An African-American arts organization plans to honor Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick at a black-tie fundraising gala next month.
The Southeastern Virginia Arts Association will recognize Vick for bouncing back from his 23-month prison sentence for running a dogfighting operation. Vick, The Associated Press 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, has done volunteer work with the Humane Society of the United States since his release from federal prison.
"Michael Vick is making strides to becoming a better citizen, and we can appreciate that," the Norfolk-based arts group's artistic director, Herb Williams, said Saturday. "It's about looking at his history and coming together to see change is possible, and good things can come out of change."
The organization says in a news release that the $100-per-person gala on March 26 is intended to honor individuals who have significantly contributed to the positive image and progress of African-American culture in the Hampton Roads community. The release says Vick "has epitomized the meaning of `hero' not only by his unparalleled accomplishments on the gridiron, but more importantly, by his relentless resilience in overcoming the obstacles he has faced in his career."
Along with Vick, attorney Carl C. La Mondue will be honored.
Earlier this month, the mayor pro tem of Dallas caused a stir by giving Vick a "key to the city."
Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert distanced himself from the honor, saying it was presented without his approval.