NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas, TX was hit hard with an unusually heavy snow storm but the weather did not stop Ford Motor Company from bringing a ray of sunshine into the lives of 10 notable individuals.
Ford flew 10 finalists to Dallas as part of the Taurus Top Ten program, a competition designed to shine a spotlight on people that excel in their respective fields and communities.
Johnny Deas of Lewisville, TX beat out a talented bunch to be selected as the grand prize winner. Ford presented Deas with a brand new 2010 Ford Taurus and $10,000 to a charity of his choice during the 5th Annual “Zo & Magic’s 8-Ball Challenge."
The fundraising event hosted by NBA legends Alonzo Mourning and Earvin “Magic” Johnson has become a mainstay during the NBA’s annual All-Star weekend. It was attended by a plethora of on- and off-the-court celebrities including Dwayne Wade, Terrell Owens, Chamillionaire, Nelly, Stephen A. Smith, Sheryl Underwood, DJ Irie and many others. But the winner was the true star of the show.
Zo and Magic were on hand to present a visibly moved Deas with the award along with top radio personality Tom Joyner and the Taurus lead exterior designer Earl Lucas. Deas, a former Marine, established Great Ideas Edutainment Foundation—a non-profit using entertainment to teach financial literacy and life skills in urban communities. Ford says Deas leadership and dedication to his community made him standout and ultimately led to him winning.
The other nine finalists received $2,500 to donate to a charity of their choosing as well.
During a time when the automotive business is suffering, Ford Motor Company has bucked the odds with quality vehicles like the Ford Taurus (Urban Car of the Year), Mustang and 2010 Ford Fusion (Motor Trend Car of the Year) as well as exemplary work in the community. Ford designer Lucas summed it up best saying, "at Ford, giving back to the community isn't an afterthought. It's something that we are committed to and have been since the very beginning.” —Branden Peters