Lombardi Award honors Childress

HOUSTON (Rotary Lombardi Award) -- Ray Childress, a former All-American and All-Pro lineman who has successfully transitioned into an equally successful business career has been named as the honorary chairman of the 36th Rotary Lombardi Award. The 36th Rotary Lombardi Award, which benefits the American Cancer Society, will be held on Wednesday, December 7 at the Hilton Americas Hotel.

"We are thrilled that Ray has agreed to serve in this capacity for the 2005 event," said Butch Mach, General Chairman of the Rotary Lombardi Award Committee. "He has been a positive fixture in the community, from his days as a great player, his successful operation of his business, in addition to the charitable work that he and his wife continue to support."

"I am honored to be a part of this great event, " Childress said. "Having played with, and against, players who were winners and finalists of this award, I can appreciate the level of talent it takes to come to Houston. I look forward to a great event this year."

A two-time All American at Texas A&M, Childress was a semifinalist for the 1984 Rotary Lombardi Award and was selected in the first round (third pick overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.  He went on to play 154 games at both defensive end and defensive tackle and was selected to five Pro Bowls. During his career, he played with a pair of Rotary Lombardi Award winners (Dean Steinkuhler and Tony Casillas) and a pair of finalists (Doug Dawson and Russell Maryland).

During his career, Childress became the television spokesman for Lawrence Marshall Chevrolet, and after his retirement from the NFL, he eventually purchased the dealership, one of several he manages as part of the Ray Childress Auto Group.  He is also a Limited Partner of the Houston Texans.

Founded in 1970 shortly after legendary coach Vince Lombardi passed away from cancer, the Rotary Lombardi Award honors the top lineman or linebacker in college football each year.  Selections are made by the nearly 500 members of the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee, which is comprised of all Division 1 head football coaches, all past finalists of the award, and a selection of national broadcasters and writers.

The 36th Rotary Lombardi Award Dinner will be held on December 7 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston.  In its first 35 years, the Rotary Lombardi Award Dinner has generated donations in excess of $3.1 million to the American Cancer Society.

The Rotary Club of Houston, in operation since 1912, is an association of more than 350 successful business professionals, all prominent in their individual fields of endeavor, who volunteer their efforts through the work of some two dozen club committees.  Assistance is provided to such diverse groups as troubled youngsters, former prison inmates, business oriented high school students, families of cancer patients, deserving college scholarship candidates and, through the Rotary Lombardi Award,  the nation's cancer research efforts. The club's most recent community project is the East End Healthy Children's Collaborative which provides much needed access to primary health care for residents on Houston's East side.

Tickets and tables are currently on sale for the 2005 event. Interested individuals should call the Rotary club of Houston Office (713) 973-9936 for more information.

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