Atlanta Community Leaders, Athlete-Philanthropists to be Honored at College Football Hall of Fame

Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation to Host First Annual Evening in the End Zone
ATLANTA – Sept. 4, 2018 – PRLog — Tickets are now available for the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation‘s fall fundraiser, Evening in the End Zone. The event will recognize the legacy of great athletes and coaches who have made a positive impact in the world and on the playing field.

All proceeds benefit the Lighthouse including eye screenings, eye exams, glasses, surgeries, and hearing aids for uninsured and under-served Georgians.

This year’s awards will be presented to three very deserving leaders. The Gary Stokan Hero of the Gridiron Award honors a current or former NCAA football player who has exemplified the spirit of teamwork and leadership both on the field and in the community. The award will be given to former college and professional football quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner, Danny Wuerffel.

“I think Danny Wuerffel is probably the best and most appropriate person we can honor with the inaugural Gary Stokan Hero of the Gridiron Award,” said Lighthouse Executive Director Dave Paule. “We named the award for Gary because of his lifelong effort to model sportsmanship beyond the field and in all walks of life, particularly civic leadership. Danny’s Desire Street Ministries originated in 1990 in the Desire neighborhood of New Orleans as an after-school and summer youth outreach program. After Hurricane Katrina, they orchestrated over 1200 volunteers to clean-up 150 neighborhood homes and buildings. Today, they continue to coach and care for leaders in challenged neighborhoods across multiple states.”

The George Crumbley Vision for the Future Award honors a community leader who has dedicated immense amounts of time and talents to building a sustainable future for a nonprofit. The 2018 honoree will be Ronald Canakaris. Mr. Canakaris currently serves as chairman and co-chief investment officer of Montag & Caldwell and is a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons and is a founder of the Ronald & Vicki Canakaris Family Foundation. The Foundation focuses on youth and their families by providing them with financial assistance. Organizations supported by the Foundation include the Mary Hall Freedom House and Warrick Dunn Charities.

Lastly, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Beacon of Hope Award honors a medical professional who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to vision or hearing care for the uninsured in his or her community. This year’s recipient is Dr. William Degenhart. Dr. Degenhart is a board-certified ophthalmologist and one of the founding partners of the Georgia Eye Institute in Savannah where he has been providing eye care since 1982. His volunteer efforts and support of those in need throughout Savannah and Southeast Georgia contuse to inspire and encourage many.

Evening in the End Zone will be emceed by 2001 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and legendary University of Georgia and NFL kicker Kevin Butler and held on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the College Football Hall of Fame. Guests will enjoy a tour, passed hors d’oeuvres on the playing field, a live auction, and appearances by multiple well-known athletes.

Corporate sponsorship information and individual tickets are available at For more information, please contact Lyndsey York, director of corporate and community relations at (770) 738-4670 or

About the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation:

The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation provides vision and hearing services through education, detection, prevention, and treatment. Through collaborative partnerships, we enable greater independence and increased quality of life for Georgians in financial need. We work with a statewide network to provide vision screenings, eye exams, eyeglasses, eye surgeries, and hearing aids to over 7,000 Georgia residents each year.

Atlanta Community Leaders, Athlete-Philanthropists to be Honored at College Football Hall of Fame