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Bill Edwards Presents and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) will celebrate the life and legacy of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali at the 16th annual Power of Love Gala on Saturday, Feb. 18, while raising funds in support of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Muhammad Ali Center. ABC will televise the event nationally on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. EST/ 4 p.m. PST.
On Feb. 18, Bill Edwards Presents and Keep Memory Alive, the fundraising arm of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, will transform the MGM Grand Garden Arena into a 70th birthday celebration for Ali designed to honor the boxing legend’s contribution to the world and raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, the disease “The Champ” has been battling since 1984.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health’s work toward enhanced treatments and research of neurocognitive disorders and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky.
Performers and celebrity supporters slated to appear at the celebration include Lenny Kravitz, Sean Combs, Anthony Hopkins, John Legend, Queen Latifah, Cee Lo Green, David Copperfield, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Jim Brown, Randy Courture, Brad Garrett, Kelly Rowland, Robin Leach, James Gandolfini, Steve Schirripa, Chazz Palminteri and Sammy Hagar.
Boxing icons scheduled to attend the celebration include Sugar Ray Leonard, Ken Norton, Tommy “Hitman” Hearns, Roberto Duran, Angelo Dundee, and Leon Spinks. Even more big names from the entertainment and sports worlds will be added to the lineup as the event nears.
“This year’s Power of Love Gala will bring attention and funds to the important work being done at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health on a whole new scale,” said Larry Ruvo, Chairman, Keep Memory Alive. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to shed light on the fight to knock out neurocognitive disorders while celebrating the life and ongoing contributions of the legend, Muhammad Ali.”
“Muhammad Ali has been an inspiration to millions of people all over the world including me,” said Bill Edwards. “My favorite Ali quote, ‘If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it!’ I am honored to be associated with such a great event for a great cause that honors The Greatest of All Time.”
In keeping with its 16-year history, the Power of Love Gala will showcase a celebrity-chef-packed dinner featuring Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, Michael Mina and Wolfgang Puck, a Dom Perignon reception and one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items. In addition, the evening will also include a birthday celebration for Ali, featuring performances and heartfelt tributes from some of the world’s hottest entertainers and sports icons.
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.
“We are thrilled to bring together some of the biggest entertainers, sports figures and celebrities in the world to salute Muhammad on this monumental evening. Again, the People’s Champion is raising his fists high to support and bring awareness to these important organizations,” said Kraig Fox, Chief Operating Officer of CKx.
Scott Sibella, President and COO of MGM Grand, said, “Hosting this event is an incredible honor for all of us at MGM Grand and our parent company, MGM Resorts International. The work that these organizations do to combat diseases that impact all of us is tremendously humbling and we’re thrilled to be playing a small role in the fight.”
“Promoting a Muhammad Ali fight sparked my career in 1966 and I’ve had the very fortunate opportunity to be involved in his legendary journey,” said Bob Arum, the founder and CEO of Top Rank, a professional boxing promotion company based in Las Vegas. “I’ve seen my career come full-circle by celebrating the remarkable life of a boxing legend and supporting his fight to end brain disorders.”