After the parties, celebrities, and football left town, Houston will still be feeling the effects of Super Bowl LI for a while to come. As the recipient of funds raised at the Off The Field Players’ Wives Association Fashion Show, which kicked off Super Bowl weekend at Tootsies, Covenant House will too.
Off the Field is the national football player wives association comprised of wives from both active and retired football players. Their mission is to give back and support philanthropic initiatives in their communities.
“Love and sisterhood are the mission of the organization – it is a beautiful organization with women who truly understand what your experience is. We want to showcase to the community the things we are doing and give back,” said co-chair and board member Tamla Groce.
Each year since its inception, the organization has put on a fashion show in conjunction with the Super Bowl. “This is the 16th year for the Fashion show and every year we try to give back to the Super Bowl host city and this year we are giving to Covenant House,” said Ericka Lassiter, President of Off The Field Players’ Wives Association. “They say everything is bigger in Texas and it looks like it is true.”
Covenant House is a shelter for homeless, abused and abandoned youth ages 18-20. The shelter provides youth a safe haven from the dangers of street life and abuse, as well as helps with necessary skills, training and emotional support.
“There are currently 458 youth living at Covenant House. These kids need a friendly smile and a helping hand to help them transition from homelessness to having a home,” said honorary chair Mary Eads.
In addition to all of the services Covenant House provides in-house; everything from mental health care to job/vocational training, it also provides outreach on the streets. “Covenant House has a wonderful van outreach program which travels throughout the city five nights per week and hands out food, clothing and necessities to homeless youth,” said Eads.
Attendees of the fashion show enjoyed food from Caswell & Co, flowing drinks at two bar stations and music throughout the party. There was also a large silent auction area with memorabilia from some of sports’ greatest icons. A portion of every sale made at Tootsies during the event was also donated to the organization.
“I brought my son today so that we could support his mom when she walks in the show. I also wanted to give him an opportunity to see a little bit of the NFL experience – there are a lot of good things that happen off the field,” said retired NFL player Omar Stoutmire.
The Patriots are taking home the Lombardi trophy, but with the help of the Off The Field Players’ Wives Association, Covenant House is coming away from Super Bowl LI a winner, too.