The 25th annual Detroit Lions Courage House Dinner will feature sexual assault survivor and victims advocate Keri Potts, and Ricky Sandoval Award winner Sean English on Monday, October 29, 2018 at Ford Field. The dinner annually benefits HAVEN, Oakland County’s center for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence and sexual assault. The dinner has raised more than $2.5 million for HAVEN over the last 24 years.
The event will be highlighted by the presentation of the Ed Block Courage Award which annually goes to a Lions player who exemplifies sportsmanship and has overcome injury and/or adversity to excel on the field. This year’s recipient will be announced at a later time.
The Ricky Sandoval Award will also be presented. This award recognizes individuals who have made contributions both in sports and in the community and is named in honor of the late Lions’ director of security who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in July 2009. This year’s recipient is Sean English, a heroic local teen and track athlete that lost his leg while being a Good Samaritan attempting to help teenagers in a rollover car accident on I-96 in 2017. An oncoming car struck Sean and Dr. Cynthia Ray, a Henry Ford cancer specialist also trying to help, who died days later of injuries from the crash. Through perseverance Sean was able to run again for his alma mater University of Detroit Jesuit High School in May 2018. He heads to Purdue University as an incoming freshman this fall.
This year’s Courage House Dinner keynote speaker, Keri Potts, is a 20-year public relations professional, currently serving as the Senior Director of Communications at ESPN for college sports. She graduated from Syracuse University with her B.S. and M.S. and co-captained the school’s Division I volleyball team. Beyond sports, Potts is known for her work as a victims advocate, a national anti-sexual violence speaker and presenter for A Fight Back Woman, Inc., having chronicled her own assault and international prosecution of her attacker in 2008 for Marie Claire, the Travel Channel and Discovery ID. She is the Vice President of Pathways to Safety International, the only U.S. organization to provide confidential and comprehensive crisis services to Americans sexually assaulted or abused abroad and has served as a victims advocate for the Milford Rape Crisis Center (Milford, Conn.), Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and now volunteers with the Gwinnett Rape Crisis and Children’s Advocacy Center in Georgia. In addition, she serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Council of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Tip Off/Naismith Board of Directors.
To purchase tickets or inquire about sponsoring the Lions’ Courage House Dinner please contact Sheela Manyam at 248.799.6668.
HAVEN is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader, in its 43rd year of service to the community, promoting a world of safe, equal and accountable communities where sexual assault and domestic violence do not exist. As Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, HAVEN provides a 24/7 crisis line, emergency shelter, medical forensic exams, counseling, court advocacy and educational programming to more than 30,000 people each year. For more information about HAVEN visit www.haven-oakland.org or call 248-334-1284. For help, call 877-922-1274.
ABOUT THE DETROIT LIONS
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit. The team located to Detroit in 1934 and is the National Football League's fifth oldest franchise. The Detroit Lions most recently made the NFL playoffs in 2016, when they finished with a 9-7 record. In addition to professional football, the Detroit Lions have a visible and active community relations role in the Detroit area. With a focus on health and wellness and community revitalization, the Lions have contributed $7.2 million through philanthropic efforts since 1991. For more information, please visit http://www.detroitlions.com.