Party Line: Tigers football reception kicks off $10 million campaign

Longtime friends DeAngelo Williams (left) and Romeo Khazen attended the 2011 Memphis Tigers Football Reception.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Longtime friends DeAngelo Williams (left) and Romeo Khazen attended the 2011 Memphis Tigers Football Reception.

Former Memphis Tigers star DeAngelo Williams told the audience at the recent 2011 Memphis Tigers Football Reception, "I didn't just wear the Memphis logo when I got up, I lived it."

He's still living it. "I look like Memphis," he said at a VIP reception prior to the event last Tuesday at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. "I bleed blue and gray."

DeAngelo, the current Carolina Panthers running back, said the color scheme of his home in Charlotte, N.C., is blue and gray. "Curtains, boxers, pillows, cushions, seats -- whatever they make with the Memphis logo, I got it," he said.

"Mouse pad," added Romeo Khazen, DeAngelo's long-time buddy. DeAngelo also has a U of M mouse pad.

Romeo, regional director of player development at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Tunica, is godfather to DeAngelo's 10-month-old daughter, Rhiya.

"Even the baby clothes," Romeo said. "He's got a bunch of baby clothes that have University of Memphis on them.

"He lives it, man. He loves the university."

During his recent trip, DeAngelo spotted a U of M helmet-shaped pen holder, which, by now, probably is in his collection.

The reception was a kickoff to U of M's $10 million capital campaign for the football program. Former University of Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, a good friend of U of M athletic director R. C. Johnson, was the special guest speaker. The event, which drew about 1,200 people, also included members of the Tigers football team.

Party benefits new hospice facility

Guests got a sneak peak at the new Methodist Hospice Residence at a fundraising garden party Saturday night at 6416 Quince.

"This will be the only party," said Dr. Clay Jackson, medical director. The facility will be a "spiritual home" for the future residents.

Walter Wills donated the 6 acres for the $8 million facility, which will house 30 patients. All proceeds from the party will benefit hospice patients in need.

Food was catered by Culinary & Nutrition Solutions and music was by Gary Johns and his trio and pianist Lex Bonner.

Blowout promotes Memphis music scene

Will Tucker and his band performed for guests in Studio C and Malcolm Levi served smoked salmon in Studio B Thursday night at Ardent Studios.

The occasion was the Blowout, the annual fundraiser for Beale Street Caravan, a worldwide syndicated radio show that promotes Memphis music.

The show is "a fantastic promotion for Memphis all around the world and it's produced on a shoestring budget," said board president Cynthia Ham. "It helps preserve an indigenous art form."

Sid Selvidge, a Beale Street Caravan founder, is the show's executive producer.

Mac Edwards was the party's food coordinator.

-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797 donahue@commercialappeal.com

© 2011 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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