CDF-Texas announces 2012 Beat the Odds Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Pat Smith

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas announces 2012 Beat the Odds® Luncheon keynote speaker: Pat Smith

Dallas, TX—The Children’s Defense Fund-Texas 3rd Annual Beat the Odds® Awards Luncheon will be held on Friday, November 16, 2012, from 11:30am – 1:00pm at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel (1717 N. Akard Street).

This year’s event will honor Sarah Palisi Chapin, CEO of Hail Merry, and will feature Keynote Speaker, Pat Smith, Founder and Owner of Pat Smith Enterprises, Founder of “Treasure You” and the President of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities.

Pat is the first African-American woman to win the Miss Virginia USA title and first runner-up of the 1994 Miss USA Pageant.  She lost her mother to breast cancer while preparing for the competition.

Pat established a non-profit organization, “Treasure You”, to inspire and uplift other women to pursue their passions in life despite their circumstances or set-backs.  She hosts an annual Treasure You Christian Girlfriend’s Retreat and raises money to provide emergency assistance to women in financial, emotional or spiritual need.

Her television career includes being a correspondent to Extra, guest host for Access Hollywood, host of “Treasure You” on Good Morning Texas, host of Keep the Faith and recurring roles and guest appearances on such primetime hits as Beverly Hills 90210, Sunset Beach and The Wayans Brothers Show.  She was recently interviewed and featured in one of the highest rated TBN Specials, “A Night of Amazing Women”.

As a wife, mother, television host and former actress, Pat is known for her philanthropy on behalf of women and children as well as her dedication to church, civic and community activities. Pat and her husband, Emmitt, have a passion for youth in their community and have been long time supporters of the Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds Scholarship Program.  They believe that given the opportunity, encouragement, and mentorship, all children can succeed. 

Pat is currently a member of the prestigious Vogue 100, was voted one of the 10 Most Beautiful Women of Dallas in 2011, and is a celebrity role model for the Dallas Elevators mentor program for Dallas ISD high school students.  She is involved with battered women’s shelters and breast cancer initiatives.  2012 is an incredibly exciting year for Pat as she has shared her journey on the Women of Faith “Celebrate What Matters” Tour in 7 U.S. cities this fall.

This year’s 2012 luncheon sponsors will include: Amerigroup, Brinker International, Constellation Wines, Fossil, JC Penney, Jersey Mike’s Subs, la Madeleine, Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, Taco Bueno, TMG Graphics and more.

About the CDF Beat the Odds Luncheon:

Each year, through a competitive review process, deserving Dallas-area high school seniors are selected and honored for their academic achievements and perseverance in the face of tremendous and overwhelming obstacles. Each student receives a college scholarship, a laptop computer, professional attire, mentoring, leadership training and other supports from CDF to help ensure their continued success. The students’ journeys to beat the odds serve as important reminders for all of the challenges facing far too many children, and their experiences inform CDF in its continued commitment to change the odds for all children. This year’s scholarship recipients will be recognized and tell their story at the upcoming CDF Beat the Odds Awards Luncheon on Friday, November 16, 2012.

For more information about this event and to meet this year’s scholarship winners, visit

About Children’s Defense Fund:

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. They champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation.  For more visit: