Mavs, Porzingis and Whataburger Present $ 50,000 Checks to Fight Child Hunger


The McCloud family could hardly believe the news. In the past year, they faced hardship after hardship and now there was a little ray of sunshine shining on the family.

“When I told them that the Mavs Foundation and Whataburger invited them to this event, mom, Cynthia McCloud, started crying,” said Mita Havlick, executive director of the Dallas Education Foundation.

The event was a year-end celebration for the #KrisStops campaign and the McCloud family – along with their eight children aged from elementary school to middle school – received a VIP invitation to attend a party at the training facility American Airlines Center.

Earlier in the season, Mavs forward / center Kristaps Porzingis once again partnered with Whataburger and the Mavs Foundation to tackle child hunger.

Porzingis personally donated $ 500 per block this season, Whataburger donated an additional $ 100, for a total of $ 600 per block donated to the Mavs Foundation.

Whataburger’s contribution is part of its Whataburger Feeding Student Success program, designed to help students from kindergarten to college achieve their dreams and goals while removing barriers to success.

The Mavs Foundation provided $ 10,000 in grants to fund five local organizations dedicated to fighting child hunger in North Texas.

This year’s recipients included CitySquare, the Dallas Education Foundation, New Day Arlington, Metrocrest Services and Soup Mobile.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide $ 50,000 to five different organizations in North Texas to fight child hunger,” said Hannah Sherertz, director of the Mavs Foundation. “Tonight the families and organizations that were here for the celebration had a very exclusive behind-the-scenes experience with the Mavericks. It was truly a celebration for all the good work that organizations do, and it was just a moment of joy for all the families we serve.

The McCloud family was selected by the Dallas Education Foundation to represent the organization and the Dallas ISD this year.

“They had COVID challenges, in fact the two older boys in college had to go home to help support the family,” Havlick said. “They’re wonderful and their kids are so polite and they’re talented and they’re great kids.”

Havlick explained that hunger is a serious problem in North Texas, even more than people often realize. The summer months are particularly intimidating when the children are at home and food insecurity is a real threat to our young people. That’s why the Mavericks, along with Porzingis and Whataburger, are dedicated to supporting various organizations that fight food insecurity.

“The Mavs Foundation is very grateful for the contributions Whataburger and Porzingis make to this campaign each year,” Hereretz said. “We have been fortunate to donate over $ 200,000 over the past few years to organizations in North Texas that fight child hunger.

Dallas ISD is the 14th largest school district in the country and the second in Texas with more than 152,000 children. The Dallas Education Foundation says 86% of students in the district are economically disadvantaged.

“What always surprises me is that we have so many families in our community who are going hungry,” Havlick said. “There is so much food insecurity in our city and often we don’t see it because we marginalize a population. We don’t want to see them.

“No one chooses to be hungry. It is not a choice, it is unfortunately a circumstance. And so, anything the great community can do to help support any hungry family is incredibly grateful. Even if they are not in school, all children deserve to eat.

The Dallas Education Foundation exists to serve all of the more than 150,000 Dallas ISD students through the lens of equity, access and inclusion. With a mission to educate all students for success, Dallas ISD sees continued gains in student success and prepares students to be college and career-ready and productive, contributing to the community.

Havlick noted that the donation from Porzingis, the Mavs Foundation and Whataburger came at the perfect time as a combination of the pandemic and job losses created a particularly difficult time in our community.

She said it was really special to attend the donation of the check with the McCloud family to see the excitement and joy in the eyes of the family.

“It’s amazing,” Havlick said. “This is an incredible opportunity for them, and I know they are especially grateful.”

The Mavericks and Whataburger invited this year’s recipients to a special celebratory backstage event, and everyone walked around the Mavericks locker room, shooting hoops at the training ground goals, playing games. with the Mavs ManiAAC and Whataburger also served fan favorite dishes during the event.

Spencer McCloud was especially excited to attend the event as he said basketball plays a special role in his family’s life. He said his family reunites in the heat of Texas every day and shooting at the Dallas Mavericks training ground is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He said “eating Whataburger and taking a locker room tour” are some of his highlights of the night.

“I loved being able to see Boban’s shoes,” said McCloud, with a giant smile on his face. “I put my foot next to his shoe and it’s so big! I liked being able to see everything tonight, it was nice.

My favorite part of the day was going to the Mavericks gym. I played head-to-head against my brothers and my mother. My mom is better than me at basketball. She was killing me in the mail. She was a power forward and is a bit stronger than me. We all play together as a family every day in the sun.

Porzingis was unable to attend the event in person as he returned to his home country, Latvia, for the offseason. Instead, he sent a special video to make sure organizations and families knew they were loved and appreciated.

“I just want to tell everyone that I am extremely happy and grateful for the support my #KrisStops campaign has received,” Porzingis said. “I want to thank all the amazing organizations for their hard work during this global pandemic. I want to encourage everyone to keep up the good work and I promise that it will not go unnoticed. A huge, huge thank you to Whataburger, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and supporting the cause of the fight against hunger. Let’s continue to fight.

ABOUT THE MAVS FOUNDATION: Over the past 25 years, the Mavs Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $ 6 million to nonprofit organizations serving women, children and families in need. In addition to the grants, the Mavs Foundation built 48 safe learning and play spaces throughout the North Texas community, including 28 basketball courts and 20 reading and learning centers. These spaces are designed to encourage healthy lifestyles and provide a safe place for children and residents, as well as expand learning opportunities and access to technology to support youth education programs, training vocational training for adolescents and adults and other essential programs. Learn more at

ABOUT WHATABURGER: Whataburger has been focused on fresh, made-to-order burgers and friendly customer service since 1950, when Harmon Dobson opened the first Whataburger as a small roadside burger stand in Corpus Christi, TX. Today, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, with more than 850 locations in its 14 states and revenues of over $ 2.8 billion annually. Whataburger has 50,000 family members (employees) and over 60 million customers who love to customize their Whataburgers to their liking. Visit or for more information. To apply for Whataburger jobs now, visit

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