ARLINGTON, Texas (Nov. 28, 2013)—The Dallas Cowboys and The Salvation Army carried on what has become a holiday tradition Thursday, welcoming actress and multi-platinum recording artist Selena Gomez to AT&T Stadium.
Gomez, who is a Dallas native, took a break from her "Stars Dance World Tour" to perform live during halftime of the Cowboys' nationally televised matchup against the Oakland Raiders. The seven-minute medley featured hits from Gomez's "Stars Dance" record released earlier this year, including "Like A Champion," "Slow Down" and "Come and Get It."
"It is such an honor to perform in my hometown today and build awareness for the Red Kettle Campaign," said Gomez. "By dropping change in the kettles, you are changing a child's life. The Salvation Army uses those nickels, dimes and quarters to provide after-school programs, summer camps and toys for children during the holidays, and all in the community where they are donated."
Gomez's performance marked the 17th year the Cowboys have dedicated their Thanksgiving Day game halftime show to kicking off the iconic fundraiser with major musical talents. Since the first Red Kettle Kickoff performance in 1997, the Cowboys have helped The Salvation Army raise $1.75 billion during the holiday season, providing food, shelter, clothing, Christmas toys and countless other services for millions of people in need.
All is the brainchild of Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer Charlotte Jones Anderson. Anderson, who also serves as chair of the Army's National Advisory Board, said she was hopeful that Gomez, at age 21, will inspire a new generation of Salvation Army support.
"We're thrilled to have Selena Gomez as our 2013 National Red Kettle Kickoff artist," Anderson said. "She is a remarkable role model for our youth. To have her help us bring greater visibility to the Red Kettle Campaign and The Salvation Army is a great gift this holiday." [embedded_ad]
Now that the Red Kettle Campaign is officially underway, thousands of volunteers will take to streets across the country to ring Christmas bells, soliciting donations in the bright red kettles. In addition to dropping donations directly in the kettles, supporters may also give online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or text "KETTLE" to 80888.
National Commander of The Salvation Army David Jeffrey said the Army's goal is to raise $150 million this holiday season – an ambitious goal as the campaign is shorter this year, with Thanksgiving falling on a later date. National community relations and development secretary for the Army Major Ron Busroe, however, expressed little worry.
"We are confident that the attention partners like Selena Gomez and the Dallas Cowboys are bringing to the cause will more than make up the difference," he said.
From its humble beginnings as a San Francisco startup program in 1891, The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is now one of the longest-running and most recognizable fundraisers in the world. To learn more about the campaign's storied history, click here. To learn more about the Dallas Cowboys' partnership with The Salvation Army, click here.