By David Lee

More than 30 elementary-age students at the Momentous Institute in Dallas sat intently, wearing moose antlers while listening to their famous guest.

Who was the guest? Former Dallas Cowboys great and three-time Super Bowl champion Darrell “Moose” Johnston. He served as the ambassador for the Supreme Lending Celebrity Pro-Am, which benefits the Momentous Institute. The Pro-Am was in correlation with the annual AT&T Byron Nelson happening later that weekend. Supreme Lending is a Dallas-based national mortgage lender. Major Dallas news media covered the event, such as Fox, CBS and ABC.

Wearing his Super Bowl XXX ring, Johnston talked with the kids about the value of hard work and being a change-maker. He shared his own stories of having a difficult time in second grade, and how he credits grit and resiliency for driving him to accomplish goals during and after football. “There’s no substitute for hard work,” he told the students. He then took some questions from the kids.

The Salesmanship Club, which also sponsors the Supreme Lending Celebrity Pro-Am, has powered the Momentous Institute for decades. The school helps more than 6,000 kids and family members directly each year through mental health and education programs.

“We know there’s a great golf tournament that goes on in the DFW area, but we don’t know what happens behind the scenes with the Salesmanship Club,” Johnston said. “I had no idea that they have raised $155 million. For me to be the ambassador for Supreme Lending and be able to share this so other people find out about the Momentous Institute and meet these kids is unbelievable.”

Michelle Kinder serves as the Executive Director for the Momentous Institute. She says Johnston’s message perfectly aligns with the values taught at the school. Teachers will continue to weave the message into the classrooms, and during the graduation service, kids will present their own change-maker stories.

“Every one of us has those fork-in-the-road moments when we have to rely on the people who believe in us,” Michelle says. “I loved his point on proving people right instead of proving people wrong.”

She also explained how this event touches so much of the Dallas community to benefit everyone involved. “It’s the affiliation with the AT&T Byron Nelson and having the support of the Salesmanship Club and how they are present for us all year long. It’s a fun sporting event for the community, supported by the business community that benefits families. It’s a win-win-win. It’s mutually transformative. Supreme Lending really makes this happen. They are flawless partners.”