The Giving Back Fund will honor NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo
The Giving Back Fund will honor the extraordinary philanthropic record of the legendary humanitarian and NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo at the 12th Annual Big Game Big Give which returns on Saturday, February 11th to a private Paradise Valley, Arizona estate.
Mutombo will receive The Giving Back Fund’s Award for Extraordinary Philanthropic Achievement. The award will be presented by NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis. Dikembe Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Several retired athletesfrom the NBA will be on hand to accept the award on his behalf.
"I am honored and deeply humbled to be asked to present this year's Excellence in Philanthropy award to my dear friend and business partner, Dikembe Mutombo,” said Ray Lewis, NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens. "I've witnessed firsthand Dikembe's commitment to investing in communities, in his homeland of the Congo and throughout the world, his passion for supporting young men and women in our collaboration with Spire Academy, and his global humanitarian spirit to represent change and impact wherever he goes. He sets the bar that we all should aspire to reach.”
The endower of the award Julio Gonzalez, who is CEO and Founder of Engineered Tax Services added, "Dikembe Mutombo's commitment to making an impact has been at the center of every one of our conversations and personal visits. His tireless efforts to make a difference in communities throughout the world serve as an inspiration for all of us to find ways to give back. When I learned that Dikembe would be recognized at this year’s Big Game Big Give event, and that my friend and business partner Ray Lewis would be presenting this deserving distinction, I wanted to show my support in elevating Dikembe's legacy."
Dikembe Mutombo will also receive a custom-designed art piece made by world-renowned Artist and Sculptor, Michael Kalish. Kalish is known for his dimensional contemporary pop icons, florals, and large scale public work, most notably “realize,” the world’s largest monumental tribute to Muhammad Ali. Notable collectors include Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps, Ringo Starr, Dak Prescott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danica Patrick, Jim Brown, Lady Gaga, and many more.
“I’m especially drawn to working with athletes because most of us know these larger than life figures from their accomplishments on the playing field but for me, capturing a likeness, essence, and personality has everything to do with the impact these athletes have made off the field. The ones that transcend their sport with larger than life personalities, philanthropy, and leadership are the athletes we remember. Dikembe is certainly one of those athletes and I’m honored to honor him,” said Artist Michael Kalish.
Also in attendance that night will be recently retired NFL Star J.J. Watt, the man considered to be one of the greatest defensive linemen of all time and the 2017 Sports Illustrated and Walter Payton Man of the Year. Watt will co-host Big Game Big Give, alongside Actor and Comedian Anthony Anderson. Other confirmed guests include Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, Amir Arison, Ben Savage, AnnaLynne McCord, Patrick Willis, Terrell Davis, and many others.
Former Phoenix Suns and LA Lakers player Cedric Ceballos will serve as the event emcee and DJ the party which will be held at the 5-acre private estate of Dr. Pablo Prichard in Paradise Valley, Arizona. As part of the festivities, Grammy nominated, Singer-Songwriter Gavin DeGraw will give a special performance that evening.
A portion of proceeds raised at the event will benefit the Justin J. Watt Foundation as well as the Vincere Foundation. The Vincere Foundation will also be honored for its life saving work in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer in Firefighters and First Responders. Arizona’s firefighters will also be recognized at the event, and to commemorate those firefighters, a special Fire and Elements theme will be incorporated into the evening.
Executive produced by 10 Fold Entertainment, other special experiences for guests that night include a live auction with a multi-million dollar Bing Hu inspired Penthouse going up for bid at the exclusive Silverleaf ICON Development. Opening bid is $10.5 million and at least one million dollars will be donated to The Giving Back Fund with a winning bid. Other auction items include once-in-a-lifetime experiences, plus a unique silent auction, food stations, cocktail bars, tea experience, salt healing room, crystal art by Gaea Rare, Shiralign sound bowls, underwater art experience by Christy Lee Rogers, flaming metal art sculptures by Sean T French, fashion show honoring AZ firefighters curated by ArtxShanna, and more!
The Giving Back Fund is celebrating its 25th year. In 2015, The Giving Back Fund raised more than $1.5 million in the Valley of the Sun when Big Game Big Give was held at former MLB All-Star Matt and (Erika) Williams’ private home and hosted by Mark Wahlberg and Michael Bay.
Sponsors include Icon at Silverleaf, Tequila Komos, Modern Luxury Magazines, Casino Arizona, Spinato's Pizzeria and Family Kitchen, Los Sombreros, One Hope, Four Peaks Brewing Company, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Vera Wang Party Prosecco, Yanikeke Foods, Girl About Town, Fairytale Brownies, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Sushi Sen, Evolution STL/Coalition Footwear, Stone Ledge Distillery, and DEFY Drinks.
Guest parking for event will be provided and details will be emailed to attendees in advance.