CHICAGO, Jan. 7 -- The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF), a nonprofit organization providing financial grants and
In what is sure to be a 'landmark' event, the GGAF will celebrate Super Bowl XLIV with a blockbuster evening featuring NFL Hall of Fame players and legends along with Grammy® nominee and Golden Globe®/Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx, titled the 'Night of Champions.' Foxx will serve as a headline host and entertainer for this year's event which will take place at The Fillmore Jackie Gleason Theater Friday, February 5 on South Beach in Miami, Florida; home of Super Bowl XLIV. GGAF has secured Laser Spine Institute (LSI) as its presenting sponsor for the event. Laser Spine Institute, headquartered in Tampa, Florida is a medical partner of the GGAF and the leader in minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery. LSI provides 'pro bono' laser-assisted surgical procedures to retired NFL players who apply to the GGAF for medical and financial grants. Due to the short recovery of LSI procedures and the extensive restrictions of open surgery, many professional athletes choose LSI for their spine care needs. Chief Spine Surgeon Dr. James St. Louis explains, "We are thrilled and excited to offer much-needed surgeries to some of the NFL's greatest players. While they may not be actively playing anymore, we feel it is still vitally important for these players to be able to live out their retirement without suffering from chronic pain."
Miller Lite, GGAF's year long partner, will be presenting sponsor for GGAF's VIP Party at 7PM featuring players and celebrities on the red carpet as well as having 15 local appearances with GGAF players in the Miami market the week leading up to Super Bowl. An appearance schedule will be posted on www.gridirongreats.org. Other GGAF 'Night of Champions' corporate partners include: Captain Morgan, Gallo, Weber Shandwick, Yesteryear Fantasy Sports, 100 Year Art and Star Voicemail.
"We are really excited about this year's event in Miami," said Chairman Mike Ditka. "We appreciate the opportunity to create further awareness during the NFL's largest stage - the Super Bowl - and generate fundraising capital for the organization; funds which will go directly back to the players in need."
The event will feature the talented Oscar winning Actor, Grammy winning artist and Platinum selling musician Jamie Foxx. Additionally, GGAF board member and former New Orleans Saints All-Pro player - Kyle Turley - will be performing with his own band and donating proceeds from his album sales going directly to the GGAF. Turley will embark on a 15-city U.S. tour "Outlaw Roll to the Bowl" in support of his debut album, "Anger Management" and donating proceeds from the tour to GGAF (www.gridironrecords.com). Special honorees will be acknowledged and awarded during this star studded event.
Tickets for the 'Night of Champions' (NOC) range in prices between $95-$625 and can be purchased at www.gridirongreats.org. If you purchase a VIP ticket to the show the player/celebrity meet and greet will begin at 7:00 PM and show will start at 9:00 PM on February 5. This will be the marquee event of the GGAF's presence on South Beach during the weekend of Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. In addition to the 'NOC' event, the GGAF will be part of a 4-day weekend outdoor Festival on Lincoln road themed 'Eats, Beats & Cleats Gridiron Festival'. The festival will feature an exciting line-up of programming including live music, laser light shows, and food including interaction and autograph signing opportunities with the many 'Hall of Fame' players and other stars that support the mission of the GGAF. Proceeds from passports purchased to the festival will be donated to the GGAF. For tickets to the festival visit www.ebcmiami.com.
In addition, former two-time Super Bowl winning Dallas Cowboy head coach and fellow GGAF board member – Jimmy Johnson - will chair and host his annual fishing tournament, which will now be called the 'Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl.' A portion of the proceeds generated by the Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl will be donated to the GGAF.
In addition to the 'NOC' and the festival, the GGAF will take part in this "ultimate fishing tournament," by providing GGAF player appearances and support as well as the presence of GGAF chairman, Mike Ditka who will co-host the event with Johnson which will take place February 4 -6, 2010 at Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill, a waterfront resort and restaurant in Key Largo, FL.
The three-day event will bring together some of today's best-known football personalities and sail fishing aficionados. The competitive fishing tournament will involve retired NFL players who support the GGAF and include competition from world-class fishing experts. For tickets to the GGAF's Billfish Bowl events, interested parties can visit www.billfishbowl.com or by calling toll free (866) 203-2720.
In conjunction with the Super Bowl, GGAF has teamed up to conduct a 'Legends of the Gridiron' sweepstakes where all proceeds will be equally split between the GGAF and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Players Enshrinees Trust. The Grand Prize for the sweepstake includes: 2 tickets to the Super Bowl, 2 roundtrip airline tickets provided by AirTran, one double room for four Nights at new Miami Airport Comfort Inn, 2 tickets to GGAF Night of Champions with Jamie Foxx, 2 playing spots in Hall of Fame Players Classic and 2 tickets to Eats Beats and Cleats Gridiron Festival. Raffle tickets range in price from $10 - $100 and only a limited amount of tickets will be sold. To purchase raffle tickets go to: www.hofplayersclassic.com to help assist retired players in need.
ABOUT THE GGAF
The GGAF is a non-stock, nonprofit corporation that has been very active in retired NFL player assistance. The organization has provided over $1.75 million in financial aid and medical assistance to retired NFL players. The organization focuses on the humanitarian side of post-football related issues, which include coordination of social services to retired players who are in need due to a variety of reasons including inadequate disability and/or pensions.
The GGAF's mission is to assist these dire need players who are pioneers of the game and have greatly contributed to the NFL's status as the most popular sport in America. GGAF provides hands-on assistance to help retired players and their families deal with hardships they face after football. The services include medical assistance, financial assistance for utilities, medication, food, automotive payments and childcare.
The GGAF's Board of Directors includes: Mike Ditka, Jimmy Johnson, Marv Levy, Gale Sayers, Matt Birk, Kyle Turley and Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola. The President of the organization is Ken Valdiserri while Shannon Jordan is the organization's Executive Vice President.
For more information, go to www.gridirongreats.org or call the GGAF office at 847.509.3086.
SOURCE Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund
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