FVSU Legends Gala: A night of recognition and community support

August 1, 2012 – On the night of August 18, 2012 at 6 p.m., the Fort Valley State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will host one of its most important and historic events. For the first time in the university’s history, former FVSU football players who played in the National Football League will be honored at the “FVSU NFL Legends of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” gala.

Headlined by NFL hall-of-famer Larry Rayfield Wright, who will also serve as the banquet’s keynote speaker, the gala features FVSU coaching legends Leon “Stan” Lomax, Douglas Porter and Alphonso Varner. Additionally, 14 FVSU legends who played in the professional ranks—First-Round NFL Draftee Tyrone Poole; Greg Lloyd Sr. of the Pittsburgh Steelers; and Nicolas Harper of the Indianapolis Colts—will be featured.

The evening will also include the recognition of former Wildcats who are currently in the NFL and Wildcat players who participated in the two most recent NFL free-agent signee periods.

The historic black-tie-optional event is a primary fundraiser for FVSU Athletics. Since athletics is not subsidized through state funding, a successful gala is essential to the continued financial stability of the program. “I cannot stress the importance of this event for the department, said Willie Williams, student affairs vice president and interim athletics director. “We have a really difficult fundraising challenge ahead of us in order for FVSU Athletics to continue its winning tradition and bringing notoriety to the entire middle Georgia area. That’s why it’s so vital for all who care about FVSU and understand the impact this university has on the community to support this banquet.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” said Perry Swanson, Peach County Chamber of Commerce president and master of ceremonies for the gala. “FVSU is a critical part of the life-blood of this community with an annual economic impact of over $150 million. As individuals and businesses, we must be willing to do all we can to ensure this valued community partner remains as viable as possible. Attending the gala is perfect way to show support for the Fort Valley State University’s athletics program.”

At the conclusion of the banquet, guests will have an opportunity to bid on donated items from honorees and football fanatics.

The gala will be held in the HPE Complex on the FVSU campus. Tax-deductible tickets are $100 per person, and can be purchased through the FVSU Foundation Office (100 East Main Street, Suite 213, Evans Building, Fort Valley, Ga. 31030). To purchase tickets by phone, call the Foundation Office at (478) 825-6474. All proceeds benefit the FVSUathletics department.

Comfort Suites in Byron, Ga. is the host hotel for the weekend of Aug. 17-18. Guests can make reservations using FVSU’s rate by calling 1-800-4CHOICE or (478) 956-1222.