published Friday, October 28th, 2011

NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson headlining DiStefano Fund dinner


What: Magic for Moms, featuring Magic Johnson.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

Where: The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St.

Admission: $75.

Phone: 760-2003.

The NBA player that ESPN rated "The Greatest Point Guard of All Time" will help the Helene DiStefano Fund mark its 10th anniversary Thursday night.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson will speak on overcoming obstacles during a dinner at The Chattanoogan. Johnson, retired point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, is a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player, played in 12 All-Star Games and played on the 1992 Olympics' gold-medal "Dream Team."

He retired from the game in 1991 after announcing he was HIV-positive but returned to the game twice more before retiring for the final time.

Since retirement, Johnson has used his celebrity status to advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex. The philanthropist founded the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 to develop programs that address health and social needs in urban, minority communities, according to the foundation's website.

The Helene DiStefano Fund, which Dr. Deborah DiStefano founded in memory of her late mother, assists mothers diagnosed with cancer whose medical expenses are causing them financial hardships.

"We provide assistance in the form of co-pays, mortgages, groceries, gas, electric or other utility bills," said Kathy Lee, event coordinator. "The funds are administered by Catholic Charities."

Lee said reservations to attend the dinner will be accepted until Wednesday or tickets sell out.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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