Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who ended his illustrious career this year with his second Super Bowl ring, will be the guest speaker at “Race for Grace,” the annual Derby-time fundraising dinner for the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy.
The event is set for April 29 at 6 p.m., and will be held in Millionaire’s Row at Churchill Downs. Lewis, a certain first-ballot Hall of Famer, announced his retirement from football prior to the Ravens’ playoff run, in which they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and finally the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
Lewis was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003 by Associated Press and was a 13-time Pro Bowl selection during his 17-year playing career. He was named to the NFL's All-Pro first team seven times, and was named to the second team on three other occasions.
He was also known for overcoming high-profile difficulties off the football field, including being involved in fight in January 2000 that resulted in an indictment on murder and aggravated-assault charges. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testifying against two other defendants, later attributing his involvement to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Lewis will be sharing testimony at the dinner about his redemption through his Christian faith. He is the founder of "Ray Lewis 52 Foundation"—a non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to disadvantaged youths—and his commitment to his faith has been featured in two cover stories in "Sports Illustrated" magazine.
Also appearing at the dinner will be Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who won the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Lil E. Tee, as well as other horseracing notables. Jackie Hays, who is well-known for her career as news anchor on WAVE TV, will be the event’s emcee.
The evening will also include musical entertainment and a live and silent auction of unusual horseracing memorabilia, sports tickets, and other items of interest. Dress is business casual.
Tickets are $200 per person, and tables for eight are $2,000.
For more information, go to www.kychaplaincy.org.