March 14, 2019. Louisville, KY. – ESPN’s Hannah Storm, current anchor for SportsCenter, will be the featured speaker at the 63rd Annual They’re Off! Luncheon on Friday, April 12. The luncheon, first held in 1957, serves as the time-honored kick-off to each year’s Festival. It’s the second-oldest event on the Festival schedule.
An award-winning journalist, producer, and director, Hannah Storm, is a pioneer in broadcasting, a published author, an advocate for children suffering from debilitating vascular birthmarks, and, most importantly, a mother. In 2018, Storm made broadcasting history when she became the play-by-play voice of Amazon Prime Video’s, Thursday Night Football 2018 season. Storm is part of the first female duo ever to broadcast a professional sports series in the US, and the first-ever female team to provide commentary on NFL Games.
Storm joined ESPN in 2008, where she is currently a host of SportsCenter, the network’s flagship program. Storm has hosted major events including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Super Bowl, the ESPY Awards, the NBA Finals, Muhammad Ali’s funeral and the Rio Olympics. In addition, Storm has served as host/executive producer of ESPN’s primetime interview specials, Face To Face with Hannah Storm, hosted The Sports Reporters and contributed to E:60 and Outside the Lines. She is also an original member of the Board of Advisors for espnW.
Storm founded the Hannah Storm Foundation in 2008, which funds surgeries for children suffering from debilitating vascular birthmarks. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1983, where she received degrees in communications and political science. She has an honorary doctorate in Public Service from the University of Portland. She currently resides in Connecticut with her husband, Dan Hicks, and is the mother of three daughters.
The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. on April 12, in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East Hotel – site of the festive event since 1974. This year’s event will also feature the presentation of the Kentucky Blood Center Volunteer of the Year Award and the Fifth Third Bank Silver Horseshoe Award for service to the community. Tickets are $85 each or $680 for a table of eight. To purchase tickets or to get additional information, please call (502) 584-FEST or visit KDF.org.
Storm joins Mike Tirico, Seth Davis, Jay Bilas, Kenny Mayne, Dick Vitale, Terry Bradshaw, Erin Andrews, Bill Walton, Archie Manning, Greg Gumbel, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Larry King, Bob Costas, Robin Roberts, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, Phil Simms and Howard Cosell in a long list of luminaries who have entertained They’re Off! Luncheon audiences for the past 60 years.
Contributing sponsors for the event are Fifth Third Bank, The Galt House and Kentucky Blood Center. Official PR Partner: RunSwitch PR. Media Sponsor: Business First.
Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.