Former Dallas Cowboy cornerback Everson Walls will help kick-off United Way of Johnson County’s annual campaign Aug. 28 and 29.

The Burleson kickoff luncheon is scheduled for noon Aug. 28 in the First United Methodist Church, 590 N.E. McAllister. The Cleburne kickoff luncheon is at noon Aug. 29 in the Cleburne Civic Center, 1501 W. Henderson.

Tickets are available for the events at the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, 1511 W. Henderson St.; the Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce, 1044 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.; the United Way office, 210 Featherston St.; or from any United Way board member.

Tickets are $15 for either luncheon. Tickets may be purchased at the door the day of the event, but seating is limited, organizers said.

Both kickoffs will feature auctions with opportunities to bid on autographed sports memorabilia, including items autographed by Walls.

Born in Dallas, Everson Walls was nicknamed “Cubby” by his mom because he reminded her of a little cub bear. As a young boy Cubby would ride his bike to the Dallas Cowboys training facility and peer through the fence to watch members of America’s team as they took the practice field. Little did he know that one day, he too would take the field as a Dallas Cowboy.

Tall and thin with quick reflexes, Cubby soon became a standout for his high school basketball team. In a turn of events he decided to try out for football his senior year.

That year he led the district in interceptions and never looked back, football had become his passion. With just one year of football under his belt, no colleges recruited him. He enrolled at Grambling in hopes of securing a walk-on spot.

Determined and hardworking, Cubby earned a scholarship by impressing the legendary Coach Eddie Robinson. Cubby earned Division I-AA All-American honors while leading the nation with 11 interceptions his senior year. In 1992, he was named to the Sheridan All-Time Black College Team and was later inducted into the Grambling State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Although pro scouts thought Walls was too slow for the NFL, his hometown Cowboys took a chance on him and signed him as an undrafted free agent. He made an immediate impact leading the league in interceptions his rookie year, which earned him NFL All Rookie team honors.

During his nine-year tenure with the Cowboys, he was a three time All-Pro and earned four trips to the Pro Bowl. He was also the youngest player selected to the Dallas Cowboy Silver Anniversary team. In 1990 Walls joined the New York Giants and was instrumental in their Super Bowl XXV victory in 1991.

Know as one of the most prolific and decorated defensive backs ever to play the game, Walls is the only three-time leader in interceptions in NFL history. Under the tutelage of Eddie Robinson, Tom Landry, Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, Walls has learned life lessons on and off the field from some of the all-time greatest coaches.

In December of 2006, Everson made a decision to donate a kidney to former teammate and friend Ron Springs, who has diabetes. The successful transplant took place earlier this year on Feb. 28.

The 47-year-old Walls wants it known that he is completely healthy and has resumed a normal lifestyle. The two men are now on a joint mission to promote their Gift of Life Foundation to battle diabetes and kidney disease and promote organ donations.

Everson is married to his childhood sweetheart Shreill and they have two children, Charis and Cameron.