Celebrity Fight Night in Italy donates $750K to Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center

Barrow Neurological Foundation  has secured a $750,000 gift from “Celebrity Fight Night in Italy” to support the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, which treats patients afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Celebrity Fight Night in Italy is produced by Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker.

Proceeds from the first star-studded Celebrity Fight Night, presented in Phoenix 22 years ago, helped establish the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in 1997.

Since then, contributions from the foundation have allowed the facility to expand and evolve into one of the largest, most comprehensive programs of its kind in the United States.

The center is housed within Barrow Neurological Institute, a leader in neurology, neurosurgery and neuroscience research.

Parkinson’s is a progressive, chronic neurological condition that affects a person’s movement, gait and balance. Approximately 1 million people in the United States have the disease, and nearly 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Currently, there is no known cure.

This is the second gift made by Celebrity Fight Night in Italy to Barrow since the event premiered in 2014. The celebratory fundraiser was hosted by internationally renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli, who has also headlined the Phoenix event in past years.

Mr. Bocelli visited and toured the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center for the first time in December. He delighted hospital staff and special guests with a surprise performance during a welcome reception, organized by Barrow Neurological Foundation to express gratitude for his many years of support.

The 22nd annual Celebrity Fight Night returns to Phoenix, April 9, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

The event will once again be hosted by Grammy Award-winning superstar of country music, Reba McEntire. David Foster will be returning for his 17th consecutive year as the evening’s musical director. The entertainment lineup also features seven-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood, Brooks and Dunn, The Tenors, Sinbad and more.

Money raised by the upcoming Celebrity Fight Night in Phoenix and the Italy event continues to support expansion of outreach programs, research and treatment offered at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

Muhammad Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 20 years ago, and Lonnie, his wife, have a keen interest in the expansion of the center’s community resources.

Outreach programming encourages patients to remain physically and socially active, while participating in classes for art, singing, dancing, yoga, Tai Chi and other forms of exercise.

In addition, support groups and workshops are organized for patients and their loved ones to share experiences with others and gain a better understanding of the physiological and emotional impact of Parkinson’s.

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