The sixth annual Taste of the NFL Ultimate Cowboys Tailgate Party benefiting the North Texas Food Bank is hosted by Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears.
“My role is to just be a part of those components to make this event successful to drive the North Texas Food Bank mission of feeding hungry kids and I’m ecstatic to be a part of it,” said Dallas Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears.
Closing the gap on hunger was the theme of the night. Past and present Dallas Cowboys gathered at the Glass Cactus in Grapevine for a great charity event.
“What inspired me to come out was the request of Preston Pearson who is a good friend and former teammate,” said former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson. “He has been involved in this effort for a long time. It’s a great way to come out and meet a lot of Cowboy fans and raise money for a great cause.”
The Dallas Cowboys teamed up with top chefs from all over North Texas area to party with a purpose.
“Sometimes you need to take the helmet off and the uniform off,” said Spears. “You need to connect on a different level and let people know that you are sincere about a lot of things that you do.”
Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware also finds this cause nears to his heart.
“The way I grew up I remember going to the Salvation Army or any of the little shelters to get anything that I needed,” said Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware. “To have the opportunity to make a change in the community where I am right now I think it’s a really good thing for me.”
Party goers hit the dance floor with live music by Emerald City and the Satin Soul band. There were twenty two gourmet food stations, a silent auction with unique memorabilia up for grabs, raffles and prize drawings.
“To actually see something that you are a part of actually working is great,” said Spears. “I think that is the greatest prize that we get out of this the whole night.”
Last year this event raised a record breaking $175,000 and provided more than seven hundred thousand meals to kids in need across North Texas. According to the founder of the Taste of the NFL the organization has reached the national level.
“It’s the number one charitable event as far as dollars that we have distributed,” said Founder of the Taste of the NFL Wayne Kostroski. “We have given away over ten million dollars in the first 19 years. Different teams have picked up on doing events like this that take place here with the Cowboys but also with the Bengals and the Browns. Over twelve cities and twelve teams do that over the course of the season and the nifty thing is that one hundred percent of those dollars that are raised in each of those events stays in that community.”
According to USDA data Texas leads the nation with the highest rate of food deficient children. Currently one out of every five children lives in a household without consistent access to any nutrition.
“Once you hear what’s going on especially in this city but across the nation with children that are hungry I think your human instincts kind of take over and you try to figure out what you can do to try and help if you are in the right frame of mind,” said Spears.
Since its launch in 2004 this event has raised more than half a million dollars and provided more than two million meals to hungry children in North Texas.
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