Just Say YES reached new heights with its record-breaking 9th-annual celebration. The star-studded night included appearances by keynote speaker Coach Tony Dungy, event host and two-time Super Bowl Winning Champion Tony Casillas and Coach Avery Johnson who presented the Youth Impact Award.
The event was held at The Statler in downtown Dallas on April 23. 450 guests attended the organization’s largest annual fundraising event in order to support its mission of equipping today’s youth to succeed.
Right away guests were buzzing about the live auction lineup and two raffle items. Guests also bid on a variety of fantastic silent auction items, including a framed Kansas City Chiefs jersey signed by Patrick Mahomes, Texas Rangers tickets, a Kate Spade watch, a $2,500 certificate to Garages Done Right!, and a Golden Prairie pheasant hunt in Kansas.
The program transitioned to the recognition of Honorary Chairs Tavia and Clark Hunt with a heartfelt tribute to Clark’s father, Lamar Hunt, co-founder of the American Football League (AFL). Just Say YES Founder and President Dan Bailey presented the chairs with a framed photo of Lamar at an AFL meeting in the early years. Clark Hunt brought the moment full circle when he stated that the first meeting of the AFL owners was at The Statler in 1959, and at that meeting, Lamar was voted president of the newly formed league.
When it was time for Pro Football Hall of Fame, Super Bowl Winning Coach, and New York Times Best-Selling Author Tony Dungy to take the stage as the highly anticipated keynote speaker, he delivered a speech that was nothing short of inspirational. Receiving two standing ovations, Dungy captivated the Just Say YES audience by sharing personal stories of coaching and playing in the NFL, to then lessons of mentorship and the importance of giving back to your community.
The night concluded with the announcement of a generous $100,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor.
(Photos by Lori Wilson)