The Giving Back Fund is proud to announce 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 will co-host Big Game Big Give. The star-studded charity party returns to the Valley of the Sun the night before the big game on Saturday, February 11th, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
“I am honored that The Giving Back Fund has chosen the Justin J. Watt Foundation as one of the beneficiaries for this great event,” said J.J. Watt. “While I am very much looking forward to the evening, I’m even more excited about the way we’re going to utilize these funds to help kids in under-funded areas all across the country.”
Watt played 12 seasons in the NFL setting franchise records for sacks and forced fumbles and is undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer. He will be joined by other celebrities, athletes, and philanthropists when he hosts the 12th Annual Big Game Big Give.
A portion of proceeds raised at the event will benefit the Justin J. Watt Foundation, whose mission is to provide after-school opportunities for middle-school aged children in the community to become involved in athletics, so that they may learn the character traits of accountability, teamwork, leadership, work ethic, and perseverance, while in a safe and supervised environment with their peers.
Former Phoenix Suns and LA Lakers player Cedric Ceballos will serve as the event emcee and DJ the party which will be held on 5-acre private estate of Dr. Pablo Prichard in Paradise Valley, Arizona.
As part of the festivities, Grammy nominated, Singer-Songwriter Gavin DeGraw known for his chart topping, multi-platinum hits “I Don’t Want to Be“, “Chariot” and “Follow Through” will give a special performance that evening.
“I’m excited to go back to Arizona for the Big Game Big Give event to perform,” said Singer-Songwriter Gavin DeGraw. “The Giving Back Fund and Vincere Foundation support two things close to my heart, cancer research and helping firefighters. This is a good cause. Let’s raise some money!”
The Vincere Foundation will 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, the evening will also honor the extraordinary philanthropic record of the legendary humanitarian and NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo. He will receive The Giving Back Fund’s Award for Extraordinary Philanthropic Achievement, which from that night forward will be renamed in his honor and will be presented by Ray Lewis. Mutombo is currently undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. Shaquille O’Neal has been invited to accept the award on his behalf.
Among the other special experiences for guests that night – live auction with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, 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!
More confirmed celebrity and athlete announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
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, Yanikeke Foods, Girl About Town, Fairytale Brownies, and Sprinkles Cupcakes.
For more information about the event visit www.givingback.org/bgbg2023.