Throughout 2011, some of the biggest names in sports partnered with Morton’s to share their stories, serve our guests and most importantly, support worthwhile charities.
Some pretty special servers traded in their uniforms for aprons at Morton’s locations across the country to help raise funds for their preferred charities, and our “Celebrity Servers at Morton’s” series saw another banner year…bringing in an astounding $1, 585, 000! This year’s total, combined with the proceeds from 2010, equals almost $3 million!
From Baltimore to Las Vegas, guests were able to rub elbows with some of the best in the business and saw their favorite athletes offering passed hors d’oeuvres, cracked pepper on their salads and refills on their wine.
Some highlights included Larry Fitzgerald’s event at Morton’s in Scottsdale, raising $220,000 for the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund and the First Down Fund; Ryan Howard’s event at Morton’s in Philadelphia, raising $200,000 for Ryan Howard Family Foundation and the Jonathan Vilma event at Morton’s in New Orleans, when the whole Saints team came together to help raise $196,000 for the Jonathan Vilma Foundation. You can visit our website to see the whole line-up of “Celebrity Servers” from 2011 or browse our blog for recaps from these incredible events.
For the 3rd year running, Morton’s also partnered with ESPN to broadcast live ‘Lunch with a Legend’ and ‘Dinner with a Legend’ events from our private dining rooms. Our guests had front-row seats and exclusive access to some legendary sports figures, including Dodger great Steve Garvey and super agent Leigh Steinberg in our LA-area restaurants, Legendary Temple basketball coach John Chaney in Philadelphia, former NHL star Jeremy Roenick in Chicago, and Browns top running back Peyton Hillis in Cleveland. Guests also got to reminisce with Bobby Dandridge and Kevin Grevey of the 1978 NBA Champion Washington Bullets, who won the dramatic Game 7 with seconds to play against the Seattle Supersonics.
As you can see, 2011 was a very exciting year for Morton’s. Sports celebrities came off of the field and on our turf to raise money for charity and provide our guests once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. We raise a glass to the athletes for donating their time and their passion to help those less fortunate and for spending time with our guests. And we raise a glass to all our guests who supported these events, their causes and their local Morton’s.
Here’s to an equally, if not more, successful 2012 for everyone…both on, and off, the field!
Serving Up Philly Steak, Brent Celek Style
The theme of the evening on Monday, November 14th, 2011 was certainly not just football. Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Brent Celek hosted his 2nd Annual Celebrity Server event at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Philadelphia. The celebrity-studded affair featured Celek and several of his teammates, including Jason Avant, Moise Fokou, LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Todd Herremans, Jon Dorenbos, and several others, who graciously spent their night-off of the field serving guests wine, appetizers and a signature Morton’s steak dinner to families and friends of Brent Celek’s Take Flight Foundation.
Notable Philadelphia personalities, Michael Barkann of SportsRadio WIP & Comcast Sports Net, and Tanya Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Soul and Philly.com were the night’s emcees. The crowd was quickly buzzing with excitement as players began circling the room with trays of hors d’oeuvres, only to quickly replace them with markers and footballs to sign. Photographers rushed to catch candid photo opportunities as the awe-struck kids in attendance approached Eagles players for the must-have pieces of memorabilia. LeSean “Shady” McCoy was the sure fan-favorite of the evening, as the line for his autograph trailed around the room.
From start to finish the evening was action-packed. Jon Dorenbos, who off the field spends his time as a magician, amused guests tableside, while the other players charmed guests with their serving skills. Players both chatted and entertained guests, sharing anecdotes about football, food and more. The well-spoken Celek took to the microphone for most of the evening; however, the always competitive Todd Herremans took over on the mic as he challenged Celek to a bidding war. In addition to the night’s live auction, Celek spoke about his commitment to the Take Flight Foundation – his dedication was clear as guests listened intently to his heart-warming stories of philanthropic work.
Celek and his teammates also donated signed jerseys and other Eagles paraphernalia to the silent auction. Additional must-have items included dinner with Brent at Morton’s, a trip for two to the ESPY’s, and a Costa Rica Couple’s Retreat at Four Seasons Resort. An enthusiastic crowd of 160 guests were in attendance.
Over $85,000 was raised at this year’s event with all proceeds from ticket sales and auctions going to the Brent Celek Take Flight Foundation, providing support and resources to children and families in need. The foundation focuses on providing seriously ill and physically challenged children throughout Greater Philadelphia with daily support and life changing experiences. The goal of the Take Flight Foundation is to have touched the lives of more than 2,000,000 children and their families by 2013.
Reported by Becky Levin, Cashman and Associates
CATCHING up with Detroit Lions Nate Burleson
The inaugural Nate Burleson Celebrity Server Event did not disappoint Lions fans. About 100 people attended the exclusive, private event held at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Troy, MI location on Monday November 14th, including Detroit Lions players, local business leaders and media. The event title sponsors included Quicken Loans and Fathead.
Proceeds from the event benefited the Nate Burleson CATCH Foundation whose purpose is to reach and teach area children and their families by providing them with educational tools to succeed as well as enriching their lives by showing them how to care for others, themselves and their future.
The event began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as guests mingled with their favorite Detroit Lions players, who also posed for photos and signed autographs. Following the cocktails and silent auction, guests took their seats and were served by the Detroit Lions, including Nate Burleson and Calvin Johnson. Other guest servers included: Quarterback Drew Stanton, Offensive Tackle Rob Sims and Former University of Michigan Basketball Star and member of the Fab 5, Jimmy King. The players took their responsibilities as servers very seriously as they masterfully poured wine, handled stacked salad plates and served guests prime steaks with grace and sophistication.
Following dinner, a live auction was led by Morton’s Troy General Manager, Steve Salmon. Bidding was fast and furious for items such as a private dinner for 4 with Nate Burleson, a game worn helmet and jersey from Nate and a Sommelier Wine and Cheese Experience in Napa Valley. Between the ticket sales, sponsorships, silent and live auction items, the event raised approximately $50,000 in its first year for Nate Burleson’s charity.
Media coverage included this wonderful recap by ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV.
Reported by Jason Brown, PublicCity PR
Photos by Jerry Richart
High-Steaking with an NHL Legend
NHL and L.A. Kings legend Luc Robitaille hosted a Lunch with a Legend event yesterday at Morton’s The Steakhouse in downtown LA. The lunch was broadcast on EPSN Radio. Luc spoke with 710 ESPN hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley, and spoke about getting overlooked at the start of his career, what it was like to work with Wayne Gretzky, and the popularization of hockey and its eventual diminished popularity on the west coast. With 30 seconds left in the interview, Luc was asked to share one thing with his fans. Luc’s last words were, “Where is my steak?” You can listen to a podcast of the event by visiting: http://espn.go.com/espnradio/losangeles/play?id=7243974
Reported by Maryam Brown, Murphy O’Brien Public Relations
Who Dat! Morton’s New Orleans gets a “W” with its Second Annual Celebrity Server Event, featuring the New Orleans Saints
Morton’s The Steakhouse in New Orleans recently hosted the second annual Celebrity Server event featuring Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans Saints. More than $201,000 was raised and proceeds from the event benefited The Jonathan Vilma Foundation. Although Vilma was called away from the event due to a personal emergency, his teammates came out in force to support their friend off the field.
In Vilma’s absence, Saints Defensive End, Will Smith took over as Master of Ceremonies. Smith and his exuberant Saints teammates served appetizers and wine, along with a four course dinner to the more than 200 guests in attendance.
Teammates who showed up in support of The Jonathan Vilma Foundation included Saints beloved QB Drew Brees, along with Jimmy Graham, Roman Harper, Malcolm Jenkins, and Lance Moore. Fox Sports sideline reporter Jennifer Hale served as emcee for the evening. Among the guests were Saints owner Rita Benson LeBlanc, Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and Klaus Frisch, co-founder of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc.
The players took to the Morton’s dining room much like they do on a field on game day! They did a great job serving guests, taking photos, signing autographs and speaking with guests and local media. Morton’s received fantastic media coverage on The New Orleans Saints Celebrity Server event including The Times-Picayune; NOLA.com; WVUE-TV; CST; The Gambit; BestofNewOrleans.com; NewOrleansLocal.com; NewOrleansSaints.com; JonVilma.com; and Our Louisiana Magazine.
Reported by Carrie DeVries, The Ehrhardt Group
Earlier this year, Morton’s became the Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. An important component of this sponsorship is our support of various PGA TOUR charities. I’m proud to announce that, so far this year, we’ve raised almost $315,000 for several organizations! Here’s a recap of our efforts.
- In June 2011, our ‘Celebrity Server’ event at Morton’s in King of Prussia featuring Jim Furyk raised $91,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- We contributed $51,250 through our PGA TOUR tournament participation in the AT&T National, Chevron World Challenge and The Player’s Championship.
- $8,240 has been raised for Birdies for the Brave through sales of our in-restaurant Double Cross Mortini and through a portion of ticket sales from our “Prime Event series at Morton’s” series.
- Last month, we raised $38,000 as a result of our “PGA TOUR Golf Experience” at TPC Sawgrass, which included a private meet-and-greet with Jim Furyk and a custom golf ball fitting from Bridgestone…among other exciting experiential components. We’ve also contributed $10,171 through various other TPC course events.
- Most recently, we hosted a ‘Celebrity Server’ event at Morton’s in Palm Beach, when hosts Jack & Barbara Nicklaus helped raised $55,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. Barbara Nicklaus said of the evening, “The food and wines were fabulous; the atmosphere was perfect; and everyone who attended seemed so happy to be there! It was a great group! And, to top it off, we raised significant funds to help children in our area.” In addition to meeting this tireless, philanthropic couple, guests also had the opportunity to sample Jack Nicklaus wines and participate in a prestigious auction.
- We will conclude our 2011 fundraising efforts with a final ‘Celebrity Server’ event at Morton’s in Beverly Hills, this one featuring Hunter Mahan and Celebrity Friends. (Click here for more information or to make a reservation.)
Supporting our communities has always been an important part of Morton’s mission, so it gives me great pride that our year-long efforts have helped raise money for so many worthwhile organizations. Stay tuned for more information about exclusive PGA TOUR events and fundraisers available to our guests.
Morton’s is proud to be the “Official Steakhouse of the PGA TOUR”. Please visit our website to learn more about this prime pairing of organizations!
When in Detroit, you can’t turn on the TV, radio, log onto Twitter or Facebook and not find some football factoid about Detroit Lions Wide Receiver Nate Burleson. Now that Nate has settled into his second year as a Lion, he has made it clear that this is his new home and he wants to give back to the community as much as possible. We caught up with Nate after practice to learn a little more about his likes and his favorite moments as a football player.
OCCUPATION: Wide Receiver of the Detroit Lions.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME: Hungry for more.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Bahamas.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I’M…: Watching movies.
ONE THING I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY: Scuba diving.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN FOOTBALL: Catching the game-winning TD vs Cincinnati Bengals.
FAVORITE DRINK/COCKTAIL: Vodka cranberry with a splash of Sprite.
I STAY HOME TO WATCH: Food Network.
FAVORITE PLACE TO CHILL OUT: My parent’s house with my family.
WHO WOULD PLAY ME IN A HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER: Columbus Short.
PRIZED POSSESSION: My wife.
PRE-GAME RITUALS: Listen to music.
IF I WASN’T A FOOTBALL PLAYER, I’D BE: Broadcaster.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: The best part of my job is…: It’s a brand new experience every time I step onto the field.
Celebrity Servers at Morton’s featuring Nate Burleson and Friends: Join NFL Superstar Nate Burleson and his Detroit Lions teammates for a great cause on Monday, November 14 when they trade in their uniforms and helmets for plates and aprons at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Detroit (Troy), MI. Proceeds benefit the Nate Burleson CATCH Foundation.
Reported by Jason Brown, PublicCity PR
Great food is always in abundance and delicious memories are delivered hot and fresh whenever you dine at Morton’s The Steakhouse. Plus you never know who you’ll run into – PGA TOUR players, comedians, local politicians or sports legends. At Morton’s, the options are endless.
Celeb-rating at Morton’s
On the evening of Monday , October 17th, Morton’s The Steakhouse in Northbrook was alive with energy and excitement as the Chicago Bears prepared for their 2nd Celebrity Servers Dinner featuring the unbelievably outgoing Cornerback, Charles Tillman. Chicago Bears players and their families, Morton’s VIPs, media, and steak lovers alike gathered to enjoy an evening of fine dining and fun in support of Charles Tillman’s Cornerstone Foundation, an organization that provides opportunities and resources to over one million Chicagoland children and families in need.
Tillman and teammates, including Anthony Adams, Lance Briggs, Matt Forte, Frank Omiyale, Patrick Manelly, Matt Toeaina, Caleb Hanie, Johnny Knox, Zackary Bowman, Corey Graham, Tim Jennings, D.J. Moore, Brandon Meriweather and Craig Steltz, traded in their signature orange and blue for Morton’s aprons as they passed wine and hors d’oeuvres and signed footballs for guests during the cocktail hour.
The dinner began with a few words from host Zach Zaidman, Sideline Reporter for the Chicago Bears Radio Network, Tom Lange, the General Manager of Morton’s in Northbrook, and Tillman, who introduced fellow teammates and explained his organization, the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation. He shared the story of his young three-year old daughter Tiana, who at three months old was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that slows the pumping of blood to the body. Now a vibrant toddler, Tiana survived with a heart transplant, and Tillman continues to tell her story to educate and inspire.
Smiling players juggled plates of salad and juicy prime steak to serve hungry guests, some even going as far as bussing the tables themselves! A silent auction setup included signed jerseys and memorabilia, trips, and other luxury items, while the rousing live auction included Tillman gear, signed photographs, a massive bottle of wine, and a one-of-a-kind golf trip, among others. Tillman captivated the crowd with his stories and jokes throughout the evening, especially during the auction as he ran across the restaurant from bidder to bidder, hugging them, taking photos, and encouraging everyone to give more.
Tillman’s enthusiasm and incredible dedication to his cause paid off, as the dinner raised nearly $150,000 in total. Since 2005, Tillman’s charitable efforts have impacted the lives of over one million Chicago-area children.
“My teammates really supported me and I think everyone had a lot of fun, I know I did”, said Tillman “We raised more than we ever had which means we can help more children in the Chicago-area, and that is what it is about.”
The Celebrity Servers Dinner with Charles Tillman was an incredible evening for a cause we can all stand behind – we hope you’ll join us next time!
Reported by Lindsay Rafayko, Empower Public Relations
Power Lunching with a Legend
Morton’s The Steakhouse in Woodland Hills hosted a special “Lunch with a Legend” event with Los Angeles Dodgers’ legend Steve Garvey on Wednesday, October 26. The event was hosted by ESPN hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. Steve was in a great mood and shared some fun stories about his impressive career with the audience during his hour long interview. He also shared a special message to the Dodger’s fans in the audience, which was to “have patience and continue to have hope.”
Steve ended his interview by saying that he is always hopeful and always optimistic. Guests attending this special event enjoyed a three-course signature Morton’s lunch. This event is a part of Morton’s ongoing Lunch With A Legend series where they allow guests to interact with sports legends in an intimate setting.
Reported by Maryam Brown, Murphy O’Brien Public Relations
Are you ready for more celebrities? Throughout October, Morton’s welcomed…
Atlanta – Buckhead
New York Knicks Amar’e Stoudemire
Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks
Actor Don Cheadle
Atlanta – Downtown
Atlanta Falcons Michael Turner
Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly
Actress Melissa McCarthy
Actors/Comedians Zach Galifianakas and Andy Richter
Actress Jenette McCurdy
Carolina Panthers Jeremy Shockey, R.J. Stanford, and Head Coach Ron Rivera
NASCAR’s Junior Johnson
Fox News Tobin Smith
Charlotte Bobcats Gerald Henderson
Davidson College’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bob McKillop
Chicago (State St.)
Chicago Blackhawks Marian Hossa and Michael Frolik
Comedian/Actor D.L. Hughley
NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus
Former Cleveland Browns player Michael Dean Perry
Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon
Former NFL player Bernie Kosar
NBA Free Agent and current Chinese Basketball Association player Kenyon Martin
Florida Panthers Coaches and Players
Actor Dennis Haysbert and Actress Penelope Ann Miller
New Jersey Devils Ilya Kovalchuk
New York Jets Plaxico Burress
New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
UFC Owners Dana White and Frank Fertitta along with other UFC members including Chuck Liddell, Keith Jardine, and Brendan Schaub
Actor/Comedian Dan Aykroyd
Comedians Lavell Crawford and Spike Davis (pictured left)
Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands John de Jongh
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
Rock Legend/Grammy Winner Robert Plant
PGA TOUR Golfer Kenny Perry
New Orleans Saints Robert Meachem, Sedrick Ellis, and Malcom Jenkins
Actor Arnold Vosloo
NBC Sports Executive Dick Ebersol and Reporter Michele Tafoya
Auction Hunters’ Clinton “Ton” Jones
Actor/Hollywood Military Consultant Harry Humphries
Judas Priest’s Glen Tipton and Ian Hill
Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Professional Snowboarder Danny Kass
NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre
Washington Redskins Dough Worthington
MLB Hall of Famer Frank Robinson
Director/Producer Steven Spielberg and his wife Actress Kate Capshaw
Producer Kathleen Kennedy
Actress Sally Field
PGA TOUR Golfer Chez Reavie (pictured below)
NBA Free Agent and Chinese Basketball Association player Wilson Chandler
Detroit Tigers Victor Martinez
Detroit Lions Rob Sims
Washington D.C. (Connecticut Ave.)
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Washington D.C. (Georgetown)
CNN Anchor John King
Captain of the New Orleans Saints defense and the son of Haitian immigrant parents, Jonathan Vilma also founded The Jonathan Vilma Foundation after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to help assist with the rebuilding efforts in Haiti, including a charter school to educate students from elementary school to high school. We caught up with the superstar linebacker who ruminates on Carnival, Family Guy reruns and Denzel Washington playing him in the “The Vilmanator”.
OCCUPATION: Professional Football Player.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME: Intelligent, competitive, and focused.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: I love traveling during the off season. My favorite place so far is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Carnival.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I’M…: Getting some much needed sleep.
ONE THING I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY: Skydiving but it’s not allowed in my contract.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN FOOTBALL: Winning Super Bowl XLIV in Miami. It was one of the greatest moments in my life.
FAVORITE DRINK/COCKTAIL: Football players don’t drink alcohol…do they?
I STAY HOME TO WATCH: Family Guy! It’s by far the best show out there.
FAVORITE PLACE TO CHILL OUT: You can always find me on a beach in Miami.
WHO WOULD PLAY ME IN A HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER: I would be honored if Denzel Washington played me in a 3-D blockbuster called “The Vilmanator”.
PRIZED POSSESSION: My Super Bowl ring. Doesn’t get any better than that.
PRE-GAME RITUALS: Nothing specific. I focus on winning and performing well.
IF I WASN’T A FOOTBALL PLAYER, I’D BE: I would be working on Wall Street.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: The best part of my job is…: Winning it all!
Join NFL Superstar Jonathan Vilma and his New Orleans teammates for a great cause on Monday, November 7 when they trade in their uniforms and helmets for plates and aprons during Celebrity Servers Night at Morton’s The Steakhouse!
This past Saturday in downtown Chicago, more than 1,000 walkers came out to support the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Walk4Hearing! The Chicago chapter truly exceeded everyone’s expectations and raised over $164,000! I am so proud of how our community came together to support a cause that touches families and individuals throughout the United States. A special thanks to all the Chicagoans who participated—you were simply sensational.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous Morton’s blog, my son Peter was born deaf. My wife, Mari, and I have deafness throughout our families and have grown up within the deaf community, so we’re very familiar with this world. So when Peter was 11 months old, after much consternation and fact finding, Mari and I made the decision (controversial, even within our own family, at the time) for Peter to receive the Cochlear implant. (This story is thoroughly explored in “Sound and Fury,” a documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award more than a decade ago.)
Fast forward 12 years, and giving our son the gift of hearing has been the best decision of our lives. He’s 13 now, a truly amazing young man who thrives in just about everything that he does, and he has a fantastic future ahead of him. This past June, I had the honor of serving as the Keynote Speaker for the HLAA’s national convention, and I’ve come to know the great folks who work so diligently at HLAA to create awareness for those afflicted with hearing loss. The Walk4Hearing event has become a great platform for spreading the word, and it raises more than $1.2 million annually across the country.
From my personal perspective, when it comes to charitable efforts and fund raising for important causes, it never ceases to amaze me how our staff at Morton’s The Steakhouse, both in the restaurants and at the Restaurant Support Center (RSC) in Chicago, steps up and rises to the occasion. Talk about passion for getting on board and helping our cause! We started with a bake sale at the RSC that raised almost $1,000, and beyond our own expectations, our Morton’s team raised more than $25,000 for Walk4Hearing. At Saturday’s walk, we had over 100 participants on our Morton’s team alone, and our Morton’s guests and business partners also contributed to our fund raising efforts. WOW! I am truly humbled and so thankful for everyone who participated either in person or in spirit, and for that, my wife Mari and I (and our son Peter) are really touched by the outpouring of support for a cause that means so much to us.
Thank you all for making this past Saturday a huge success! It was fun morning with family and friends, and for the Artinian family, it was also filled with emotion and appreciation. I am already looking forward to serving as the 2012 Chicago Walk4Hearing Business Chair. We’ve thrown down the gauntlet and are fully committed to raising the expectations for fund raising for next year’s event!
I feel so fortunate to be able to give back to a community that has done so much for us. The HLAA does such meaningful work throughout the country…so please visit their website and get involved in your own communities to help them gain awareness and support.
The third annual Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Server Event was an experience to remember for each guest in attendance. The event drew 179 guests, including Arizona Cardinals players and their families, local celebrities and media, to Morton’s The Steakhouse in Scottsdale, AZ on Monday, October 3, to support the well-known wide receiver and his two charities. Proceeds from the event benefited the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which aims to help victims of AIDS, breast cancer, and other diseases Fitzgerald’s mother was involved in supporting, and the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, which supports youth organizations throughout the country through resources and funding. The event title sponsors included Desert Institute for Spine Care and The Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Cocktail hour kicked off the evening with hors d’oeuvres, as guests were granted exclusive access to mingle with their favorite Cardinals players for photo opportunities and autograph signing. As dinner began, the players impressed guests with skills of masterfully pouring wine, handling stacked salad plates and delivering sizzling steak entrées.
A highlight of the evening was the surprise arrival of legend and Arizona resident, Muhammad Ali. Silence and awe fell over the crowd as he entered, followed by a moving standing ovation! His attendance at the event in support of Fitzgerald and his great cause was reflected throughout the entire evening, as guests made impressive donations to the two charities.
Fitzgerald’s two aunts, one who is a breast cancer survivor, father and brother all spoke to thank the event guests for their generosity, to honor the memory of Carol Fitzgerald, and to continue to spread hope of finding a cure. Between the silent auction items, including staycation retreats and Morton’s gift baskets, and the live auction of Fitzgerald’s game worn attire, the event raised $220,000, a record amount for Fitzgerald’s two charities, resulting in the highest grossing Celebrity Server Event to date!
Read all about it! Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Server Event media coverage included ABC, CBS, FOX,
Reported by Katherine Thornhill, E.B. Lane
Photos by Yeung Photography
Still hungry? Click this link to learn more about Morton’s exciting Celebrity Server series throughout the U.S.
Strike up a conversation on the history of golf, and sooner or later the name Jack Nicklaus will weave its way into the discussion. Synonymous with the gallant game, Nicklaus has wowed fans and fellow golfers alike with his athletic prowess and is considered “The Most Powerful Person in Golf” with 118 worldwide victories and 18 professional major-championship titles. When he’s not designing championship golf courses or captaining the Ryder Cup, Nicklaus is a guiding light for numerous charities including the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation which provides support for pediatric heath care services. We caught up with the “Golden Bear” who ruminates on baseball, bucket lists and bone-fishing in the South Pacific.
OCCUPATION: Golf legend.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: I would actually say wherever I’m going, because wherever I go, I try to enjoy the opportunity, the experience, and make the best of it. I certainly have special places I have enjoyed visiting, such as Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Iceland, and many others. I enjoy places where I can combine work and pleasure.
POWER SUIT: I prefer a pair of shorts, a golf shirt and sneakers.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I’M…: Spending most of my time with family. I enjoy spending time with my wife Barbara and we especially like to spend time at our grandkids’ activities. I also enjoy fishing and tennis.
ONE THING I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY: I feel as if I have tried everything I have ever wanted to try. The most recent on my bucket list was to see the gorillas. So we took some family and friends to Rwanda for a “Mountain Gorilla Trek.” One thing I have wanted to do is bone-fish in the South Pacific.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN GOLF: That’s hard to answer because all my victories, especially my major championship wins, have been memorable for unique and special reasons. But if I had to pick one, it would be the 1986 Masters—the last of my 18 professional majors. It came when I was 46 years old; I was almost six years removed from my last major; and it was at a point in my career when nobody expected me to win. And in many ways, that included me. For most of my career at Augusta National, most people expected me to win, whether it was the media, the fans, other players…or myself. And I don’t think anybody did in ’86. It was very special, probably the most special win that I’ve ever had. And having my son Jack on the bag is something I’ll never forget. Also, for whatever reason, that was the only Masters since my first one in 1959, where my mother and my sister decided to attend. I have no idea why, but they were there. So to have my son on the bag, and close family just outside the ropes, served to underline the moment for me.
FAVORITE DRINK/COCKTAIL: I am actually not much of a drinker, and prefer water with almost every meal. But if I am going to have a drink, I prefer, of course, Jack Nicklaus Wine.
I STAY HOME TO WATCH: Football or one of my 22 grandkids.
FAVORITE GADGETS: Not a gadget guy but I carry an iPhone for outgoing calls only.
FAVORITE PLACE TO CHILL OUT: Home.
PRIZED POSSESSION: My family.
ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE MY MOOD: Even keel.
WHOM I MOST ADMIRE: My wife Barbara. She has not only been my wife of 51 years, but she has been my best friend, my sounding board, and at many times, my conscience. She has been the guiding light of my life and our family. I know I am a better person and better parent because of her.
PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Family.
PRE-GAME RITUALS: I always made sure to have three pennies in my pocket when I played. One was to mark my ball; a second was in case I lost the first; and the third was in case my playing partner needed one. I also preferred to play a golf ball with the No. 5 on it. I just played it for years because no one else played it, and so they made a 5 just for me. Plus, that was a score I didn’t want to have.
IF I WASN’T A GOLFER, I’D BE: If it was in sports, it would be baseball. I was a switch-hitting catcher growing up. If you are asking about a career outside of sports, I have no idea. I can’t imagine life without sports.
FAVORITE CUT OF STEAK: Ribeye.
FAVORITE SPORT, OTHER THAN GOLF: Fishing, especially fly-fishing. I also enjoy playing tennis.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: The best part of my job is…: Each day I feel like I have the ability to make someone’s life better—whether it be mine, my family’s, a child’s, or a client. I’m in a position that allows me to do that, and that’s really nice. At the age of 71, I am still able to remain involved in a game that I have always loved and loved to compete in. Although I can’t compete as I once did on the course, I am very involved in the game of golf, whether it as a course designer, a spokesperson or ambassador for the sport as I travel the world, and hopefully a voice for how we can help protect and grow the game for future generations.
Join Jack Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara on Tuesday, October 25 for a memorable evening of Morton’s signature cuisine paired with exquisite Jack Nicklaus Wines…all in the name of a good cause at Morton’s The Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, FL. Listen to the recent interview with Morton’s Roger Drake and Patty McDonald of Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation who appeared on ESPN760′s Golf Exchange show to chat about our upcoming event with Jack and Barbara Nicklaus!
Known for being one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL, Charles “Peanut” Tillman also enjoys giving back to children and families in need through the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation. Sporting a famous nickname, “Peanut” (given to him by an aunt as a baby because he reminded her of a peanut), Tillman’s also been a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award which recognizes NFL players for their charitable work. We caught up with the Bears cornerback to talk about pre-game rituals, matadors, and his passion for movies.
OCCUPATION: Sports Administration.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE ME: Spontaneous, fun, fun-loving.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION: Athens, Greece.
WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I’M…: At the movie theater.
ON THAT NOTE, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? Star Wars. All six!
ONE THING I’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY: Running with the bulls in Spain. Actually, just dressing up in the matador suit and watching. Close up, of course.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN FOOTBALL: A Monday night game against Arizona in 2006 when we came back to win in the 4th quarter.
FAVORITE DRINK/COCKTAIL: My recipe that I call “Homemade Mexican Ginger Ale”. Mix equal parts Coke and Sprite with a shot of tequila and some freshly squeezed lime juice. The fresh lime juice is key!
I STAY HOME TO WATCH: Criminal Minds, True Blood, Entourage, Boardwalk Empire.
FAVORITE PLACE TO CHILL OUT: My private theater room.
WHO WOULD PLAY ME IN A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE BLOCKBUSTER: Anthony Mackie.
PRIZED POSSESSION: My three kids, ages five, three and two.
PRE-GAME RITUALS: I wake up at 5am, watch film, go to the stadium, see the chiropractor, get taped, and go through my routine. Then I say my prayers while holding Lach’s (Brian Urlacher) left hand, drink a Spark energy drink, say another prayer, run out onto the field and pick up some of the grass (a little difficult when we play on astro turf), smell it, throw it, and say, “This is my home, let’s go!”
IF I WASN’T A FOOTBALL PLAYER, I’D BE: In law enforcement. My degree was in criminal justice.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: The best part of my job is…: Getting paid to play football!
Join NFL Superstar Charles Tillman and his Chicago Bears teammates for big steaks and a great cause on Monday, October 17 when they trade in their uniforms and helmets for plates and aprons at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Northbrook, IL!
Reported by Lindsay Rafayko, Empower Public Relations and Wayne Pua