NFL Group Visits KISD

Dallas Cowboys urge healthy living, service
By: Todd Martin
Four Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, team mascot Rowdy and a group of former NFL players traveled through Killeen and Fort Hood Friday, promoting a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and community service.
They began at Meadows Elementary School on Fort Hood and presented the Fuel Up to Play 60 mini-camp, urging healthy food choices and 60 minutes of activity a day.
Following a presentation in the school cafeteria with video and student participation, Meadows fourth-graders joined their famous guests in the gym for an hour of football drills and movement exercises with the cheerleaders.
“It was fun. I liked it,” said Meadows fourth-grader Virginia Schoenfeldt. “We had fun exercising and hearing about fueling the body with food. You have to eat right to do your best.”
Fourth-grade teacher Gene-a Salvati, a fan of the team, said she was grateful for their willingness to interact with students. “It’s a great opportunity for them to see what they can be. The Dallas Cowboys don’t have to do this. It really inspires kids to work out and to have fun. It put smiles on their faces.”
Next, the Dallas Cowboys delegation made three stops to participate and contribute to community service involving three Killeen ISD middle schools.
Players, mascot and cheerleaders joined Audie Murphy Middle School student leaders at the Clear Creek Commissary on Fort Hood where they raced to purchase non-perishable food items for the school’s food drive.
They also joined the Rancier Middle School Youth Congress and eighth-grade AVID students at the Rosewood Retirement Community. Students spent the day at the center handing out gift bags and playing games and painting fingernails for the residents.
The Rancier student leaders said they were impressed with the chance to serve elderly residents. “It was about brightening someone’s day and making an impact on their lives,” said eighth-grader Tiffani Edwards. “We made a lot of memories. We danced and talked and painted nails.”
“I think it was very impactful, helping people who might not get a lot of guests,” said Rancier eighth-grader Lily Magdaleno. “It brightened their day and it’s something we will remember. It was emotional. It made me feel nice to see their smiles.”
“It’s been so incredible,” said Jalyn, one of the cheerleaders. The team is restricted from giving their last names for their own security.
“This is one of the highlights of being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. There is so much energy. They are excited. I hope they walk away with more knowledge about staying fit and exercising and are motivated to follow their dreams.”
The Dallas Cowboys group also made it to Palo Alto Middle School just before dismissal, where students showed their guests food drive sites at the school.
In addition to visiting with students, the group donated three $500 checks to Audie Murphy, Rancier and Palo Alto from the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation to contribute to the schools’ service projects.
The NFL’s Salute to Service campaign leads into Veterans Day. “We understand the entire family serves,” said Whitney Faulkner, public and community relations program manager for the Dallas Cowboys.
The team regularly hosts soldiers for games, but Faulkner said it’s important to get outside the Dallas area and contribute to youth who are making a difference in their communities while their parents serve the country.
The players and cheerleaders ended the day conducting a skills clinic for youth at Liberty Hill Middle School. Former NFL players in the Cowboys Football Academy included Danny McCray, Taylor Dupree, Charles Ali, Nakia Codie and Jason Jones.