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Fight Night Auction Includes Trip to Space

Celebrity Fight Night, one of the nation’s most impactful charity events, with XCOR Aerospace, announced today a new space flight experience onboard the XCOR® Lynx® to be auctioned off live, Saturday, April 12 at Celebrity Fight Night XX. This package, along with other items up for auction that night, will help raise money for charity at the milestone 20th anniversary Celebrity Fight Night event at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

This exclusive package includes space flight training at Air Combat USA of Fullerton, California, a space suit fitting and an actual space flight experience onboard the XCOR Lynx, a two-seat spacecraft. XCOR Chief Test Pilot and former NASA Space Shuttle Commander Colonel Rick Searfoss will then pilot two separate missions onboard Lynx, one with the auction winner and one with John Corbett, to the edge of space.

The package also includes a pre-flight physical exam as part of the auction winner’s training, a video of the training day experience, a demonstration of a Lynx launch, two first class tickets to Los Angeles and deluxe hotel accommodations.

The XCOR Lynx flight will depart from a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port north of Los Angeles, rocketing up to 200,000 feet in five minutes to suborbital space. Lynx will then go through several minutes of weightlessness and gently glide home, for a total time of about 35 minutes of flight.

Actor and country musician John Corbett is well-known for his role as Seth Holt in NBC’s hit dramedy Parenthood, and his self-titled debut country album, which climbed to number 42 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart.

“As an artist, I never for a second dreamed that I could make a living making music. And as a child who was inspired by the Apollo program, I would never have dreamed that the experience of space would be so close at hand–until Celebrity Fight Night connected me with XCOR. To be standing at the threshold of an actual space flight is almost more than I can imagine.”

Colonel Searfoss is both XCOR’s Chief Test Pilot and one of only 100 individuals to actually have commanded a Space Shuttle mission (STS-90). Over his career he has logged 939 hours in space, with 6,000 hours flying more than 79 types of aircraft.

Colonel Searfoss stated that XCOR Lynx is “all of the experiences I had flying the Shuttle, all those phases of flight: the boost, the weightlessness.” But the best part, he added, “is the fact that you’re up in a pilot seat, with me, as opposed to being in the back like a passenger on an airliner. It’s really a ‘Right Stuff’ experience. And I couldn’t be more excited to share the opportunity for this experience with John and Celebrity Fight Night.”

Celebrity Fight Night executive director Sean Currie added that CFN, “now in its twentieth year, could not be more excited to offer this once-in-a-lifetime package with XCOR and Colonel Searfoss. This is truly the experience of a lifetime and we are honored that John Corbett is the explorer who will take part in that journey.”

“Because XCOR Lynx is what Commander Searfoss calls a ‘Right Stuff’ experience, it is important to us to work with a celebrity who is not only moved by the idea of a Lynx flight, but also truly gets the vision of space exploration,” said XCOR representative Greg Claxton. “And all of this could not be for a better cause.”

Celebrity Fight Night’s luxury live auction items are one of the most anticipated aspects of the action-packed evening. The coveted auction items are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that cannot be bought or found elsewhere. The items often go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, helping Celebrity Fight Night contribute a significant amount of dollars to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other charities. Other auction items and packages previously announced include: dinner with Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro; dinner with Reba McEntire in her Beverly Hills home; backstage dinner with Michael Bublé, a summer weekend with the Kennedys in Cape Cod; an all-inclusive getaway at a private lodge in British Columbia; a west coast trip on the Patron Tequila Express 1927 Vintage Rail Car; a four night stay with Richard Branson on his private British Virgin Islands Necker Island, for a Leadership Gathering, and more.

Joining Muhammad Ali for this special anniversary milestone will be memorable performances from Michael Bublé, The Band Perry and Kenny Rogers. During the gala, Bublé, entertainment icon Robert De Niro as well as philanthropist John Paul DeJoria will be honored with Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards. Billy Crystal will make a special introduction for De Niro; and Bobby Kennedy, Jr. will introduce DeJoria.

Over the past 19 years, Celebrity Fight Night has raised $87 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and other charities.

Individual tickets range from $1,500 to $10,000 each and tables of 10 are priced from $15,000 to $100,000 each. For reservations, please call (602) 956-1121.

Celebrity Fight Night XX sponsors include USA Today Sports, Patrón, GoDaddy, PRO EM, XCOR Aerospace, ETIHAD Airlines and M Group Scenic Studios.

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.