Willie Davis honored

Paralysis Project of America recognizes HOF defensive end

Hall of Fame defensive end Willie Davis was recently honored by The Paralysis Project of America at its annual awards banquet. The organization honored a number of other sports celebrities, including Olympic gymnastics greats Bart Conner (USA) and Nadia Comaneci (Romania), Olympic swimming's Donna de Varona (USA), Olympic and professional volleyball's Karch Kiraly (USA) and horse racing's Alex Solis (Panama), in ceremonies held Saturday, Feb. 25, at The Omni Hotel in Los Angeles.

The festivities included a special tribute to former Utah Jazz great, all-time NBA assists leader and two-time Olympic gold medalist John Stockton, who was presented the annual John R. Wooden Lifetime Achievement Award by Coach John R. Wooden. The awards ceremony was hosted by television, film and stage actress, producer and author Florence Henderson.

Former Los Angeles Dodger pitching great Don Newcombe, a former Sports Legends Award winner and current co-chair of the Paralysis Project of America's Sports Council, was recognized for his dedicated service to the organization and awards dinner.

Davis was a standout defensive lineman for the Super Bowl I and II Champion Green Bay Packers, garnering five Pro Bowl selections en route to his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1981.

Honorees for the Sports Legends Awards are selected annually for their contributions to sports by the Paralysis Project of America's Business and Sports Councils. Headed by Don Newcombe and Bob Seagren, the Sports Council includes former Sports Legends Award winners Pepper Davis, Roy Firestone, Jim Hill, Ann Meyers-Drysdale, Rafer Johnson, Jim Knaub, Jack Kramer, Joe Morgan, Bill Sharman, Mark Spitz, Gary Stevens, Al Unser, Rogie Vachon, Jamaal Wilkes and John R. Wooden.

The event tipped off with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and the awards presentation. A traditional highlight of the festivities included the acclaimed multimedia program with archival film footage of each honoree, produced by John Leverence, Emmy Awards producer and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Vice President.

Net proceeds benefit The Paralysis Project of America, founded by the parents of young people paralyzed by spinal cord injury, along with others dedicated to finding the ultimate cure for paralysis. Further information on The Paralysis Project of America can be obtained at www.paralysisproject.org or by calling (323) 663-6554.

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