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nightrun

Calling All Night Owls to Scottsdale's The Night Run

The Night Run 8k and 3-mile fun run returns to Old Town Scottsdale on Saturday, May 11. Beginning at the Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, the 8k course will wind through Old Town’s night club district and along the greenbelt.

Known as “Night Run for the Arts” from the mid-1980s until 2009, the fitness tradition continues to promote healthy lifestyles.

Co-directors John Lookabaugh and Tricia Schafer took over the event in 2012 and had the 8k course certified by USA Track & Field, bringing a more competitive edge to the event. Last year, three state age group records were set, and this year promises a race fit for both elites and beginners.

“We’ve preserved the local nature of the event, and are shining the spotlight on Old Town,” explains Co-director Tricia Schafer. “We connect with our participants, sponsors, and vendors early on, creating a unique feeling of community. Many of our participants get to know each other through our training groups, vOWLunteer network, team challenge, owl mascot photo-ops, or social media contests, which makes race night feel sort of like a reunion.”

The Night Run raised $10,000 last year for Workshops for Youth & Families, a non-profit that provides leadership and development programs for teens and their parents.

“We are ready to run, walk and have fun again in 2013!” said Workshops Founder Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger. “Our 34-year history of active programming is a perfect fit with The Night Run. We want to expand our reach and increase scholarships that will influence more youth to make long-term positive health choices.”

Supporters of the 2013 event include the K2 Adventures Foundation, GoDaddy.com, SCF Arizona, Oh Yeah! Nutrition, Safeway, Security Title, and Squire Sanders LLP.

The 3-mile run/walk will begin at 7:15 p.m. and the competitive 8k at 8 p.m. Children 12 and under can participate in the 3-mile for free with a registered adult. New to this year, participants will receive reflective “night owl” shirts and there will be live owls from Liberty Wildlife at the Owl’s Nest during the event’s Health and Wellness expo.

For more race information and registration, visit thenightrun.org

Jennifer-Lopez21

Celebrity Fight Night raises $7.2 million

On Saturday, March 23, 2013 stars and athletes from around the country converged on the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona for Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XIX. The evening opened with the singing of the National Anthem by the Phoenix Boys Choir in which a rare Bald Eagle was released into the room. GRAMMY Award winning leading lady of country music Reba McEntirereturned for her eighth year as emcee, kicking off the night by introducing a special performance by Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers. With Muhammad Ali on stage, international superstar Jennifer Lopez, actor and musician Steve Martin, and philanthropist and owner of the Washington Companies Dennis Washington, were honored with the 2013 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. The awards portion of the evening concluded with a special video tribute to Muhammad and Lonnie Ali from legendary musician Paul McCartney.

Following the awards guests were treated to a host of performances under the direction of the multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter and producer David Foster, who returned for his 14th consecutive year as the evening’s Musical Director. Performers included Billy Ray Cyrus who sang “Hillbilly Heart,” “Achy Breaky Heart,” and “Johnny B. Goode,” along with American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart who sang her rendition of “Bennie and The Jets.” Actress and musician Rita Wilson returned to the Celebrity Fight Night stage to perform “Personally,” followed by the winner of The X Factor, Tate Stevens, who sang “I Got This,” and “Power of a Love Song” for the crowd. Andrea Bocelli gave an unforgettable performance including songs “Ave Maria,” “Funiculì, Funiculà,” Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” “O sole mio,” “Con Te Partirò,” and a special duet of “Quizás Quizás Quizás” with Jennifer Lopez, marking the first time the duo have ever performed together. Jennifer Lopez closed out the evening with incredible performances of “Get Right,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “Club Tropicana,” “Let’s Get Loud” and “On the Floor.”

The black tie event also featured cocktails, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and an exciting live auction featuring one-of-a-kind luxury items. The live auction featured a dinner with Reba McEntire at her Beverly Hills, CA home, with special guests Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson and David Foster, which went for a total of $800,000 – two bidders paying $400,000 each. Tom Hanks also threw in two tickets to his upcoming Broadway show “Lucky Guy” plus a backstage meet and greet via phone to seal the bids. Also included in the auction was a week long trip to Tuscany plus a special VIP performance by Andrea Bocelli followed by a private dinner with the musician himself, which sold for $550,000. Celebrity Fight Night XIX raised a total of $7.2 million benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. Each year dozens of celebrity guests attend the event that has raised $87 million dollars in 19 years.

Additional celebrity guests included Billy Crystal, Yank Barry, Jerry Colangelo, Bo Derek, Keith Harkin, Evander Holyfield, Mannie Jackson, Michael Johns, Nancy Lieberman, Mario Lopez, Nick Lowery, Harvey Mackay, Joe Manganiello, Sam Moore, Frankie Muniz, Lute Olson, Chris Rich, Ralph Sampson, Kevin Sorbo, Verne Troyer, Kenny Williams and many more.

Celebrity Fight Night

Celebrity Fight Night XVIII Raises $9 Million [PHOTOS]

This past weekend, friends gathered and bars of “Happy Birthday” were sung by many, including actor Kevin Sorbo and Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort where celebrity guests gathered for a special event — Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday celebration and Celebrity Fight Night XVIII.

“This is a great place and great organization,” said actress Melissa Peterman. “There’s a powerhouse of people, and they’re here because of Muhammad and the cause — they love what this cause does.”

Celebrity Fight Night, held on Saturday, March 24, featured live auctions and entertainment to help raise donations for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, along with many notable, smaller charities. One generous donation was made by Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy.com, of $1 million.

The live auction featured items such as dinner at Reba McEntire’s Beverly Hills, Calif. home, which included special guests Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson; this went for $1.8 million — three bidders paid $600,000 each for a chance to dine with the superstars. Another item that sold for $1.4 million was a vacation in Tuscany and dinner with Andrea Bocelli. Celebrity Fight Night XVIII raised a total of $9.1 million; the event has raised nearly $80 million dollars in 18 years.

“At this event, good people are doing great things,” said Sorbo. “I’m thrilled to be here, and I will keep coming back.”

Miley Cyrus, Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts, Rita Wilson, John Corbett, Sinbad and Jackie Evancho all performed under the direction of David Foster. And Mauro Castano of the popular TLC television show “Cake Boss” provided the birthday cake.

While some of the guests have been attending for years on end — including Bo Derek, who said this was her 12th year attending Celebrity Fight Night; and Frankie Muniz, who said this was his fourth year — this was also a year of firsts for a few guests, including Castano and Hanks and Wilson, who made surprise appearances that night.

“I really had no idea how great this would be,” said actress and model Bo Derek. “Thinking I had been to so many of these events in big cities, this one blew me away. I think the support from the community and the love, heart and soul — it’s really unique.”

But everyone made it clear on the red carpet that night the importance of the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation and giving back, especially to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. For Nancy Lieberman, former professional basketball player, she emphasized the importance of the research that will go into finding the cure for Parkinson’s. Hanks said it has always been about awareness and commitment and being able to contribute and help out in any way one can.

“There’s no reason not to be here,” said Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder. He added that, in the future, he hopes for the foundation to be “more prolific and better than ever” as well as for it to grow to more cities.


View photos from the Celebrity Fight Night XVIII red carpet:

[slickr-flickr tag=”celebrityfightnight” items=”51″ type=”sets” id=”54004193@N04″]

Photos by Cory Bergquist

For more information about the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, visit celebrityfightnight.org.