WASHINGTON — Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington and the NFL Players Association have selected Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, as the recipient of its annual joint award. Fitzgerald will receive the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award during the 27th Annual Lombardi Gala on November 2 in Washington.
The NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. The connection between the NFL Players Association and Georgetown Lombardi has grown in the past few years, in part out of a shared connection to the legacy of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who was treated for cancer at Georgetown University Hospital before succumbing to the disease in 1970. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is named in his memory.
DeMaurice F. Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, is serving as the honorary chair of the Lombardi Gala for the fourth year. “Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 cancer centers in the country, and I know from personal experience that not only is it a leader in research, but it is a leader in the personal care of patients and their families,” says Smith. “The NFL Players Association congratulates Larry on this award, and thanks him for his dedication to the fight against cancer.”
Fitzgerald has been growing his trademark dreadlocks since he was a freshman in college in memory of his mother Carol, who passed away after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.
To carry on his mother’s legacy, he helped establish the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which supports the causes that his mother held close to her heart, such as the education of urban youth on HIV/AIDS and breast cancer awareness. Every year, the Fitzgerald family hosts events with celebrity guests to help raise money for each of the highlighted causes, and the wide receiver participates in countless community events to raise awareness about cancer and prevention.
“Larry stands out as a wonderful role model and citizen of the NFL,” says Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of Georgetown Lombardi. “He is in a unique position to leverage his success on the field to promote the important causes that he and his family hold dear. On behalf of Georgetown Lombardi, I commend his tireless efforts and look forward to presenting him with this award at our annual Gala.”
In 2012, he was named one of three finalists for the “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year” Award and was also named the recipient of the 14th Annual Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian Award, given to the NFL player whose contributions to the community and charitable organizations are especially outstanding.
Fitzgerald’s accomplishments on the field are no less impressive. As one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, he has been voted to six consecutive Pro Bowls. His seven total career Pro Bowl nods are the most by an offensive player in Arizona Cardinals history, and his eight career touchdowns represent a Pro Bowl record. Fitzgerald is the Cardinals’ career leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, total touchdowns, 100-yard receiving games and consecutive games with a reception.
The 27th Annual Lombardi Gala is open to the public and tickets are on sale now. The black-tie dinner and dance features a cocktail reception, silent auction and a popular annual raffle of an all new 2014 Lexus IS 350 Sport. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Gala go to Georgetown Lombardi for cancer research, education and treatment. For more information, visit Lombardi.georgetown.edu/gala.
About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About the NFL Players Association
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) is a non-profit, professional sports union that protects the best interests and welfare of all NFL players. Established in 1956, the NFLPA is the exclusive bargaining agent for all NFL players, is governed by a Board of Player Representatives and acts in accordance with the NFLPA Constitution and federal labor laws. The NFLPA’s responsibilities include: Representing all players in matters concerning wages, hours and working conditions and protecting their rights as professional football players; ensuring that the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are met; negotiating and monitoring retirement and insurance benefits; providing other member services and activities; providing assistance to charitable and community organizations; enhancing and defending the image of players and their profession, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.NFLPlayers.com.