DALLAS – Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk was surveying the scene Saturday night at The Factory Ballroom in Deep Ellum, and couldn’t help but think about all of the organizations that were going to benefit from the Third Annual Mavs Ball.

View photos from the third annual Mavs Ball![/mavs_gallery]The prestigious Mavs Ball was an elegant Blue Tie Affair established by the Mavs Foundation with the sole purpose of benefitting others. On this night the foundation’s beneficiaries were the Austin Street Center, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth, Bryan’s House, Girls Inc., BridgeBuilders, Minnie’s Food Pantry, Phoenix House of Texas, St. Simon’s After-School, Unlikely Heroes, and Vogel Alcove, along with the communities they serve.

Through both a silent and live auction, a lot of money was raised Saturday, with Kirk – he was Dallas’ mayor from 1995-2002 — putting things in perspective.

“This is only my second (Mavs Ball), but I love it because ever since we built (American Airlines Center in 2000), the Mavs Foundation has really done a lot of good things behind the scenes for the city,” Kirk said. “You look at the organizations that are being honored here, they’re doing the sort of things we want them to do.

“I don’t want to gloss over the recent challenges the Mavericks have had, but I don’t know that people fully appreciate how generous (Mavs proprietor) Mark (Cuban) has been privately and philanthropically with so many of these groups. It’s a fun night, it’s a great night, kind of a needed breath of fresh air, but the best thing is it’s going to help a lot of good people.”

A proverbial Who’s Who of folks from the Dallas social scene were on hand Saturday, including Jane McGarry, the co-host of WFAA-TV’s Good Morning Texas.

“It’s the most swanky event I’ve been to in years,” McGarry said. “Everybody who is anybody is here tonight.”

McGarry said she was on a mission to meet Mavs rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Mission accomplished.

“He’s such a cool, nice young man,” McGarry said. “Super, super friendly, and cute as can be.”

Cedric The Entertainer was the headline act who performed and kept the overflow crowd in stitches. The widely-known comedian first came onto the stage and performed a dance routine with the ManiAACs — and the choreography was absolutely flawless.

“Dancing with Cedric was quiet an experience for the ManiAACs,” said Gerald “Juicy G” Walker, who is one of the ManiAACs. “We got to actually rehearse with him earlier and he was cracking jokes.

“Cedric is such a great performer and he’s a great entertainer, and for him to invite us up on that stage with him and be able to do an opening number was such a great experience for the ManiAACS.”

Walker had a lot of fun explaining to folks that he really isn’t Cedric The Entertainer.

“The funny thing about it,” Walker said, “is I’ve been stopped four times already because people thought I was him.”

This also was a great experience for the Mavs’ super fan, Don Knobler, who was dutifully decked out in a sparkling blue coat and a sparkling blue pair of shoes.

“This is one of the greatest galas that we’ve ever been to,” Knobler said. “We’ve been to three now and we like the way that the fans sort of just galvanize together, because we’ve been through some hard times, but we’re real fans.

“We’re here for the good and the bad and for the great that is coming next year and on. It’s only going to get better, because we care about one another, our team cares about itself as well as the fans, so we’re going to do great.”

Of course, Cedric The Entertainer was the star of the night. And his jokes were on-point.

“I knew when Dirk (Nowitzki) used to be called Detlef Schrempf,” he said. “I saw you fall the other day, too, playa. What happened, man?

“He did the moonwalk. Michael Jackson would have been proud. Dirk fell for like 37 minutes. I thought they were about to stop the game. It was like a long Electric Slide.”

Another joke by Cedric which tickled everyone’s funny bone occurred when he talked about black mamas being able to silence their kid if they’re misbehaving.

“If you were cutting up somewhere, black mamas, they got a look that would shut stuff down from across the room,” Cedric said. “Nowadays, these kids don’t know what that look is. There’s too much technology.

“My son was cutting up the other day, I looked up at him. Nothing. I looked up at him one more time. Nothing. Do you know I had to text this little boy.”

An avid lover of Popeye’s fried chicken, Cedric talked about singer Mary J Blige receiving $2 million to sing a Burger King commercial. He said he would sing the Chicken National Anthem for $2 million.

“You look up and I’d be like: ‘Oh say can you see, order me a two-piece. With my wings and some thighs. Yes, I love me some Popeye’s.”

Laughter, of course, ensued.

Meanwhile, Mavs guard J.J. Barea lauded his employer for reaching out and helping others during this time of need. And for getting the fans involved in the process.

“This is always a great event,” Barea said. “The Mavs Foundation is incredible and the people and the support of the fans is amazing.

“Every year I come to this and it gets better and better. Just to spend some different time with fans and with my teammates and raise money for Dallas and for the Mavs Foundation, I think is amazing. The support that we get here – win or lose in Dallas – is amazing and we’re always blessed for it.”

Jeff “Skin” Wade, the Mavs’ broadcast game analyst, noted that he was all-in towards attending this year’s Mavs Ball particularly when he found out that one of his favorite comedians was going to be the headline performer.

“I’m here for (Cedric The Entertainer),” Wade said. “I’ve been to a couple of Mavs Ball before and it’s something that me and the wife always looks forward to because it’s players, its coaches, it’s fans, its sponsors and it’s sort of like a Mavs community event.”

It was a special event that included Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, the Mavs’ new interim chief executive officer, dancing her heart away.

“I’m a 30-something year season ticket holder, so it’s good to see some of these young stars, getting to see the fans and how much the team means to the city,” Kirk said. “I love seeing the players, Cedric The Entertainer was great.

“It’s a fun night for a great cause.”

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