The Pro Football Hall of Famer makes his biggest play yet with United Way.
What did Troy Aikman do when United Way of Metropolitan Dallas initially asked him to chair its annual fundraising campaign? “I said no,” Aikman says with a laugh. It’s easy to see why. The fundraising goal for the 2017-18 year is to exceed last year’s $58 million mark. Aikman reconsidered after hearing from C-level executives who’d served in the role. “From Randall Stephenson [chairman of AT&T] to Rich Templeton [chairman of Texas Instruments], it didn’t take long for them to convince me.” Aikman has a history with United Way. He not only co-chaired its 90th anniversary celebration with Charlotte Jones Anderson in 2014, but he also moved his namesake foundation—known for building playrooms in children’s hospitals—into a donor-advised fund with the organization. “I’ve spent most of my life here; I’ve raised my girls here. This is home for me, so it felt like it was time to focus on North Texas,” Aikman says. With everything from building schools and job training to health services, United Way’s impact on communities runs deep and global. “I’m gonna be able to look back on this and be proud of what we’ve done.”