FRISCO, Texas – What began as a simple, selfless idea grew into an enormous national effort in North Texas and communities throughout the National Football League.
To celebrate the NFL's 100th season, the "Huddle For 100" initiative challenged one million football fans to donate 100 minutes of their time to their communities. It was a friendly competition among all 32 teams, with Cowboys fans encouraged to volunteer at causes important to them and log their minutes via social media using the hashtag #CowboysHuddleFor100.
The results were remarkable. The Cowboys and their fans logged 26 million minutes, and league-wide efforts produced 400 million minutes of volunteerism – equating to $168 million of impact in the community.
"That's phenomenal," said Charlotte Jones, Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer. "What we were really trying to do was celebrate 100 years of the NFL but more importantly the power of our game and why we actually play this game – and that's to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves."
In a press conference Thursday, Jones and the Cowboys organization honored their "Huddle Heroes" – a collection of Cowboys fans, staff members, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue, current players, alumni and non-profit partners – for donating their time to the "Huddle For 100" cause. Among them:
- Safety Kavon Frazier was named Huddle Hero among current players for the work he does through his Frazier Cares Foundation, helping children who are raised in single-parent homes. Weekly during the football season, Frazier hosts middle school football teams at The Star in Frisco for his Frazier Friday program. He also works to provide resources for at-risk youth and support those impacted by multiple sclerosis.
- Former linebacker Bradie James was selected as Huddle Hero for volunteering the most among Cowboys player alumni. James contributed to multiple causes, from the Donuts with Dad program to making sack lunches for those less fortunate.
- The top 10 Cowboys employees who volunteered their time were Liz Prasse (Huddle Hero), Tim Attel, Nichole Prado, Dale Knox, Jennifer Johnson, Nate Reilly, Gwendolyn Bugayong, Olivia Stasiuk, Kenneth Slate and Ryan Kuddes. Other Huddle Heroes included Sean Penix (Legends employee), Rickey McCoy (Formation), Marley (DCRB), Daphne (DCC) and Heather Berg (Season Ticket Holder).
- Essilor & Essilor Vision Foundation Essilor and the Essilor Vision Foundation were the Corporate Partner Huddle Heroes for giving back to those in need of clear vision. They joined the Dallas Cowboys in several Huddles and also held their own efforts across North Texas.
Views from the Dallas Cowboys Huddle for 100 Volunteerism Recognition press conference at the Star in Frisco, TX.
On behalf of the Jones family, the Cowboys also announced grants to their non-profit partners for minutes donated: Make A Wish ($10,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County ($10,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas ($10,000), North Texas Food Bank ($10,000), The Salvation Army North Texas ($10,000) and Susan G. Komen ($50,000).
"When you try to get creative and you want to do a lot of things to make a difference, an idea is only as good as the feet that prop it up," Charlotte Jones said. "All of you in here are what makes it possible. And to our non-profit partners who truly are giving selflessly of themselves every day with little recognition of what you do, we are honored to be able to lift you up and recognize you for all that you give to our community and for being there for people who need it the most."