15th Annual Legends for Charity Dinner @ St. Jude (Thu. Jan. 30, 2020)

by Kimberly Samnang
photography by A.J. Lam

The 15th annual Legends for Charity Dinner took place on the Thursday, before Super Bowl LIV. This year raised $730,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!

Each year, the event presents the coveted Pat Summerall Award — named for the former American football player, and CBS, Fox and ESPN sportscaster — to a person who has made a significant contribution in the sports field. This year’s 2020 notable honoree was Jim Kelly, who led his team to 4 Super Bowls, also a University of Miami Football legend, former Buffalo Bills Quarterback, and Pro Football Hall of Famer. At Jim’s table included his wife and band of brothers, all decked out in their evening’s finest ensemble.

At $300 per person, (which is a steal!!!), the evening included a cocktail reception, (those who were lucky enough were invited to a VIP reception with winner Jim Kelly), a delicious 3 course meal of a pre-set gourmet salad, an entree of sea scallops and bavette steak, finishing off with a stone fruit panacotta.

Emcee Hannah Storm, who was greeted by every presenter with a warm cheek to cheek kiss and hugs, highly encouraged everyone to spend money! There was a silent auction, live auction (with the sweetest female auctioneer, that resembled a cross between Lady Gaga and Heidi Klume), and simple requests of just donations ranging from $500-$2000 to “sponsor” a child.

The event, this year chaired by power couple Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez Esq., was created in 2005 by Cheryl DeLeonardis, President of Ocean 2 Ocean Productions, and has raised over $7 million since its inception to further the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children. Past honorees include James Brown, Greg Gumbel, Jim Nantz, Chris Berman, Cris Collinsworth, The NFL ON FOX, Al Michaels, Archie Manning, Michael Strahan, Joe Buck, John Madden, Rich Eisen, Tony Dungy and Bill Cowher.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Children from all 50 states and from around the world have come through the doors of St. Jude for treatment, and thousands more around the world have benefited from the research conducted at St. Jude – research that is shared freely with the global medical community.

Based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude is the only research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. St. Jude was also named the nation’s top children’s cancer hospital in the 2010-2011 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. To learn more, please visit www.StJude.org or call 305-265-1371.

A warm and heartfelt thank you to the organizers: Kurt Rossell, Sarah Clark and Cheryl DeLeonardis for this annual invitation. We look forward to seeing you for Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida.