The Dallas Cowboys kicked off their 2014 season Wednesday at the Flowserve Kickoff Luncheon benefiting Happy Hill Farm Academy and Home.
The annual event held at AT&T Stadium is one of few wherein every player, coach, team personnel and executive not only attends but is introduced one-by-one before taking a seat on the main stage. It's an occasion that brings together Cowboys of past and present, with legends like D.D. Lewis, Danny White, Charles Haley, Preston Pearson, Chad Hennings and Billy Joe DuPree in attendance.
In their remarks, both Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett thanked guests for their support while also thanking the players for their hard work this summer at training camp. Safety Barry Church took home both the Ed Block Courage Award and the 2013 Defensive MVP Award. Running back DeMarco Murray and tackle Tyron Smith were the co-recipients of the 2013 Offensive MVP, and Dwayne Harris received the honor of 2013 Special Teams MVP.
The event's beneficiary Happy Hill Farm is a private day and boarding school for socially disadvantaged boys and girls, ages 6 to 18, in Granbury, Texas. Sitting on a beautiful 500-acre property, Happy Hill – a fully-credited college preparatory school – prides itself on equipping students with a strong academic foundation while also teaching the importance of hard work, communication and social skills, self-discipline and a sense of responsibility to the community. Many students live on campus year-round and the majority are on scholarship with tuition and fees accounting for very little of the organization's budget. The majority of Happy Hill's funding comes from the private sector.
The Cowboys support Happy Hill both through the Kickoff Luncheon and through sales of the team's family cookbook. The Cowboys also invite Happy Hill's choir to visit their Valley Ranch training facility and perform for the team every holiday season.