AutoZone Liberty Bowl to Honor
Dick Vitale with Distinguished Citizen Award
Event will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
ESPN commentator and former head coach Dick Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, will be the guest of honor at the kickoff event of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic, which will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As part of the evening’s festivities, Vitale will receive the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s most prestigious recognition, the Distinguished Citizen Award.
The dinner will be held Sunday, June 21 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel. A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner and the award presentation at 6:30 pm. A live auction and silent auction will also be held during the evening, with 100% of all proceeds going to St. Jude. The Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 22 at Ridgeway Country Club.
“Dick Vitale joins a long list of great Americans who have distinguished themselves and reached the pinnacle of their chosen field,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “We are proud to include Dick among the luminaries who have been honored by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl during our long history.”
Vitale joined ESPN just after the network’s September 1979 launch, following a successful college and NBA coaching career. And while his knowledge, preparation and enthusiasm are unparalleled, his “Vitale-isms” have become household phrases, including “Awesome, Baby!”, “Get a TO, Baby!” (call a timeout) and “PTP’er” (prime-time player).
Vitale is on the Board of Directors of The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Vitale has raised millions of dollars for the V Foundation, which has generously supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In addition to his broadcasting career, Vitale is the author of numerous books, including “It’s Awesome, Baby!” which was recently published. He’s also made cameo appearances in several movies, writes for national publications and has been inducted into nine halls of fame including the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (2008) and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2008).
About the Distinguished Citizen Award:
As the 7th oldest bowl game in America, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded on the principles of freedom, patriotism and liberty. One of the Bowl’s time-honored traditions is the annual presentation of the Distinguished Citizen Award. The award has been presented to a cross section of prominent Americans from a wide range of professions, including military commanders, governors and congressmen, as well as leaders in business, medicine, education, entertainment and sports.
Previous honorees include among others FedEx Chairman, President and CEO Fred Smith; AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde; Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Peter Doherty from St. Jude; and entertainers Danny Thomas and Elvis Presley. Vitale joins other Distinguished Citizen Award recipients from the world of sports, including Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Lee Corso and Darrell Waltrip.
Individual seats for the dinner may be purchased for $75 or a table of ten (10) seats may be purchased for $750. The dinner includes buffet dinner, cocktails and wine. To reserve a table or individual seat, please call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700.