Three-time Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness will headline the Eighth Annual Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund Benefit on Friday, April 6, at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley. Minnesota’s own nationally renowned, multi-talented recording artists and 2012 NAACP Image Award winners are joining superstar NFL six-time All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. and the rest of the Fitzgerald family to help raise significant dollars for our target charities — breast cancer, HIV and urban education.
Saturday, March 24, Muhammad and Lonnie Ali, founders of Celebrity Fight Night Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona, at their 18th Annual Gala awarded Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. the prestigious 2012 Muhammad Ali Award. The award is presented to extraordinary leaders in sports and the entertainment business who exemplify being champions in their career fields and in winning the fight for charities.
The late Mrs. Carol Fitzgerald, his mom, died April 10, 2003 after a tough battle with breast cancer. Every April since, the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund — founded by yours truly, her husband Larry Fitzgerald — celebrates Carol’s impact and love for special causes.
“Her efforts to fight AIDS in the African American community were remarkable,” said Dr. Keith Henry (Star Tribune, April 21, 2003). “Working as a disease intervention specialist for the Minnesota Department of Health (an often thankless job) with compassion, intelligence and enthusiasm, she no doubt prevented many others from becoming HIV-infected and saved many lives in the process.
“The courage and good humor she displayed at the St. Paul Ramsey Department of Health were an inspiration to me and countless colleagues. I was blessed to have worked with Carol, whom I view as an AIDS hero,” said Henry.
Since the year we lost Carol, we have tried to bring awareness by annually raising money to distribute to hard-working organizations working in the areas of breast cancer, HIV and urban education.
It’s amazing, really — Carol last saw her oldest son, Larry, Jr., the 2003 Heisman Trophy runner-up, play in the 2002 Insight Bowl, University of Pittsburgh vs. Oregon State, on December 27 in Phoenix, Arizona. Larry Jr. was later drafted in the NFL first round by the Arizona Cardinals, in April of 2004 by Dennis Green, the Cardinals head coach who gave Larry his first job as a ball boy back in high school when Green then coached the Vikings.
Carol’s youngest son Marcus played football on scholarship at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he graduated after losing his Mom. Carol loved to shop; her favorite place to shop, believe it or not, was Marshall’s in Richfield.
Our faith as a family has enabled us to withstand what we can’t understand, and again we are doing our part with your help to raise money for worthy causes on two days: Friday, April 6, 5:30-9 pm at Metropolitan, and Saturday, April 7, at the Martin Luther King Park Center, 4201 South Nicollet, Mpls. from 1-4 pm, for the Carol Fitzgerald Community Celebration. Since starting in 2004, we (CFMF) have raised nearly $1 million to help our community in these areas.
For more details, to RSVP or to contribute, call 612-619-0102 or email [email protected]
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2), and you can follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to [email protected], or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.