March 15, 2013. Louisville, KY. – Legendary quarterback and father of two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Archie Manning, will be the keynote speaker for the Kentucky Derby Festival’s 57th annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 19. Manning will address approximately 1,500 Derby Festival supporters and patrons in attendance for this community tradition, which begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel, site of the festive event since 1974.
Manning is a former NFL quarterback, playing for the New Orleans Saints from 1971 to 1982, then for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings. He was named All-American Quarterback when he attended the University of Mississippi and is the only Ole Miss player to have his number retired. Football runs in the Manning genes - he is the father of current Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, current New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning, and former Ole Miss receiver Cooper Manning. Manning and Peyton have written a book entitled Manning: A Father, His Sons and A Football Legacy. He and his boys also operate the Manning Passing Academy, a summer camp for high school quarterbacks and receivers. Manning currently serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional and national companies. For 25 years, he hosted four Archie Manning Cystic Fibrosis benefit golf tournaments in Louisiana and Mississippi and is active in a wide variety of charitable and civic causes.
“Even if you don’t follow football, you’ve heard the Manning name. They’re the first family of football and we’re excited to have Archie Manning help us kick-off the 58th Annual Kentucky Derby Festival.” said Mike Berry, KDF President and CEO.
First held in 1957, the second year of the Derby Festival, the They’re Off! Luncheon serves as the time-honored kick-off to each year’s Festival. Manning joins Dick Vitale, Terry Bradshaw, Bill Walton, Greg Gumbel, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Larry King, Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Cawood Ledford, Phil Simms and Howard Cosell in a long list of luminaries who have entertained They’re Off! Luncheon audiences for the past 57 years. This year’s luncheon will also feature the presentation of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the AT&T Silver Horseshoe Award for service to the community.
Tickets for the event cost $76 each or $608 for a table of eight and are available on a very limited basis. For tickets or more information, call (502) 584-FEST. Contributing sponsors for the event are AT&T and Business First, joined by newcomers James Graham Brown Cancer Center and Kentucky Proud..