STARS CELEBRATE MUHAMMAD ALI’S 70TH BIRTHDAY IN LAS VEGAS AT KEEP MEMORY ALIVE’S ANNUAL “POWER OF LOVE GALA” FUNDRAISER
Event Honored “The Greatest of All Time” at Fundraiser for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center
“Ali 70th From Las Vegas” Airs on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 p.m.
Presented by Bill Edwards Presents
Keep Memory Alive’s 16th annual Power of Love Gala on Saturday, Feb. 18, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas brought out some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment to celebrate Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday and raise funds for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center.
Highlights of the evening included a heartfelt “Happy Birthday” serenade by Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg leading the crowd in chanting “Ali” during his performance of “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” and famed boxers Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield and Tommy “Hitman” Hearns joining LL Cool J on stage for “Mama Said Knock You Out.” Stars like Sean Combs, Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard and David Beckham gave personal remarks and remembrances about “The Greatest” while Lenny Kravitz, Cee Lo Green and Kelly Rowland performed for Ali and the sold-out crowd of about 2,000.
The once-in-a-lifetime birthday celebration, “Ali 70th From Las Vegas,” will air nationally on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 p.m. local time in all markets. ABC will air the celebration in Las Vegas at 4 p.m. PT that day as well. For possible ABC broadcast in all other markets, viewers should check their local listings.
Performers and celebrity supporters who appeared at the event included Cindy Crawford, Randy Gerber, Samuel L. Jackson, David Beckham, Larry King, Quincy Jones, Ken Jeong, Buzz Aldrin, Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J, Common, Lenny Kravitz, Sean Combs, Anthony Hopkins, John Legend, Chris Cornell, Cee Lo Green, Joe Perry, Slash, Terrence Howard, Kris Kristofferson, David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Jim Brown, Randy Couture, Brad Garrett, Kelly Rowland, Dave Koz, Robin Leach, James Gandolfini, Steve Schirripa, John Paul DeJoria, Tony Danza, Raphael Saadiq, Haley Reinhart, and Sammy Hagar. Boxing icons who attended include Manny Pacquiao, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Evander Holyfield, Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, Leon Spinks, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Tommy “Hitman” Hearns.
In keeping with its 16-year history, the Power of Love Gala showcased a celebrity-chef-packed dinner featuring creations by Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, Michael Mina and Wolfgang Puck. Guests were treated to a Dom Perignon reception and were able to bid on one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items, including Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves he wore to defeat Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas in 1965 and an extravagant vacation of a lifetime for two couples on David Copperfield’s private island in the Bahamas.
The gala’s celebration for Ali aligns with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s recent launch of a landmark study examining the long-term brain health of professional fighters. Aiming to improve the safety and health of fighters, the study will help determine whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, along with other tests, can detect subtle changes in brain health that correlate with impaired thinking and functioning. Researchers hope the information uncovered by this research will eventually result in better ways to prevent permanent brain injury in not only fighters, but also in others who may suffer from brain trauma.
The Power of Love Gala was produced by Bill Edwards Presents Inc. and supported by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Muhammad Ali Enterprises and Keep Memory Alive, the fundraising arm of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The star-studded celebration for Ali honored the boxing legend’s contribution to the world and raised awareness for Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
About Cleveland Clinic:
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at http://www.clevelandclinic.org/. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.
About Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health:
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides state-of-the-art care for cognitive disorders and for the family members of those who suffer from them. The physicians and staff at the Center for Brain Health continuously work towards the development of early diagnosis and the advancement of knowledge concerning mild cognitive disorders, which could one day delay or prevent their onset. Patients receive expert diagnosis and treatment at the Center for Brain Health, which offers a multidisciplinary patient-focused approach to diagnosis and treatment, promoting collaboration across all care providers, offering patients a complete continuum of care and infusing education and research into all that it does. The facility, designed by Frank Gehry, houses clinical space, a diagnostic center, neuroimaging rooms, physician offices, laboratories devoted to clinical research and the Keep Memory Alive Event Center. For more information, visit www.clevelandclinic.org/brainhealth.
About Keep Memory Alive:
Keep Memory Alive, whose mission is to provide enhanced treatment and ultimately cures for patients and their families suffering from neurocognitive disorders, raises awareness and funds in support of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. By supporting Keep Memory Alive and its fight against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and memory disorders of all kinds, we can ensure progress towards better treatments and ultimately cures will occur in Las Vegas. For additional information call (702) 263-9797 or visit www.keepmemoryalive.org.
About The Muhammad Ali Center:
The Muhammad Ali Center is a cultural attraction and international education center that is inspired by the ideals of Muhammad Ali. The Center serves as the global hub for championing the social significance of Muhammad Ali; its experience incorporates as organizing elements, six prevailing core values of Ali’s life: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, and spirituality. Much more than a place to tell the story of one man’s incredible 70-year journey, the Muhammad Ali Center reaches beyond its physical walls to fulfill its mission. In 2012, the Center’s activities will ensure that the rising generation understands and actively adopts Ali’s core values to create a powerful new movement: Generation Ali. For more information, please call (502) 584-9254 or visit www.alicenter.org.
About Bill Edwards Presents Inc.:
A premier live entertainment company, Bill Edwards Presents Inc. has been producing world-class attractions for more than a decade. The company has established itself through producing shows and events in a variety of venues – including festivals, theaters, casinos-resorts, performing arts centers and arenas. Known for its reputation of aligning with award winning talent, Bill Edwards Presents is based in St. Petersburg, Florida. www.billedwardspresents.com
About The LVCVA:
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With approximately 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and more than 10.6 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA’s mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to www.lvcva.com or www.VisitLasVegas.com.