NEW YORK – On April 27, the International Athletic Association (IAA) and Moët Hennessy hosted the annual Jesse Owens International Athlete Trophy Gala, where sports legends were recognized for exemplifying the ideals embodied by Olympian and humanitarian Jesse Owens: integrity, perseverance and service. The prestigious celebration recognized tennis legend Serena Williams and posthumously honored Muhammad Ali for their athletic and philanthropic achievements.
NFL athlete and humanitarian Victor Cruz accepted the Jesse Owens Athlete Trophy on Ms. Williams’s behalf. The trophy is an annual award given to the world’s best athlete as voted by a group of sports writers and experts from all over the world. Iconic filmmaker Spike Lee had the honor of presenting Muhammad Ali’s family with the Jesse Owens Global Peace Award, in recognition of the boxing legend’s commitment to peace and justice outside the ring.
With more than 300 VIPs in attendance and thanks to sponsors such as Moët Hennessy and Delta, this year’s gala raised more money for the Jesse Owens Foundation than ever before. Proceeds raised from the gala benefit the Jesse Owens Foundation which provides future generations with resources to help develop their talents, broaden their horizons and help them become better citizens.
On April 26, 2017, the Jesse Owens Foundation hosted a VIP Cocktail Reception at the New York Athletic Club to jumpstart the celebration. Guests included members of Muhammad Ali’s family, Herb Douglas Jr., and Rodney Williams, CMO of Moët Hennessy.
For more information, visit hennessy.com/us/life/jesse-owens-gala-2017. About the International Athletic Association:
The International Athletic Association (IAA) is a non-profit organization established to promote and to encourage universal values of fairness, integrity, uncompromising sportsmanship and excellence in athletic competition. Committed to keeping alive the spirit, heart, and qualities of world renowned US Olympian, Jesse Owens, the IAA hosts the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award Gala to support youth and aspiring Olympic athletes.
The International Athletic Association (IAA) was co-founded by US Olympian Herbert Douglas Jr., to honor his friend and mentor, Jesse Owens.
About the Jesse Owens Foundation
The Jesse Owens Foundation is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote the development of youth to their fullest potential. Established in 1980 by friends and family after the untimely death of Jesse Owens, the foundation perpetuates the ideals and life’s work of this Olympic champion and humanitarian. The Jesse Owens Foundation seeks to perpetuate the spirit and beliefs of Jesse Owens through its support of The Ruth and Jesse Owens Scholars Program at The Ohio State University. This program provides services to graduating high school seniors with untapped potential to develop their talents, broaden their horizons, and to help them become better citizens. Currently, The Foundation serves as a resource for information and referral on the life and legacy of Jesse Owens and provides its services on a competitive basis without regard for race, creed, color, national origin, or sex.