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An Evening with The Stars

Wow wow wow wow wow! What a night we had last night. My son and I were fortunate enough to have been invited to volunteer at the bowling night fund raiser for The Gift of Life Foundation. The Foundation was started by Everson Walls and Ron Springs to raise money and awareness for organ donation.

We were advised to get there early so we could choose our job. Well we were the first ones and man did we get the best job in the house! We worked the Celebrity sign in table. When we saw the list of who was coming, we could hardly wait until 6. It was only 3:30 so we had to keep ourselves occupied or the anticipation would have driven us insane.

Everson Walls and several members of the Springs family were there when we first arrived. Everson came by the table looking for some muscle to carry some boxes in. I asked JD if he would like to help Everson and he nearly tripped over himself. I didn’t see him again until 6 rolled around because he was helping do all the guy stuff and making friends with everyone. It paid off for him later!

The first person we checked in was Tony Dorsett. He has several companies and sponsored two lanes. All of his offspring and his beautiful wife were with him. Tony looks like a million bucks and his eldest son Anthony looks like a movie star. A couple of guys came in after that and I had to ask them who they were unfortunately. Then they came in droves. It was overwhelming. Three guys sauntered up to the table together arms around each other and all I could think of is that I wished my mom was there to see these three. It was Roger Staubach, Billy Joe Dupree and Tony Hill. My night could have been complete then. They kept coming in so fast, so many stars (Mel Renfro, Drew Pearson, Robert Newhouse, Michael Downs, Doug Donley, Too Tall Jones, Timmy Newsome, Russell Maryland, and more) that I didn’t really absorb what had just passed before me until later.

Once everyone had been checked in, we were able to mingle. It was really an awesome sight to see. All these pro athletes retired, and current players, gathering to honor Ron Springs and help raise money for those needing a transplant. But for me as a fan, I loved watching the reunion between them all. I loved seeing the young players like Tyson Thompson and Jason Hatcher paying respect to the retired guys. What a privilege this was to be such a huge Cowboys fan and see all these generations of Cowboys in the same place together, just being regular people and bowling, and visiting with each other and entertaining the fans that had paid to be there. This was a corporate thing. If a company made a sizeable donation, they were able to come and play with a celebrity.

Every person I asked to take a picture with JD was very kind about it. Tyson Thompson and Shawn Springs even stopped to talk to him a minute. They had all seen the kid working at the event and were thanking him for his help. Everson Walls was calling him by his first name and acknowledging him every time he saw him. What a class act Everson Walls is.

(My son with Everson Walls and Shawn Springs)

 

This was a wonderful event. I was so proud to be a Cowboy fan last night. I never asked for an autograph or picture for myself. I really didn’t even think about it because my son was having the time of his life. Just as I had realized we didn’t get any autographs and that we needed to head home, my son appeared with a football autographed by every Cowboy player that was there. These were for the corporate sponsors that had paid to be there. I am not going to rat anyone out for sneaking this football to him but let me tell you that it was the end to an evening most kids may never even dream of. My son the jock who thinks he is too cool to be excited was squealing. It was a night neither of us will soon forget. The Dallas Cowboys are a first class organization with a long list of first class players that treated us with such kindness last night. I wish all of you could have been there with us. We’re still on cloud nine 24 hours later.

p.s.       I copied the list of people I checked in and here are a few more that I didn’t mention previously: JOSH HOWARD, KEVIN BURNETT, ERIC STRICKLAND, CORTNEY BROWN, MIKE JEFFERSON, JAKE REED, BIG TUCK, ISIAH ROBERTSON.

Legends of the Star – Mel Renfro

 

This week’s Legend of the Star is the longtime, outstanding Cowboys safety, Mel Renfro. Mel Renfro was an All-American running back at the University of Oregon, where he not only set many team and college records, but was eventually enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

In 1964, Renfro was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the NFL Draft. However, the Cowboys immediately started him at safety that season rather than at running back and used him extensively on special teams. Although the move baffled many, he ended up leading the Cowboys with seven interceptions, while leading the NFL in kickoff and punt returns in his rookie season.

Although he spent his first few years as a safety, it wasn’t until he was switched to cornerback that his career would skyrocket. Renfro used his speed to intimidate opposing wide receivers and was absolutely dominating in the secondary. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for 10 straight seasons. In his 14-season career, Renfro intercepted 52 passes that he returned for 626 yards. He returned 109 punts for 842 yards and 85 kickoffs for 2,246 yards and a sparkling 26.4-yard average, and led the NFL with 10 interceptions in 1969. Renfro always knew how to turn it up in big games too, and one of his most memorable plays was a key interception that led to the Cowboys’ game-winning touchdown over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Title game in 1970. He helped the Cowboys win nine division titles, four NFC Championships, and Super Bowls, VI and XII.

Mel Renfro was added to the Texas Stadium Ring of Honor in 1981, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
 

Legends of the Star is an exclusive weekly feature found only on StarStruck. Each week we will profile one of the many interesting personalities that have played for the Dallas Cowboys.