DALLAS - Thousands of North Texas kids who have spent hours giving back to their communities are in for a thrill with a big party being held in their honor tonight.
Former President George W. Bush will help get the Slant 45 Kids Bowl Bash started, along with former Cowboys greats Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman.
About 14,000 children from across North Texas will attend the event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The event is tied to the Super Bowl XLV and includes a concert with Jordin Sparks of "American Idol" and Mitchel Musso from Disney performing. Bush will speak to the children, thanking them for their work.
"We wanted to find a way to connect kids in a meaningful way to the Super Bowl experience, make a memory for them that will last a lifetime," said Tony Fay, with the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. "We got with a local non-profit called 'Big Thoughts,' which designed the program. It's getting kids out in the community doing work that will make their community, make their neighborhoods a better place."
SLANT 45 is the partnership between Big Thought and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.
Fay said about 45,000 children have gone through the program, giving nearly a half million hours of community service work. Work ranges from cleaning up graffiti to planting gardens.
"There is one little girl in Fort Worth at Clark Elementary named Valerie that took on the graffiti problem in her neighborhood," Fay said. "She got a group together and they went out there, they cleaned up their school, their neighborhood and really did a remarkable job of taking on a problem and just making their neighborhood a better place."
Fay said since not everyone can attend the actual Super Bowl, the event will serve as a way for children to remember the big party that happened the same year the big game took place in North Texas.
"These kids, 20 years from now, will remember when the Super Bowl was here and how it helped make their community a better place," Fay said.