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by Kate Roden on March 23, 2015
The Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala welcomed a record crowd of 750 attendees at its 8th annual fundraiser held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on February 21. This year, thanks to the gala’s overwhelming participation, we raised over $1 million to provide scholarships for deserving kids to go to summer camp and to support the invaluable ministries at Sky Ranch.
NFL Dallas Cowboys icon Darren Woodson served as the Honorary Celebrity Chair and led a virtual Who’s Who of cowboys from the gridiron as well as from the rodeo arena at the event.
Among the sportsmen alongside Woodson were Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Carr; Tony Dorsett; Doug Donley; Dixon Edwards; John Fitzgerald; Charles Haley; Lee Roy Jordan; Tony Liscio; Don McIlhenny; Timmy Newsome; Nate Newton; Drew Pearson; and Charlie Waters. Rodeo Cowboys: Matt Austin; Jeffrey Collins; Justin Blaine Davis; Jason Jetter; Bob Logue; Lynn McKenzie; Scott Mendes, Rope Myers and Pat Yancy.
Although the crowd made a true Texas fashion statement at this boots and bling western soirée and auction, they were there for a greater purpose: to support Sky Ranch, America’s leading summer camp and conference center. Sky Ranch began in 1955, and this year we are celebrating our 60th anniversary.
Funds raised at the Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala support us and the Scholarship Gift Program. These initiatives provide opportunities for children facing circumstances beyond their control to attend a life-changing week of summer camp.
The Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala began in 2008 and has been supported by Honorary Celebrity Co-Chairs Rope Myers and Walt Garrison since its inception. Each year, Dallas Cowboys from the football field and Cowboys from the rodeo arena join together with individuals, families and businesses to support Sky Ranch programs.
Over the years, Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala has been led by many celebrity cowboys who have served as Honorary Celebrity Chairs including: Chad Hennings and Hall of Famers Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. They have been joined by World Champion Rodeo Cowboys Joe Beaver, Trevor Brazile, Larry Mahan and many other notable celebrity guests.
During the gala, media personality Scott Murray and Kelli Finglass, Director of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders engaged the audience as entertaining emcees. The Kilgore College Rangerettes served as hostesses and joined the Corps of Cadets from Daggett Middle School to post colors. The audience also enjoyed a special performance by Tony Dorsett’s daughter Mia, who sang the National Anthem.
One of the highlights of the evening was the live and silent auction. Each year, over 300 businesses and families in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area generously donate their services, products, experiences and more to the Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala.
Two of the most sought after live auction items were the Top Gun Experience in Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel with a fighter jet experience; and the Pro Bowl Trip to Honolulu, Hawaii at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach with VIP Access to Player’s Practice and tickets to the Pro Bowl. Leading the live auction was 2014 International Champion Auctioneer, Wendy Lambert.
“We are very fortunate to have so many servant-leaders in the North Texas community join us at the Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala each year,” said Linda Paulk, Sky Ranch CEO. “Their unwavering support helps us provide a life-transforming experience in a fun, safe Christ-centered environment where kids can learn, explore and grow into godly character leaders.”
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