award of excellence - dinner ball
The 29th annual Award of Excellence Dinner Ball was hosted on March 2, 2019! The Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence Dinner Ball recognizes individuals who capture the spirit of commitment and pursuit of excellence; standards which define the legendary coach Vince Lombardi and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
This year the Walter Payton Family was honored, joining an impressive list of 28 previous honorees, who exemplify the characteristics of the great Coach Lombardi. You can read about past winners in the Award of Excellence Hall of Fame.
2019 HONOREE – THE WALTER PAYTON FAMILY
WALTER PAYTON is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for thirteen seasons and spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Chicago Bears.
Payton was selected by the Bears in 1975 and was taken fourth overall. Payton was known around the NFL as “Sweetness”. A nine-time Pro Bowl selectee. He was a prolific rusher however he was also versatile retiring with the most career touchdowns by a non-receiver. Payton was named the 1977 AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award. He won was part of the 1985 Super Bowl team. He retired from football in1987 season having rushed for at least 1,200 yards in 10 of his 13 seasons in the NFL.
In 1993, Payton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After struggling with the rare liver disease for several months, Payton passed away in 1999.
His legacy continues through the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and his family, who will be in attendance to accept the award on his behalf.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS
2018 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE HONOREE - JIM KELLY
The Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation is proud to announce Jim Kelly as the 2018 Honoree for the 28th Annual Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence Dinner. Kelly, an NFL Hall of Fame Inductee and two-time cancer survivor, will be recognized at the event on March 3, 2018, at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI.
Kelly was selected in the first round of the 1983 NFL draft. He played for the Buffalo Bills all of his eleven seasons in the NFL. His jersey is one of two numbers retired by the Bills. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
In June 2013, Kelly announced that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, in his upper jaw. He underwent successful surgery. After a follow up appointment in March 2014, he announced that his cancer had recurred and began radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Thankfully in August of that year, doctors indicated that they no longer could find evidence of cancer.
11 NFL players, alumni, friends & brothers of Jim Kelly sent in heartfelt messages to Jim Kelly for us to share at the 2018 Award of Excellence. Please enjoy this video as a tribute to Jim Kelly's strength & perseverance.
If you are interested in sponsoring or attending this year’s event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-696-5162.