Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki Honored with Roger Staubach Award at Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational

Hosted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, LaTorsha and LaDainian Tomlinson Bestowed Changemaker Award

Featured photo: Marianne and Roger Staubach, Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki, Pat and Emmitt Smith.*

On Friday, May 3,Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts hosted the 10th Annual Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational presented by title sponsor Healthcare Highways in celebration of ten years of service, philanthropy and positive community impact for Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities in North Texas. Guests began the evening, sponsored by Dee Lincoln Prime, at the Omni Frisco Hotel with a red-carpet arrival and cocktail hour sponsored by Brown-Foreman Herradura, followed by dinner sponsored by E Smith Advisors, and a live auction sponsored by Waste Management. Legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback and real estate icon Roger Staubach and his wife, Marianne, served as Honorary Chairs with Mahisha and John Dellinger serving as the 2019 Event Chairs.

Each year, the highlight of the evening’s program is the designation of awards bestowed upon community leaders who are leveraging their platforms to support others. The Roger StaubachAward recognizes sports and or entertainment professionals who positively impact the lives of children by living courageously and creating opportunities for today’s youth. This is the only award to be named in Staubach’s honor other than the one established at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy. Roger Staubach personally presented this year’s honor to Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki in acknowledgment ofthe amazing work they have done through The Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which lifts up children who are affected by illness, poverty, abuse and neglect through proper channels of guidance and directs them on a path to success.

The Changemaker Award was given to LaTorsha and LaDainian Tomlinson for their efforts to enhance the lives of deserving families through education, social and culture awareness, and positive self-esteem through their organization, Team America. Team America aims to provide an environment where we are not forced to choose sides, but instead motivated to stand together and determine the best way forward –emphasizing inclusion for all. Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities also recognized long term donors and friends who have stood by them since the beginning: Dee Lincoln, David and Tina Craig and Lamonte Thomas for their unwavering support over the past ten years with the All Star Partner Award.

This star-studded soiree included sports icons and entertainment luminaries such as Eric Dickerson, Eddie George, the new Miss Teen USA Kaliegh Garris, Torii Hunter, Christopher “Kid” Reid of Kid ‘N Play, John Rocker, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, Bruce Smith, Joe Torry and Everson Walls. Local notables in attendance included Tina and David Craig, Dawn and Jon Mellon, Dee Lincoln and husband, Mike Ruley, Cheryl “Action” Jackson, Donna Richardson, Claudia and Tony Habeeb, and Joyce and Jerry Morrison. The evening was a huge success raising $1.1 million dollars that will benefit Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities.

The gala ushers in the Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 4 hosted at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, TX. Players were paired with celebrities to create foursomes to vie for bragging rights and prizes. Now in its 10th year, the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational has raised more than $9.2 million in support of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities and supported over 150 charities in North Texas, including 10,000 DISD students and families through their annual back to school program. Proceeds from the weekend go to Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, (PESC), a 501(c)(3) public charity that creates and funds unique educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for underserved children. 

For more information, visit www.emmittsmithcelebrityinvitational.com


Pat and Emmitt Smith have a passion to help young people by providing them with opportunities to reach their fullest potential, even when there may be barriers in front of them. At Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, we are committed to providing resources to children to help them see and dream beyond the restrictive opportunities of their environment or the limitations others have placed upon them by supporting high quality programs in North Texas through grants, scholarships and partnership efforts. In this way, our efforts are amplified throughout the community and allow us to impact thousands of children each year. Pat and Emmitt Smith personally mentor a group of high potential, high performing, underserved students from the Dallas area through our signature program, TEAM 22. In order to nurture their growth into confident young leaders we host unique educational experiences, send them to leadership camp, pair them with mentors and require that they give back through community service.

* Photo by Ada Lee Photography, Marcy Meeks and Axxess.


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly SocialWhirl.com), the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.