LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – On what would have been Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday, service was the theme of the day. His widow Lonnie Ali spent the day in his hometown and made a visit to the St. Stephen Church Family Life Center.
"First of all just think about it, two outstanding global citizens, Muhammad Ali today, yesterday was Martin Luther King Junior and they both taught us the importance of selfless living and serving others, and we are honored to have the woman who was the wind beneath his wings to be here at St. Stephen's Family Life Center, continuing the great work of her husband Muhammad Ali through acts of love and service. So we are just honored to have her here," Reverend Kevin Cosby, St. Stephen Church said.
To mark the day at the Muhammad Ali Center, staff were building bicycles for foster children to honor the man whose boxing career started with a stolen bike.
"The Ali Center staff and team in honor of Muhammad's 75th birthday, or what would have been his 75th birthday, we are doing a service project. We are going to donate 75 hours of service building bikes for foster care kids," said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center.
The Muhammad Ali Center also celebrated the major donation of 21 pieces of artwork from the LeRoy Neiman foundation, including two works by Neiman and 15 original drawings by the Champ himself.
"These pieces are I think going to be a treasure to the center," Lassere said.
Ali and Neiman would collaborate often.
"They would collaborate sitting in a dressing room, and a locker room. It was, and we have 19 of these, or 15 actual that we have, and then once they do come here and they are display you can really see the skill of Ali's artwork," said Steven Bond, LeRoy Neiman Foundation in New York, New York.
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