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Football great Emmitt Smith coming to Victoria (video)

Feb. 19, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:20 p.m.

From left: Paul Hughes, Invista plant manager; Amy Hodges, Invista public affairs manager; Cindy Staley, executive director of Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity; and Kim Followwill, Habitat event chairwoman, pose with a cut out of football great Emmittt Smith. Invista is sponsoring Smith's visit to Victoria in May as part of Habitat's "Speaking of Sweat Equity" speaker series.

Emmitt Smith, former Dallas Cowboys great, National Football League Hall of Famer and "Dancing with the Stars" champion is coming to Victoria.

Smith's visit is the second in the Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity's "Speaking of Sweat Equity Series."

Event chairwoman Kim Followwill said Smith is ideal for a "sweat equity" themed speech.

"Our families have to contribute sweat equity when they build their homes, so the sweat equity title fits in with Emmitt Smith because he's such a hard worker."

Cynthia Staley, Habitat executive director, agreed with the fit between theme and speaker.

"Our Habitat homeowners overcome obstacles every day of their lives," she said. "We want people to understand that overcoming a challenge is not unique to them. We all have obstacles and challenges we overcome every day, and Smith is a perfect example of that.

"Emmitt has a wonderful story," said Staley. "He pursued a lifelong dream, overcame obstacles, and he's going to share his faith journey with us.

"We want this to be a transformative event for everyone who is coming."

Student involvement

Some of those coming will be students from the school districts in Victoria, Goliad, Jackson and Lavaca counties.

Superintendents in those counties will be mailed a packet next week with instructions on how to nominate a student, 12-18 years old, to meet Smith.

The selected students will participate in a two-hour team-building session.

Students will then talk about what they learned with Smith and how they can apply the lessons to their life, according to a news release from Habitat.

"School districts will nominate kids who can benefit from some personal time with Emmitt Smith," Staley said.

"We want children who have some circumstance in their life that would make them the most likely candidate to see a real-life turn-a-round. To give them a reason to persevere."

Principle sponsor

INVISTA has teamed with Habitat as the principle sponsor for the May 7 event.

"We are thrilled to partner with Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity on this event," said Paul Hughes, INVISTA site manager.

"Our community investments come in a variety of forms. This exciting event will assist Habitat in advancing its mission of helping families achieve the American dream of home ownership, as well as having a positive impact on our local youth."

Hughes and other INVISTA employees took part in a Habitat build last year.

"That helped open my eyes to what Habitat for Humanity does for our community. I was impressed," Hughes said. "When this opportunity came along, we were delighted to help out."

Amy Hodges, INVISTA public affairs manager, said the event makes for a great partnership.

"It is a combination of Habitat and its mission of helping families achieve the American dream in our community and is in line with our philosophical position of helping communities thrive," she said. "Plus, it's Emmitt Smith. Who in Texas doesn't know who Emmitt Smith is?"



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