UGA legends, Atlanta eye doctor to be honored at fundraiser

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Vince Dooley
Vince Dooley
ATLANTA - June 24, 2019 - PRLog -- The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation ("The Lighthouse") announced today that Vince Dooley, former University of Georgia head football coach, and Herschel Walker, former UGA running back and NFL veteran, will be honored for leadership and philanthropic initiatives within their communities at Evening in the End Zone, The Lighthouse's fall fundraiser.  Also being recognized is Dr. Jacquelyn Jetton O'Banion, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University.

Over 25 years, Coach Dooley led the Georgia Bulldogs, won 201 games, including six SEC championships and one national title. Upon retirement, he had the distinction of being the second-winningest coach in SEC history.  The Lighthouse will be recognizing Coach Dooley with the George Crumbley Vision for the Future Award, which is given to a business or civic leader for outstanding community service and impact.

"It's an honor to be presented this award," Coach Dooley said.  "I had the privilege of knowing George Crumbley personally.  There would be no Peach Bowl were it not for George's dedication to Atlanta."

Named for the founder of the Peach Bowl, the George Crumbley Vision for the Future Award honors a community leader who has dedicated immense amounts of time and talents to building a sustainable future for a nonprofit or community initiative. In 2018 The Lighthouse honored Ronald Canakaris.  Canakaris currently serves as chairman and co-chief investment officer of Montag & Caldwell and is a limited partner of the Atlanta Falcons and is a founder of the Ronald & Vicki Canakaris Family Foundation.

A gifted athlete, Herschel Walker is a Heisman Trophy winner (1982) who later spent 11 years in professional football, including stints with the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants. He retired in 1997.

Mr. Walker will be honored with the Gary Stokan Hero of the Gridiron Award.  Named for the CEO of the Peach Bowl, the award honors a current or former NCAA football player who has exemplified the spirit of teamwork and leadership both on the field and in the community.  In 2018, the award was given to former college and professional football quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner, Danny Wuerffel.

Evening in the End Zone will be emceed by 2001 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and legendary University of Georgia and NFL kicker Kevin Butler, who chairs the event. Guests will enjoy a tour, passed hors d'oeuvres on the playing field, a live auction and appearances by multiple well-known athletes.

"Mr. Dooley and Mr. Walker aren't just national sports icons; they're revered members of the Georgia sports community," said Butler. "We're pleased to honor their invaluable contributions within that community and to others."

Also being honored with The Lighthouse's Beacon of Hope award is Dr. Jacquelyn O'Banion, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University.  The Beacon of Hope award honors a medical professional who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to vision or hearing health care for the uninsured in his or her community.

"Dr. O'Banion has a passion for improving access to address health care disparity for underserved populations, both locally and abroad," said Dave Paule, Executive Director of The Lighthouse.  "She has participated several studies in underserved populations such as in Peru and Swaziland. Dr. O'Banion is also involved in working with local hospitals, clinics and ministries of health to establish national eye care plans.  I first met Dr. O'Banion through her efforts with Georgia Vision 20/20 to help bring eye care to communities in Georgia that do not otherwise have access."

Dr. O'Banion's primary practice is located at the Emory Eye Center and also at the Grady Eye Clinic. She also serves as the Assistant Director for the Eye Center's Global Ophthalmology-Emory program (GO-Emory).  She is a sought-after lecturer on both eye care and healthcare access.

Evening in the End Zone will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tickets will go on sale in late July and can be purchased by visiting

To learn more about The Lighthouse, please visit

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Tags:Nonprofit, Football, Fundraiser
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Location:Atlanta - Georgia - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jun 24, 2019

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