Desoto County Sports

Lawler to receive AutoZone Liberty Bowl Distinguished Citizen Award

Jerry Lawler, an icon of Memphis sports and entertainment for more than 50 years, will be the guest of honor and will receive the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s most prestigious recognition, the Distinguished Citizen Award, on June 4.

Lawler, one of the most renowned national personalities in professional wrestling, will receive the award on Sunday, June 4 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel.  A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the award presentation at 6:30 p.m.  A live auction and silent auction will also be held during the evening, with 100 percent of all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The 28th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic will be held the following day, Monday, June 5 at TPC Southwind.

“Jerry joins a decades-long list of renowned Americans who have distinguished themselves and reached the pinnacle of their chosen field,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.  “We are proud to include ‘The King’ among the nationally-known luminaries who have been honored by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl over our 65-year history.”

As the seventh-oldest college football bowl game in America, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded on the principles of freedom, patriotism and liberty. One of the Bowl’s time-honored traditions is the annual presentation of the Distinguished Citizen Award. The award has been presented to a cross section of prominent Americans from a wide range of professions, including military commanders, governors and congressmen, as well as leaders in business, medicine, education, entertainment and sports. 

Previous honorees include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas; U.S. Army General Kenneth Tovo; Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Peter Doherty; FedEx founder Fred Smith; AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde; U.S. Navy Admiral William Lawrence; Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson and actress/business entrepreneur Priscilla Presley. 

Legends from the sports world such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Lee Corso, Darrell Waltrip, Dick Vitale, Archie Manning, Tim McCarver, Peyton Manning and last year’s recipient, Steve Spurrier, have also received the award

All proceeds from the dinner and auction will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Individual seats for the dinner may be purchased for $150 or a table of ten (10) seats may be purchased for $1,500. To reserve a table or individual seat, call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700.

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