Each year, Celebrity Fight Night takes center stage as one of the nation's elite charity events. The star-studded evening is presented in honor of featured guest, Muhammad Ali. Celebrating its 21st year, the Celebrity Fight Night Gala will be emceed by Grammy Award-winning leading lady of country music Reba McEntire, who will return as the evening's emcee for the 10th year. 16-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer David Foster will serve as Musical Director in his 16th year at the event. The event takes place at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28.
Special performances by Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, Ronnie Dunn, Josh Groban and David Foster will be the highlights of the evening, plus there are always many more stars that show up to make the event even more exciting. Special honorees for the evening include Josh Groban and philanthropists Mindy and Glenn Stearns.
This year marks the executive director of Celebrity Fight Night Sean Currie's 18th year with the event. What began rather modestly in 1994 has ballooned into a fantastic event that has raised more than $100 million since its inception. The organization runs like a lean, clean fighting machine. "Pretty much, if you name it, I'm the one that does it," states Currie. "We're a small operation. We keep it lean for our charities, so it's really just three total employees. I oversee the total coordination of the event from all the marketing and obtaining of sponsorships, selling of tables and seats, collecting auction items, getting celebrities involved and invited, organizing staging and lighting, décor and food." The event sells out every year so get your tickets early.
Currie says that the planning of Celebrity Fight night is really a year-round undertaking. "We're already planning dates and reserving rooms for the next year before the current year has even happened," states Currie. "We're bringing people in from all over the country and even the world to some extent. We're getting people to come in spring which is the peak tourist time. To get the rooms we need, we have to book them early."
Most importantly, Celebrity Fight Night 2015 will benefit the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute as well as numerous other charities including St. Vincent de Paul, Phoenix Children's Hospital, The Phoenix Symphony America's Fund, Andrea Bocelli Foundation, David Foster Foundation, Texoma Health Foundation, Waterkeeper Alliance and more.
Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by long-time Arizona resident and businessman Jimmy Walker to support the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities.
"This power-packed night of excitement not only leaves our audience with unforgettable memories each year, but throughout Celebrity Fight Night's 20-year history we have raised more than $100 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other charities thanks to the tremendous generosity of our supporters," says Jimmy Walker, founder of Celebrity Fight Night. "Once again we promise Celebrity Fight Night XXI will win the fight for charities."
The 2015 Celebrity Fight Night will be a special celebration of Reba McIntyre's birthday. "This will be the tenth year she's been the emcee, so that's kind of an iconic year. She's celebrating a big birthday the same night as our event, so it will be a great way to acknowledge her and celebrate her." Currie explains.
Recent entertainers and celebrities at Celebrity Fight Nigh have included Jennifer Lopez, Jon Bon Jovi, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Donald Trump, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Randy Jackson, Sharon Stone, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé, Diana Ross, John Mellencamp, Lionel Richie, Chris Tucker, Forest Whitaker, Larry King, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jack Nicklaus just to name a few.
Celebrity Fight Night is covered every year by "People Magazine," "Entertainment Tonight," "Extra," "Fox Sports," "USA Today," "Variety" and many more local, national and international outlets. It's the event that keeps getting better every year. "I think from the celebrity side we've built up 20 years of treating celebrities right, not asking them to do too much, not taking advantage of their time and word gets around in their circles," Currie explains. "It's a fun event to go to where you enjoy hanging out with good people and seeing people make a difference in their world with their contributions. For the guests, we strive to create an atmosphere that's different than any other black tie event."
Currie continues, "You can walk around and hang out, take pictures, shake hands and talk to big movie stars and athletes and have a good time doing it."
Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $2,000 to $5,000. To purchase tickets call (602) 956-1121 or visit www.celebrityfightnight.org for additional information.