It may be the biggest game of the year, but it’s also the biggest give of the year. And this year, “Big Game Big Give,” one of the most anticipated pre-Super Bowl charity events in the nation, will be held in Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the estate of philanthropists Jeff and Carrla Goldstein.
For the 10th year, the pre-Super Bowl charity event has a goal of raising $2 million for The Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit that creates and manages charitable foundations and projects for high net worth individuals, celebrities, athletes, business entrepreneurs and corporations. The exclusive star-studded gala has been voted the Number One Super Bowl Party by ESPN The Magazine, and, to date, has raised more than $10 million for worthwhile causes around the globe. This year, The Black Eyed Peas will perform and serve as celebrity guest hosts.
Atlanta is no stranger to celebrities and several of this year’s A-listers are locals. Special guest artist will be internationally acclaimed Atlanta native Michael Kalish, known for his one-of-a-kind pop art and metal sculptures. At the gala, Kalish will present this year’s Big Game Big Give honoree, Steve Gleason, with a sculpture in honor of Gleason’s award for extraordinary philanthropic achievement.
Gleason, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, is the leading advocate for ALS patients worldwide. He was recently selected by the U.S. Congress to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for his work as an ALS activist.
“It’s a tremendous honor to come (back) to my hometown for an event like this and present one of my personal heroes with a portrait to honor his incredible work and dedication to ALS advocacy,” Kalish says.
He will also donate a “Kalish experience” as part of the silent auction, which is an opportunity to work with him at his Los Angeles studio and receive a custom sculpture valued at $50,000.
Sister Adina, another Atlanta native and Kalish’s PR representative, takes personal pride in repping her brother. “Michael has an amazing story,” she says. After attending Woodward Academy and playing college baseball at Kennesaw State University, he was scouted by the pros before hurting his shoulder. He then pursued a career as an artist and has truly changed the world with his remarkable sculptures and public art installations.” Kalish’s next project will soon tour the country with a huge rotating sculpture “The Quest for Love.”
Other noted Atlanta celebrities slated to attend include Olympic champion Edwin Moses; entrepreneur and inventor Lonnie Johnson; actor Lamman Rucker; DJ Frank Ski; music producer Dallas Austin; Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; former Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli; Ludacris and more.
Long known for their commitment to charitable giving, the Goldsteins have opened up their Sandy Springs mansion and hope to raise more than the fund’s goal of $2 million. “We are thrilled to host this event with celebrities, sports legends, philanthropists and NFL players for more than 500 people in our home. The music will be fantastic, the food divine, and we will have a wonderful group of incredibly generous people coming out for Big Game Big Give,” says Carrla, adding that she invites anyone who is able to participate to “be part of this rare Atlanta opportunity for such wonderful causes.”
Those wonderful causes are what drive The Giving Back Fund’s founder and president Marc Pollick every day. Prior to entering the philanthropic world, Pollick had an extensive career in academic Holocaust studies, working with 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel as founding executive director of the Zachor Institute for Holocaust Studies. He also founded The Elie Wiesel Institute for Humanitarian Studies. Pollick has been recognized for his achievements as a recipient of the prestigious University of Chicago Alumni Award for Public Service. He has been featured and interviewed by a vast array of news, sports, entertainment and philanthropic media, including ESPN, HBO Sports, Forbes, and USA Today, and is a guest columnist on philanthropy for SportsBusiness Journal.
“Big Game Big Give is my personal Super Bowl,” Pollick says. “It’s an opportunity to show the world there is a tremendous amount of good out there – people using their fortune and fame for causes that matter, causes greater than themselves. The world needs this now more than ever. I am simply the conduit to bring these people together.”
Interested in being a part of this spectacular event? Tickets and select sponsorship opportunities are still available. For additional information or to purchase tickets, email BGBG@givingback.org or contact The Giving Back Fund at 310-649-5222.
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