son, E.J. The youngster had been assigned to do a project on a person, place or thing that he admired. “It was Emmitt,” Pat said with a smile of pride. “He really looks up to you. It’s all about family.”

Once again the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award selection was right on target.

Tee Time: The Merry Month of May

If you’re a die-heart golfer or golf watcher in need of a reason to get out of the office and do some good, then have we got some deals for you! [Read more…]