Ali Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.

MEDIA ADVISORY: New This Year at Ferdinand’s Ball Gala: Mingle with Celebrity Guests During Special VIP Dinner

Tickets are going fast for the April 30 gala, where NCAA and NBA standouts, actors, musicians, and royalty of horse racing will ‘party with the people’ to kick off Derby weekend


LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (April 20, 2015) — ***MEDIA CREDENTIALING: Media passes will be required in all areas of the event. If you have not done so already, contact Amy Higgs to request passes no later than April 29, including names of individuals when possible. Passes will be available at the media table in Ali Center lobby in the main registration area beginning at 6 p.m. the night of the event. Select media will be allowed to cover the VIP dinner portion of the event, but dinner tickets will NOT be provided. However, we will provide a media room with seating, wi-fi, sandwiches and water.

WHAT: Sixth annual Ferdinand’s Ball celebrity Derby gala, in partnership with the Muhammad Ali Center

WHERE: Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St.

WHEN: Thursday, April 30

  • 6:30-7 p.m. red carpet photo ops; 7-9 p.m. VIP dinner **NEW THIS YEAR**
  • 9 p.m.-1 a.m. “Party for the People” after party

CELEBRITY GUESTS: Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne; “Project Runway” Season 10 designer Gunnar Deatherage; University of Kentucky men’s basketball phenomenon KarlAnthony Towns, who is expected to be a top pick in the NBA draft; UK standouts Andrew and Aaron Harrison; University of Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear; nationally known Thoroughbred jockey, actor (“Seabiscuit”) and sports analyst Gary Stevens; past Ferdinand Award recipient and winning jockey Rosie Napravnik; star of Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat & Heels” Chantelle Fraser; explorer, athlete, author and president of Spalding University Tori Murden McClure; 2015 Miss Kentucky USA Katie George; 2014 Miss Kentucky-America Ramsey Carpenter; Triple Crown winning jockey Jean Cruguet; and former UK and NBA basketball stars Jack “Goose” Givens and Winston Bennett.

WHY: The majority of proceeds benefit Old Friends Equine Retirement Facility, a nonprofit Georgetown, Ky., facility that rescues retired racehorses from neglect, abuse and slaughter. Ferdinand’s Ball was founded by sisters and community volunteers Kim Boyle and Aimee Boyle Wulfeck in honor of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner sent to slaughter in Japan after winning millions in racing. For the first time this year, a portion of funds raised will also go to the Ali Center, a multicultural center with an award-winning museum experience that is dedicated to the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, and is proud to be involved in an event that showcases sporting “greats” and highlights a compassionate cause.

FOOD AND DRINK: Open bar provided by Red Stripe, Guinness Blonde American Lager, Chateau La Paws wine, Ketel One vodka and Bulleit Bourbon. Gourmet dinner catered by Masterson’s. Desserts by Spotz Gelato.

AMENITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT: Silent auction, as well as live music during the VIP dinner by Louisville-based, all-female folk trio Southern Sirens; main event entertainment/dancing by DJ Q. Magnolia Photo Booth Co. will have a booth on site. Magician Richard E. Darshwood, who has performed for Jerry Bruckheimer, Miranda Lambert, Martin Scorsese and many others, will also showcase his amazing talents.

2015 SPONSORS: NFocus magazine, Pure Romance, Xpressbet and The Event Co., which will infuse the Ali Center with the Derby spirit with “stable chic” décor.

TICKETS: A limited number of tickets will be sold for the exclusive VIP dinner hour with full access to the After Party at a cost of $500. Individual tickets for the “Party for the People” are only $150. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

FOR MORE: Visit, or



Amy Higgs
Media Consultant

Jeanie Kahnke
Muhammad Ali Center


The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit