August 10, 2017 (Dallas, TX) — On Wednesday, August 7, 2017, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, in partnership with Dallas Independent School District and title sponsor JCPenney, provided 3,000 new school uniforms valued at $150,000 to students from seven high need, Dallas Independent School District elementary schools. The Ellis Davis Field House was converted into a “pop-up shop” to provide a true shopping experience for students attending Carr Elementary, Jill Stone Elementary, Paul Dunbar Learning Center, Elisha Pease Elementary, Rice Elementary, McNair Elementary and JW Ray Elementary schools.
“This year’s back to school is event is the largest ever. We want as many children as we can reach to start the school year off right – with a healthy smile; glasses if they need them, fresh clean uniforms and a full belly of good and healthy food. Our sponsors and partners truly understand that to whom much is given, much is required; because of them we’re now in our fourth year of helping kids get off to a good start. And they continue to give because, like my wife Pat and myself, they believe in the power of a good education,” said Emmitt Smith.
This year’s premier sponsor and creative partner, Axxess, hosted an arts and crafts and face painting station; DECA Dental provided dental screenings and services; Essilor Vision provided vision screenings and free glasses to students; JCPenney and San Francisco Barbers offered salon services and haircuts; Albertsons/Tom Thumb prepared lunch and gave healthy groceries for all families to take home; McDonalds provided books for each student, and The Dallas ISD Community Police Team was on-hand to visit with students and their families.
“From the humble beginnings of one student asking for uniform assistance to now serving over 7,000 Dallas ISD students with uniforms, free dental and eye screenings with glasses, food and now books, Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities has been at the forefront of “Leading the Charge” on behalf of the Dallas ISD,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said. Hinojosa remarked that during the past three years, the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities have provided more than 7,000 uniforms to students who need them most. The district honored Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities with the 2016 “Leading the Charge Award” for its work to collaborate with community partners to benefit students.
Rock-T with The Ricky Smiley Morning Show led the program, energizing the crowd and getting them excited for their shopping experience. Emmitt Smith presented Dr. Sulman Ahmed with DECA Dental and Carol Roberts of Albertsons with an award of recognition for their dedication and support of the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities’ Back to School event over the last four years. Entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and Dallas ISD’s Thomas Jefferson High School Modern Band and the David W. Carter High School Band.