On Thursday, October 15th, Lennox Lewis celebrated his 50th birthday in a big way. Not only did he celebrate 50 years of life and an impressive 41-2 professional fight record, but he decided to dedicate the big night to raising funds for his League of Champions Foundation.
The exclusive party was hosted by Haute Living, Perrier-Jouët, and Audemars Piguet, and was held at Bagatelle South Beach, on the corner of 21st and Collins. The new French Mediterranean restaurant hosted 80 of Lennox’s closest friends, family and supporters. Attendance for the event included a suggested donation to the league of $500 per person for VIP seating, or $1,000 for reserved seating at Lennox’s table. Upon arrival, guests were served glasses of champagne and delectable hors-d’oeuvre such as Rock Shrimp, Gazpacho, and Stuffed Mushrooms as they mingled in anticipation for the arrival of Lennox Lewis.
The undisputed heavyweight champion of the world made his grand appearance to the famous Rocky Balboa soundtrack “Gonna Fly Now,” which naturally hyped up the crowd. Followed by the entrance, waiters went around taking food orders for appetizers and entrées. On the menu, appetizer options included a Swank Farm Beet Salad, made with roasted baby beets, arugula, pecan and cervelle de canut; or a guest favorite, Tartare de Thon Bagetelle, made with yellowfin tuna tartar, avocado chutney and Lime Soy Viniagrette.
After the appetizers, the Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine, made a special appearance to congratulate Lewis and tell him some exciting news. Levine stepped in front of the room with a microphone in hand and presented Lewis with the key to the city, and declared October 15th “Lennox Lewis day” in Miami Beach.
Lennox Lewis’ wife, Violet Chang, followed the mayor’s speech by thanking the guest for their attendance and reminding guest why the foundation was such a key factor to impact the lives of under-served children in Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
“We strive to nurture young people to strengthen their innate physical and mental ability to develop a high level of academic prowess, discipline, self-esteem, and confidence through the World of Boxing. We want to create positive change by instilling the belief that success is achieved through sacrifice, discipline, motivation, dedication to hard work, and belief in oneself.”
Kamal Hotchandani also congratulated Lewis and presented him with a $50,000 check of money raised through the generous donations at the charity fundraiser dinner.
After the guest returned to their seats, the highly anticipated entrée was served. Dishes of Branzino a la Plancha, made with branzino filet, charred broccolini, crispy panisse, marcona almonds and arugula went out to the guest who preferred the fish while the meat-eaters received a dish of Grilled Filet Mignon with shishito peppers, cippolini onions smothered in bearnise sauce and a side of pommes frites.
After dinner, the waiters came out once again to the beats of Queen- “We are the Champions,” but this time they carried a big beautifully designed cake molded into two fiery red gloves.
As the celebration came to a close, each guest received a bag with special gifts from the proud sponsors of the event. The night of celebration was a great success for the foundation, and surely one that the boxing legend and his guest will never forget.