Morning Newsletter

Ali's 70th birthday to include fund-raiser

LOUISVILLE — Muhammad Ali is coming home to celebrate another milestone — his 70th birthday.

The former heavyweight boxing champion will bask in the limelight once again at a private birthday bash on Jan. 14 at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. Ali turns 70 on Jan. 17.

The party will double as a fund-raiser for the center — a cultural and education center that also features a museum focusing on Ali's long career as a boxer, social activist and humanitarian.

Ali Center spokeswoman Jeanie Kahnke said Saturday that Ali will be surrounded by old friends and people who made a difference in his life, including his longtime trainer Angelo Dundee. The party will feature a dinner, entertainment and speeches.

She described it as a "retrospective look and celebration" of Ali's life.

A few tickets remained available for the $1,000-per-person event, she said.

Kahnke said that Ali and his wife, Lonnie, are looking forward to returning for the celebration. The Alis have a residence in Louisville but have recently been staying at their home in Arizona, she said. Ali is battling Parkinson's disease.

A series of events — titled "Seven Days for Seven Decades" — will be offered from Jan. 15-21 at the center.

People visiting the center during that week will receive a discounted admission for bringing non-perishable food items for a food bank.

The center opened in 2005 and draws about 85,000 visitors a year.