The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will honor Muhammad Ali and Under Armour at its annual Aspire Gala on Feb. 22, 2013 at the Waterfront Marriott, the group announced Monday.
Ali and his wife, Lonnie, will be presented with the Aspire Award. Founder and CEO Kevin Plank will accept the same award on behalf of Under Armour. Robbie Callaway, former chairman of the Ripken board, will receive the Cal Sr. Award. All are being honored for their dedication to community service.
Ali's humanitarian efforts are -- or should be -- well known to just about every sports fan. A news release from the foundation lauds his and Lonnie's work with soup kitchens, hospitals, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Special Olympics. He also his own Parkinson Center, which studies the disease that has robbed him of what made him so famous: his ability to speak. (If you haven't read "My Dinner with Ali" by Davis Miller, recently or ever, give it a look.)
Baltimore based Under Armour runs numerous programs meant to give back to the community, including Power in Pink (using fitness to fight breast cancer), UA Freedom (with Wounder Warrior project, it helps support veterans getting and staying in shape) and UA Youth Movement. It also recently launched a local program, "WIN Baltimore," that aims to generate positive social change in the city.
Callaway is described as "a lifelong advocate for children, especially children from the most disadvantage circumstances."
The gala, according to a news release, is "one of the largest single-day fundraising events in Maryland." The Cal Ripken, Sr. foundation seeks to help distressed communities with programs built around baseball and softball.