The Gene and Jerry Jones Family announced Saturday the commitment of a $1 million dollar donation from the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation and the NFL Foundation to the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) to help rebuild the Thomas Jefferson High School football field and replace football equipment lost on Sunday, October 20th when tornadoes struck the North Texas area.
"Our family, the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Foundation are proud to be a part of this announcement today," said Charlotte Jones Anderson, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, and Chair of the NFL Foundation. "We are saddened by the devastation that these storms brought upon our community, and we and eager and determined to help get the rebuilding process started. We reached this decision after consulting with the DISD leadership and hearing their input as to how we could help in an area of need that wouldn't necessarily be covered by government funding."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made the announcement on the field prior to the Thomas Jefferson homecoming game verses Spruce High School at Loos Stadium, where was rescheduled and relocated due to the storm destruction of the Patriots' home field. Jones and members of the Gene and Jerry Jones Family were joined on the field by Thomas Jefferson High School Principal Sandi Massey, Head Football Coach Kendall Hill, Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, NFL Hall of Famer and Cowboys Legend Charles Haley, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and mascot Rowdy.
"We appreciate and fully support the Dallas Cowboys help in rebuilding the athletic and football field at Thomas Jefferson High School, a place where so many of the high school students gather to practice their sport, band, drill team and cheerleading," said Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. "Often the importance of what athletics brings to the student body can be overlooked in instances like what we are facing. It's nice to know that we have a community partner in the Cowboys that is stepping in to help here."
The Dallas Cowboys have engaged Hellas Construction, the Official Turf Provider of the Dallas Cowboys, to partner with the team and Dallas ISD on the rebuilding project. With clients ranging from elementary schools and local parks, to the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium, Hellas Construction brings their expertise and a quality performance record to the job.
"Athletics play such a key role in the growth and development of our youth, but the funding for quality programs and facilities is often overlooked or underdeveloped—especially in times of hardship," added Jones Anderson. "This gift will help the students and athletes of Thomas Jefferson to be able to continue to grow, compete and enjoy the benefits of sports, and related school activities, for generations to come."
Directly prior to today's announcement, Haley – a five-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer – addressed the Thomas Jefferson football team in the locker room. Haley spoke about the resiliency of sports, perseverance and working through challenges. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders also joined the Patriots cheer squad on field for player announcements and pregame pageantry prior to the National Anthem.
The Cowboys also joined with partner Whataburger to recognize Thomas Jefferson High School Head Coach Kendall Hill as the Week #9 Dallas Cowboys Whataburger Coach of the Week for the leadership he has brought to his team, school and community in response to this week's tragedy. Hill was recognized by Haley, members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and representatives from Whataburger during pregame program and receives a $2,000 grant for the football program courtesy of Whataburger and The Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation as part of the recognition.
In addition to the Cowboys commitment to Thomas Jefferson High School, the team has also partnered with The Salvation Army to aid those impacted by the tornadoes. The team is encouraging fans to make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army tornado disaster relief efforts by texting COWBOYS to 20222.
The brunt of the storm hit the area on Sunday nightwhile the Dallas Cowboys were playing the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. In the immediate aftermath of the game, the team made contact with The Salvation Army and those affected by the devastation to determine the best ways to assist.
In addition to the Text to Give campaign, funds raised through the Dallas Cowboys 50/50 Raffle benefiting The Salvation Army will be earmarked for tornado disaster relief. The more than $44,000 raffle prize earned during the Cowboys win over the Eagles will be added to the prize generated by the team's 50/50 Raffle at the Sunday Night Football match-up against the Minnesota Vikings on November 10th to provide vital funds needed to address immediate social service needs for the storm victims.
Fans attending the Vikings game at AT&T Stadium can purchase raffle tickets with 50% of the jackpot going back to The Salvation Army for storm relief efforts.
ABOUT GENE AND JERRY JONES FAMILY FOUNDATION
In the area of community service, the Dallas Cowboys' and Jones Family Foundation's mission is built upon an overall philosophy of helping those who do not have the strength, the resources or the means to help themselves. Recognized as one of the world's most generous families, the Jerry Jones family enlists the talents, skills and resources of all Cowboys players, coaches, cheerleaders and every member of the organization to provide a unique and cutting-edge approach to community outreach – especially in regards to the foundation's partnership and focus on its relationship with The Salvation Army. More information about the Dallas Cowboys and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation is available at dallascowboys.com.
ABOUT NFL FOUNDATION
The National Football League Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football. The NFL Foundation – in conjunction with the 32 NFL Clubs – supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes across all levels, including youth football and the communities that support our game. The National Football League has a long-standing tradition of giving back to the community. In 2012, the National Football League Foundation was established after the NFL's philanthropic organizations were restructured. While the NFL Foundation is new, its commitment to philanthropy builds on the history of NFL Charities and the NFL Youth Football Fund. Today, the NFL Foundation supports more than 45 grant and recognition in support of its mission. In 2018, the Foundation issued a record number of grants to the charitable endeavors of current and former players, clubs and organizations across the country supporting community wellbeing.