The 12th Annual Legends for Charity Dinner was held during Super Bowl week at NFL Headquarters; The Marriott Marquis Hotel, Houston, Texas. All those who gathered were treated to a special night filled with fun, laughter, heartfelt testimonials and a tremendous spirit of giving.
The celebrity emcee commissioned to artfully manage the well-choreographed agenda for the night was none-other-than Mike Tirico. Tirico is a readily recognizable sport broadcaster in professional sports having received Sportscaster of the Year in 2010 from the National Sportscaster and Sportswriters Association (NSSA), an award voted on by his industry peers. Among his numerous professional achievements spanning over 25 years, Tirico is currently on-site host for NBC’s Football Night in America which is the most-watched studio show in sports.
Other celebrities, well-wishers and attendees from all over the nation gathered to participate in celebrating the presentation of the prestigious Legends of Charity Pat Summerall Award. The 2017 recipient, Rich Eisen, has a rich history with the Legends of Charity Annual Dinner having served as its emcee for three years. More importantly, Eisen added a charitable component to his annual “Run Rich Run” event that takes place at the NFL Scouting Combine. The addition of his annual fundraising campaign has helped raise over $300,000 for the kids of St. Jude.
Rich Eisen was brought on stage to formally receive the 2017 Pat Summerall Award by Joe Buck. Buck was a 2015 Pat Summerall Award honoree, and is considered a sports industry icon. He is the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL on FOX since 2002; served as the host of FOX NFL Sunday which is America’s most-watched NFL program show; is a seven-time Emmy Award winner; and, he is the son of the late broadcasting legend Jack Buck, who managed a career spanning over six decades.
While the night was still young, the Legends for Charity audience was treated to the future of broadcast and journalism; a 15-year-old “super star” from New Mexico, who goes by the name of Austin. Austin is a St. Jude patient who at 2-years-old was diagnosed with oligoastrocytoma. He had to have a rare tumor on his spinal cord surgically removed followed by chemo and radiation therapy. Austin visits St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee for yearly checkups. Now in the tenth grade, Austin is well known in the professional sports and broadcasting industry, and is already prepping for his rise to the top in sports broadcasting.
Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC (the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) was in attendance. He briefly took centerstage to promote St. Jude’s mission, and highlight the enormous financial needs for ensuring that no child nor parent has to ever spend a penny while receiving care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. By the conclusion of dinner and the final item on the Legends of Charity agenda, a total of just over $150,000 had been generously donated by those in attendance.
The Legends for Charity and Pat Summerall Award Dinner is but one among many fundraising events held across the nation and eventually across the globe to financially benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital kids and their families. St. Jude remains on the cutting-edge of research to ultimately defeat and cure all forms of pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases. To learn more about this one-of-a-kind organization, visit www.stjude.org.