DETROIT — The 24th annual Detroit Lions Courage House Dinner will feature the NFL's Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Ford Field. The dinner annually benefits HAVEN, Oakland County's center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and sexual assault. The dinner has raised more than $2.2 million for HAVEN over the last 23 years.
The event will be highlighted by the presentation of the Ed Block Courage Award which annually goes to a Lions player who exemplifies sportsmanship and has overcome injury and/or adversity to excel on the field. This year's recipient will be announced at a later time.
The Ricky Sandoval Award will also be presented. This award recognizes individuals who have made contributions both in sports and in the community and is named in honor of the late Lions' director of security who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in July 2009. This year's recipient is Mike Lucci, six-year Lions' team captain and three-time Lions' defensive MVP. Lucci was drafted into the NFL by the Cleveland Browns and named to the All-Rookie Team. He was traded to the Detroit Lions in 1965 and went on to All-Pro honors. Upon retirement from football, he joined Bally Total Fitness as the national director of physical fitness, eventually becoming president. While with Bally Total Fitness, Lucci simultaneously worked as a radio analyst for WJR. He also worked as the color analyst for the Detroit Lions and did the color nationally for NBC.
Lucci hosted the Mike Lucci Golf Tournament to benefit Spaulding for Children of Southfield, Mich. for 30 years helping to raise more than $2 million for the agency that seeks a way to make life better for children without families. In addition, Lucci's annual golf tournament in Florida has raised nearly $330,000 to support Gridiron Greats, an organization founded by Mike Ditka to help retired NFL players who have fallen on difficult times. He was inducted into the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
This year's Courage House Dinner keynote speaker, Troy Vincent, began his NFL career as a first round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 1992 NFL Draft. He made five Pro Bowl appearances and was selected All-Pro three times during his 15 seasons playing in the NFL. He has been nominated to the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the Hall of Fames for the Philadelphia Eagles, the State of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin and Pennsbury High School.
As executive vice president of football operations, Vincent informs the business of the NFL through the unique lens of his previous roles as a player, a player's union president, and the senior vice president of player engagement. He employs the highest standards to enhance and preserve football and its value to society.
With a platform that touches millions, Vincent is recognized as one of the most powerful influencers of today. Forbes Magazine named Vincent to its prestigious 2016 list of Most Influential Minorities in Sports. Savoy Magazine honored him with inclusion as one of their 2016 top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. Ebony Magazine recognized Vincent as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sports.
Vincent's commitment to leadership over violence has anchored him as a nationally recognized voice for those who have none or struggle to be heard. As a humanitarian and powerful advocate in the national campaign against domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, Vincent is a servant leader, demonstrated by his visits to shelters, speaking to men's groups and challenging others to lend their platforms.
Vincent long has been a promoter of the values of character and leadership. He is the only player in history to have received the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, NFL Players Association Byron Whizzer White Award, Sporting News #1 Good Guy, and NFL Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. Vincent is considered a national leader as an advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault. He received the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, considered the Nobel Prize for extraordinary public service and making the world a better place to live. To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsoring the Lions' Courage House Dinner please visit http://www.detroitlions.com/courage-house.html or contact Sheela Manyam at 248.799.6668.