SOURCE: Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund

Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund

January 29, 2010 12:55 ET

Gridiron Greats 'Night of Champions' Event Moved to The Ritz-Carlton South Beach

Marquee Event Friday, Feb. 5, Features Mike Ditka and Academy Award Winner Jamie Foxx and a Host of NFL Hall of Fame Players and Legends

MIAMI BEACH, FL--(Marketwire - January 29, 2010) - The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund (GGAF), a nonprofit organization providing financial grants and 'pro bono' medical assistance to retired NFL players in need, today announced that the organization's annual Super Bowl event has been moved to South Beach's fabulous Ritz-Carlton.

According to the GGAF Executive Vice President, Shannon Jordan, the change of venue will make the blockbuster event a more intimate evening for all participants.

"Clearly the Ritz-Carlton is one of South Beach's premier properties and facility management has gone out of their way to present an elegant affair," Jordan said. "Aside from the amazingly talented Grammy® nominee and Golden Globe®/Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx, Kyle Turley and a host of NFL Hall of Famers and Legends will now enjoy a Monte Carlo casino, live and silent auction, cocktails and a sit down dinner for those attending."

GGAF has secured Laser Spine Institute (LSI) as its presenting sponsor for the event. Laser Spine Institute, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is a medical partner of the GGAF and the leader in minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery. LSI provides 'pro bono' laser-assisted surgical procedures to retired NFL players who apply to the GGAF for medical and financial grants. Due to the short recovery of LSI procedures and the extensive restrictions of open surgery, many professional athletes choose LSI for their spine care needs. Chief Spine Surgeon Dr. James St. Louis explains, "We are thrilled and excited to offer much-needed surgeries to some of the NFL's greatest players. While they may not be actively playing anymore, we feel it is still vitally important for these players to be able to live out their retirement without suffering from chronic pain."

Miller Lite, GGAF's year long partner, will be presenting sponsor for GGAF's VIP Party at 7PM featuring players and celebrities on the red carpet as well as having 15 local appearances with GGAF players in the Miami market the week leading up to Super Bowl. An appearance schedule is now posted on Other GGAF 'Night of Champions' corporate partners include: Captain Morgan, Gallo, Coca-Cola, Yesteryear Fantasy Sports, 100 Year Art and Star Voicemail.

"We are really excited about this year's event in Miami," said Chairman Mike Ditka. "We appreciate the opportunity to create further awareness during the NFL's largest stage -- the Super Bowl -- and generate fundraising capital for the organization; funds which will go directly back to the players in need."

The event will feature the talented Oscar winning Actor, Grammy winning artist and Platinum selling musician Jamie Foxx. Additionally, GGAF board member and former New Orleans Saints All-Pro player -- Kyle Turley -- will be performing with his own band and donating proceeds from his album sales going directly to the GGAF. Turley has embarked on a 15-city U.S. tour "Outlaw Roll to the Bowl" in support of his debut album, "Anger Management," and donating proceeds from the tour to GGAF ( Special honorees will be acknowledged and awarded during this star studded event.

There are only a few tables left which sell for $5,000 and a very limited number of individual tickets available for $625. Tickets for the 'Night of Champions' (NOC) can be purchased at This will be the marquee event of the GGAF's presence on South Beach during the weekend of Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. In addition to the 'NOC' event, the GGAF will be part of a 4-day weekend outdoor Festival on Lincoln road themed 'Eats, Beats & Cleats Gridiron Festival.' The festival will feature an exciting line-up of programming including live music, laser light shows, and food including interaction and autograph signing opportunities with the many 'Hall of Fame' players and other stars that support the mission of the GGAF. Proceeds from passports purchased to the festival will be donated to the GGAF. For tickets to the festival visit

In addition, former two-time Super Bowl winning Dallas Cowboy head coach and fellow GGAF board member -- Jimmy Johnson -- will chair and host his annual fishing tournament, which will now be called the 'Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl.' A portion of the proceeds generated by the Gridiron Greats Billfish Bowl will be donated to the GGAF.

In addition to the 'NOC' and the festival, the GGAF will take part in this "ultimate fishing tournament," by providing GGAF player appearances and support as well as the presence of GGAF chairman, Mike Ditka, who will co-host the event with Johnson which will take place February 4 -6, 2010 at Jimmy Johnson's Big Chill, a waterfront resort and restaurant in Key Largo, FL.

The three-day event will bring together some of today's best-known football personalities and sail fishing aficionados. The competitive fishing tournament will involve retired NFL players who support the GGAF and include competition from world-class fishing experts. For tickets to the GGAF's Billfish Bowl events, interested parties can visit or by calling toll free (866) 203-2720.

In conjunction with the Super Bowl, GGAF has teamed up to conduct a 'Legends of the Gridiron' sweepstakes where all proceeds will be equally split between the GGAF and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Players Enshrinees Trust. The Grand Prize for the sweepstake includes: 2 tickets to the Super Bowl, 2 roundtrip airline tickets provided by AirTran, one double room for four Nights at new Miami Airport Comfort Inn, 2 tickets to GGAF Night of Champions with Jamie Foxx, 2 playing spots in Hall of Fame Players Classic and 2 tickets to Eats Beats and Cleats Gridiron Festival. Raffle tickets range in price from $10 - $100 and only a limited amount of tickets will be sold. To purchase raffle tickets go to: to help assist retired players in need.


The GGAF is a non-stock, nonprofit corporation that has been very active in retired NFL player assistance. The organization has provided over $1.75 million in financial aid and medical assistance to retired NFL players. The organization focuses on the humanitarian side of post-football related issues, which include coordination of social services to retired players who are in need due to a variety of reasons including inadequate disability and/or pensions.

The GGAF's mission is to assist these dire need players who are pioneers of the game and have greatly contributed to the NFL's status as the most popular sport in America. GGAF provides hands-on assistance to help retired players and their families deal with hardships they face after football. The services include medical assistance, financial assistance for utilities, medication, food, automotive payments and childcare.

The GGAF's Board of Directors includes: Mike Ditka, Jimmy Johnson, Marv Levy, Gale Sayers, Matt Birk, Kyle Turley and Greg Brown, CEO of Motorola. The President of the organization is Ken Valdiserri while Shannon Jordan is the organization's Executive Vice President.

For more information, go to or call the GGAF office at 847.509.3086.

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