Former Notre Dame and NFL football coach Lou Holtz will be the keynote speaker at the Central City Ministries of Toledo's 14th annual Urban All-American Awards Celebration May 9th at the SeaGate Convention Centre.
The celebration, which raises funds for Catholic central city schools in Toledo, will also recognize Bishop James Hoffman posthumously for his support of the central city ministries program.
The dinner will honor four graduates from Central City Ministries of Toledo schools and those who have given financial and other support in the mission, said Mary Janet Myers, executive director of CCMT.
Ms. Myers said that based on tickets sales, she is expecting the largest attendance for the Urban All-American celebration ever. She said between 800 and 900 people have attended the celebration in the past.
Mr. Holtz, one of the most quotable coaches in college football history, led Notre Dame to a national championship in 1988 and kept the program in prominence through his career.
Afterward, he turned around the University of South Carolina program, turning it into a Top 20 football team and winning back-to-back New Year's Day bowl games in 2001 and 2002. In all, he has taken four different college programs to the Top 20 of college football rankings.
Chris Amato, of CCMT, said he expects Mr. Holtz to deliver an inspiring speech that will encourage youths to strive to be the best.
"We're elated to have someone the caliber of Lou Holtz come and speak to us," Mr. Amato said. "He will have a message of hope and all the endless possibilities in life. He's going to relate some of his football stories to that."
The late Bishop Hoffman will be honored for his contributions to the promotion of Catholic education in the central city schools.
Bishop Hoffman led the Diocese of Toledo from 1981 until his death from cancer in 2003. A Fremont native, Bishop Hoffman had been chancellor of the diocese for nine years before he was elevated to an auxiliary bishop in 1978.
He was known for a collaberative leadership style that emphasized consensus-building and delegating responsibility.
Former CCMT students honored this year include Clifford Brown, a cost analyst with the Ford Motor Co.; Pariss Coleman II, an attorney with Cooper & Walinski, LPA; Michael Stubblefield, a dentist with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Dept., and Mary Eileen Walsh, a vascular clinical nurse specialist with the Jobst Vascular Center at the Toledo Hospital.
Mr. Brown graduated from St. Angela Hall School in 1990 and Mr. Coleman in 1984. Mr. Stubblefield graduated from St. Jude in 1990 and Ms. Walsh graduated from Immaculate Conception in 1968.
The Urban All-American program will give the Wally and Sally Krueger Family Foundation its CCMT Hall of Fame Award for its support of the schools. A new award, the Corporate Philanthropy Award, will be given to The Andersons Inc., for its support of CCMT.
Ms. Myers said funds from the program will support financial and tuition assistance for students attending CCMT schools. She said the event provides an opportunity to recognize former students who have gone on to success.
The program will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. A VIP reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.
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