The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Legacy Award Dinner honoring the NFL Foundation

Written by
Amber Freeland
Posted in

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

The greatest changes happen when people come together with a common vision. That was the continuing thread woven throughout the evening at the 2019 Legacy Award Dinner held in downtown Dallas at the historic Belo Mansion.


The annual event is the premier fundraiser for The Cooper Institute, founded by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper nearly 50 years ago to prove through scientific research that exercise is the best preventive medicine. 

This year’s event raised a record-breaking $740,000 to support our mission of research and education. 

2019 Legacy Award Dinner honoring the NFL Foundation
The NFL Foundation has done more to improve youth health and fitness than almost any other organization across the country, which is why they are this year’s Legacy Award recipient. Charlotte Jones, Chairman of the NFL Foundation, accepted their award honoring the 11-year legacy to improve youth fitness through NFL PLAY 60. 

“It’s all about prevention,” said Jones at the 2019 Legacy Award Dinner. “We want to inspire young kids to do the right thing, to be active, to be motivated by playing.”  

Research from the NFL PLAY 60 FitnessGram Project with The Cooper Institute proves that the program works to help children achieve a healthier body weight and improve cardio fitness. Over 38 million children have participated in NFL PLAY 60 programs in 73,000 schools. The partnership to continue researching youth fitness has been renewed for another two years.  

Executive chairs Arthur Blank and Roger Staubach are thankful for all of the support of this year’s event. 

“It’s phenomenal to be able to prove how exercise and fitness can help you live longer and more productively,” said Staubach, a long-time member of the board of trustees and the 2016 award recipient.

“I want to encourage everybody to consider how they can get more involved in their own school districts and governments to use FitnessGram,” said Blank who was last year’s award recipient for helping transform youth health and fitness in his home state of Georgia with the FitnessGram assessment.

Improving public health can be a daunting task, but Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price earned the Well.Hero. Award for inspiring an entire city to get active, eat better and live healthier. Fort Worth is now the largest city in the U.S. to join the Blue Zone Project, a strategic partnership backed by Texas Health Resources. The program makes healthy choices the easy choice so residents can live longer and better with less chronic disease.

“As a nation, a city and a state, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Mayor Price. “We can make people’s lives better.” 


Betsy Price Mayor of Fort Worth receives the 2019 Well.Hero. Award.

The city is already seeing a positive change in the battle against childhood obesity. Over 20,000 Fort Worth students using FitnessGram who are at-risk for diabetes have shown a 6% reduction in their risk factors in just 3 years.

Jimena Tinoco joins Angie and Arthur M. Blank, 2019 Legacy Award Dinner Executive Chair“With a healthy body and mind, we can accomplish anything,” said special guest Jimena Tinoco who reinforced the positive impact of FitnessGram and NFL PLAY 60 programs on today’s youth. 

At only 17 years old, Tinoco has emerged as a voice for change and for the health of her generation as a member of the national youth council for Fuel Up to Play 60.  

Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, the youngest man to walk on the moon, wrapped up the event by sharing stories about the the physical challenges of the space program and the powerful impact of people working together.

Charlie Duke and Roger Staubach 2019 Legacy Award Dinner Executive Chair“It showed what teamwork, dedication and commitment can doc” said Duke. 

Altogether, it was a powerful and inspiring evening that showed how we can all make an impact on public health and change people’s lives by working towards a shared vision for the future.