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DFW News

NFL Players Dak Prescott and Solomon Thomas Announced as Featured Speakers for Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Annual Beacon of Hope Luncheon on March 7

By Juliette Coulter | Contributor

NFL football greats, Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys and Solomon Thomas of the New York Jets, will be the featured speakers for Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Beacon of Hope Community Luncheon on Tuesday, March 7 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

Both young men are on a mission to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Prescott has shared openly about his own mental health challenges. He established the Faith Fight Finish Foundation as a tribute to his mom, Peggy, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2013, and its work also honors his brother, Jace, who died by suicide in 2020. Faith Fight Finish invests in a better future by empowering individuals, families and communities to find strength through adversity. Mental health and suicide prevention is one of the organization’s four main pillars of work, and Prescott’s goal is to champion every person struggling with mental illness by helping them to know that their life matters and that they are not alone.

Similarly, Thomas lost his sister, Ella, to suicide in 2018 and has spoken openly to his teammates, other players and the public. He co-founded The Defensive Line with his parents, Martha and Chris Thomas, and the organization focuses on mental health and suicide prevention. Off the field, Solomon has dedicated his life to sharing Ella’s story. His courage to vulnerably share his experience through national media outlets like CNN, ESPN, The New York Times and others has established him as a respected advocate in the field. Solomon was the recipient of the 2019 AFSP Lifesavers Award and works closely with the NFL to improve mental health programming in the league.

The Beacon of Hope Luncheon supports Grant Halliburton Foundation’s work to provide education, resources and support for children, teen and young adult mental health.

Tickets are $225 per person, and sponsorships start at $2,500.

To learn more and to purchase tickets, visit GrantHalliburton.org/boh.

Luncheon Chairs Jeanie and Bert Conly

At 10:30 a.m., the Luncheon welcome reception begins, and guests can purchase raffle tickets for a variety of raffle packages. DJ Lucy Wrubel will provide pre-luncheon entertainment during the reception. The program featuring the conversation with Prescott and Thomas begins at 11:30 a.m. with Steve Noviello, Emmy award-winning FOX 4 News anchor and reporter as emcee. Andy Adler, CBS 11 sports anchor and children’s rights activist, will serve as the moderator. Jeanie and Bert Conly and Family are luncheon chairs, Natalie Hatchett and Courtney Hubbard are luncheon vice chairs, and founding luncheon chair is Barb Farmer.

“We invite you to join us for a conversation with two NFL athletes, Dak and Solomon, who found strength in vulnerability,” said Kevin Hall, president of Grant Halliburton Foundation. “Both athletes have made mental health and suicide prevention a priority, and their stories will help Grant Halliburton Foundation as we work to curb this epidemic and keep our young people healthy and here.” 

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Texas youth ages 10-24 (CDC). The Beacon of Hope Community Luncheon aims to bring focus to the vital work needed to educate the North Texas community on adolescent mental health and suicide prevention. Through its work in North Texas schools and communities, Grant Halliburton Foundation aims to change this reality as it works to promote awareness and understanding of teen and young adult mental health and to prevent suicide.

Both athletes have made mental health and suicide prevention a priority, and their stories will help Grant Halliburton Foundation as we work to curb this epidemic and keep our young people healthy and here.
Kevin Hall, president of Grant Halliburton Foundation

In the last 17 years, the Grant Halliburton Foundation has provided mental health education, training and support to nearly 300,000 students, educators, parents and professionals, thanks to funds raised from the Beacon of Hope Luncheon.

Some 2022 highlights include:

Grand Halliburton President Kevin Hall

·      The Foundation’s Thrive program, which helps schools change the way they address mental health, grew from 56 to 119 schools in the past year. 

·      The Hope Squad program, a student-led peer-to-peer group that promotes mental health and suicide prevention in schools, grew from 16 to 49 schools in the past year.

·      Grant Halliburton Foundation co-hosted the first-ever Hope Squad conference, drawing more than 1,500 Hope Squad students from across North Texas.

·      The Foundation launched a young professionals group, GHF YP, with more than 90 members.

·      In April, the nonprofit moved to Pegasus Park–a brilliant vision from Lyda Hill Philanthropies to create a community of nonprofits working collaboratively.

ABOUT GRANT HALLIBURTON FOUNDATION

Grant Halliburton Foundation was established in 2006 in memory of a Dallas teen who battled depression and bipolar disorder for several years before his suicide death at the age of 19. The Foundation that bears his name works to help families and young people recognize the signs of mental illness through a variety of avenues including education, conferences, collaboration and encouragement. Since 2006, the Foundation has provided mental health education, training and support to more than 300,000 students, educators, parents and professionals. The Foundation also offers Here For Texas, which includes HereForTexas.com and the Here For Texas Mental Health Navigation Line. These free community tools aim to offer easy access for North Texans seeking mental health and addiction information and resources. Learn more about the Foundation at GrantHalliburton.org

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS 

DAK PRESCOTT, the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback and team captain, earns recognition for his leadership on and off the field. Known for his authenticity, Dak’s willingness to share his family’s story and talk openly about his own mental health challenges has started a revolution across our country. He established the Faith Fight Finish Foundation as a tribute to his mom, Peggy, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2013, and its work honors his brother, Jace, who died by suicide in 2020. The foundation invests in a better future by empowering individuals, families and communities to find strength through adversity. Mental health and suicide prevention is one of the foundation’s four main pillars of work, and Dak’s goal is to champion every person struggling with mental illness by helping them to know that their life matters and that they are not alone.

Dallas native SOLOMON THOMAS has played six seasons in the NFL as a defensive tackle. Solomon experienced an unimaginable loss five years ago, when his big sister Ella died by suicide. This traumatic and personal loss led the Thomas family to start The Defensive Line, which focuses on mental health and suicide prevention. Solomon has dedicated his life to sharing Ella’s story. His courage to vulnerably share his experience through national media outlets like CNN, ESPN, The New York Times and others has established him as a respected advocate in the field. Solomon was the recipient of the 2019 AFSP Lifesavers Award and works closely with the NFL to improve mental health programming in the league.

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