Football and Fundraising
A food-and-football combo never fails to excite us — especially when philanthropy is the end goal. Such was the case at the ninth annual Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party at the Gaylord Texan’s Glass Cactus Nightclub.
Taste of the NFL addresses the needs of the hungry and homeless by raising awareness and funds through special events nationally. The organization calls upon the country’s top chefs and NFL greats to help raise money in support of local food banks.
Dallas Cowboys Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware chaired the local fundraiser, which benefited the North Texas Food Bank (NTSB). Our football team and hundreds of devotees partied with a purpose to fight childhood hunger.
“We encourage all of tonight’s guests to eat, dance and bid in order to raise the funds needed to help us provide healthier, more nutritious options as we head into summer — one of the hungriest times of year for North Texas kids,” said Jan Pruitt, president and CEO of NTFB.
This charitable event was swankier than anything we remember from our college tailgating days, with music by Emerald City and 15 tasty food stations from the likes of Kent Rathbun Concepts; Central 214; Shinsei; Suze; and steakhouses such as Del Frisco’s, Nick & Sam’s and Pappas Bros. We’d bet good money that co-hosts Kent Rathbun, Preston Pearson, Chad Hennings and Daryl Johnston had something to do with the night’s splendor.
Although in-uniform Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders did their best to divert guests’ attention, all eyes remained on the prizes: fabulous silent and live auction items that included autographed sports memorabilia, food and wine packages, lunch with Dallas star Jesse Metcalf, a signed photo of Matthew McConaughey, and more.
Joining Dallas Cowboys Brandon Underwood, Aderious Simmons, Carlton Mitchell, Caleb McSturdy, Nate Livings, Charley Hughlett, Rob Callaway were CBS 11 anchors Tracy Kornet and Babe Laufenberg, Jesse Metcalf and fiancée Cara Santana, and Taste of NFL founder and executive director Wayne Kostroski.
Between ticket sales, sponsors, auction items and fund-a-cause bidding, this year’s fete raised $231,095 — a 15 percent increase over last year — which will provide 693,285 meals to hungry children in North Texas.