(Featured photo of Jerry Jones courtesy The Salvation Army.)
On Tuesday, December 12, Dallas Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones will make a comeback as the keynote speaker for The Salvation Army of Irving’s annual Super Lunch after keynoting the inaugural event in 1993 and a number of consecutive years following that.
The 2017 Super Lunch will start The Salvation Army’s 25th year of serving the Irving community since the first Super Lunch was held. The event will be at the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving. A pre-lunch reception will begin at 11 a.m. where guests can view and bid on silent auction items. The luncheon will begin at noon and will include a live auction in addition to Mr. Jones’ keynote.
Online ticket and sponsorship opportunities, as well as online auction items, are available at www.muradauctions.net/superlunch2017. Sponsorships with logo recognition are available in several donation categories. A variety of table sponsorships are also available, ranging from $1,200 to $25,000 and individual tickets are $100.
In conjunction with the luncheon, The Salvation Army of Irving is introducing a new fundraising campaign called “Impact 25” that gives donors the opportunity to donate $25 every other month for a year to support programs and services at The Salvation Army in Irving.
Super Lunch raises funds to support The Salvation Army’s programs in Irving that serve families and individuals in need. Services in Irving include youth development programs, social services such as utility assistance and a food pantry, and the annual Angel Tree program.
This year marks the fourth year of operation for The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Irving at the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Youth, which serves children from eight local schools. In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Salvation Army uses Boys & Girls Club official curriculum for its youth program in Irving.
The 1993 Super Lunch had a humble beginning in the gym at The Salvation Army in Irving. The original vision that first year was to sell tickets for a soup lunch, consistent with the idea of a soup kitchen. There were only two problems: It was hard to keep soup warm, and it was even harder to raise money selling it.
The planning committee soon had a better vision. The Dallas Cowboys Football Club agreed to cater the luncheon and Jerry Jones agreed to speak and bring the Super Bowl trophy the team had won that year. That took the event from being a soup lunch to being the Super Lunch, a name that has been used ever since.
Since 1993, the Super Lunch has been held annually (with the exception of 2004 and 2005) at locations including the Stadium Club at the former Texas Stadium, the Omni Mandalay in Las Colinas, and the Irving Convention Center.
The 1993 Super Lunch planted early seeds with Jerry Jones about The Salvation Army. Three years later on a separate track, Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, was introduced to The Salvation Army by former PepsiCo CEO Steve Reinemund, who was on The Salvation Army advisory board in Dallas. Anderson’s unexpected conversation with Reinemund about The Salvation Army led to what would become a historic commitment by the Jones family to The Salvation Army that has spanned more than two decades.
The first major outcome of the Jones family’s support was the annual sponsorship of The Salvation Army’s National Red Kettle Kickoff during halftime each year at the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game. The kickoff has contributed to more than $2 billion being raised in the red kettles nationally since 1996. Beyond this, the Jones family has provided an extensive range of valuable opportunities for The Salvation Army and those it serves over the years.
Jerry Jones is an Emeritus Member of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and Charlotte Jones Anderson served a three-year term as the first female chair of the national board. Anderson and her mother Gene have also served on The Salvation Army’s local DFW Metroplex Advisory Board.
Previous Super Lunch speakers have included Drew Pearson, Charlotte Jones-Anderson, Gloria Campos, Pat Smith, and Babe Laufenberg.