DeSOTO — More than 300 students and their parents lined up outside a DeSoto elementary school Saturday morning for two things: Free school supplies and a chance to meet Dallas Cowboys great Emmitt Smith.
Sean Robinson's face had the look of wide-eyed wonder.
"I was surprised," he said. "I didn't expect it to go this big, because this is huge!"
Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith his wife stood just inches away, bringing gifts of autographed footballs.
It's a moment Sean and his brother and friend John Robinson will never forget.
"I'm a child, and someone famous to kids is very, very awesome," John said.
But it's not the moment these boys worked toward.
And this moment — with hundreds of students lined up outside Amber Terrace Elementary School — was not what they asked for, either. The boys saved up allowances for a year to help other students buy shoes and clothing.
"We've seen people at the school show up in rags, same clothes, no school supplies... no nothing," Sean said.
Then they wrote a letter to Emmitt Smith and his wife Pat asking for enough money to help just 35 kids.
"So we were like, 'Hey, we can help you reach more than 35... we can reach 300 kids,' which is what we're doing today," Pat Smith said.
With a donation of $10,000 from Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities, all of these students will get new shoes, uniforms, and a $35 gift card just in time for the tax-free shopping weekend.
"I grew up watching Emmitt Smith, and to meet one of my heroes who came to support my young ones... it kind of hits home to me," said Rosendro Ramirez.
"I've experienced many many highs," Smith said. "To be able to touch another person's life is higher than the highest."
And it will be many days... perhaps many years... before another memory replaces this one as a highlight in the lives of these kids.