This afternoon the Children’s Cancer Fund’s lineup of young models for the 2022 Color Out Cancer Gala took place at NorthPark’s North Court. While some might have thought that the bank of television cameras were there to ask Honorary Co-Chair Troy Aikman if he was going to split from Fox and head over to ESPN’s Monday Night Football, most people cell-taping the presentation were there for the children who, in addition to being the centerpieces of the fundraiser fashion show, were also warriors fighting their own battles with cancer.
Before the children were introduced and presented with gifts and certificates, emcee Babe Laufenberg addressed the parents in the group, letting them know that he had been in their place when his late son Luke Laufenberg had valiantly battled leukemia.
Before tearing up Laufenberg quickly lightened up the occasion by introducing and bringing Troy and Honorary Co-Chair Roger Staubach to the stage.
When asked why Roger had gotten involved 37 years ago with the organization, Sir Roger said that as the patriarch of five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he was deeply touched over the years seeing youngsters fighting cancer. He added that thanks to funds from Children’s Cancer Fund, there had been amazing developments to help the battle and ease the pain.
And how did Roger get Troy involved? Roger pulled a quick fake and passed the mic to Troy. Without missing a beat, Troy laughed and said, “I went my first year as a guest of Roger’s. The next year he asked me if I would co-chair it with him. When Roger asks you to join him, there’s only one answer. It was ‘yes.’”
Babe then invited 2022 Gala Chair Amanda Dillard Shufeldt to join Roger and Troy on stage. Babe told the audience that in addition to Amanda being part of the Dillard’s department store family, the clothes for the children to wear in the fashion show were not only being provided by the store, but that the kids would get to keep their outfits.
In the meantime, Babe noticed that Amanda and Roger were sharing a laugh. When asked what was up, Roger said that when he learned Amanda had attended SMU, he told her that he had attended the Naval Academy the year the Mustangs beat the Midshipmen 32 to 28.
But back to the business of the day. Babe reported that this year’s theme would be Color Out Cancer with the nighttime event taking place on Friday, April 22, at the Hilton Anatole.
Now it was time for the models (Izzy Martin, Beckett Burge, Melissa Coronado, Bianca Fullerton, Reagan Harris, Drew Herrell, Jawad Hussein, Shay Johnson, Ben Jones, Nora McDonald, Will Poteet, Jacob Pletan, Grayson Prewett, Aaron Budhwani, Chelsey Reichenberger, Maria Schwarz, Addie Leigh Spencer, Dylan Stewart and Christopher Del Real) who had been patiently waiting on one side of the area, to be introduced individually and afterward to gather on the stage for a group photo with Roger, Troy, Amanda and CCF Executive Director Jennifer Arthur.
And as the TV cameras and reporters like KDFW’s Mike Doocy made a beeline to interview football icons Roger and Troy, on the opposite side of the room were two people who know all too well the need for funds raised from the event. They were Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher and UT Southwestern Chief of the Pediatric Hematology-oncology Division Dr. Stephen Skapek.
Proceeds from the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala support pediatric cancer research and treatment at Children’s Health and UT Southwestern.
Sponsorships and tickets for the fundraiser are available here.