Olympian Phelps to Headline Luncheon Benefiting Barbara Sinatra - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Olympian Phelps to Headline Luncheon Benefiting Barbara Sinatra Children's Center

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Olympian Michael Phelps will headline the annual Champion Honors Luncheon to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center.

Phelps, who recently became a first-time father, said he is ``extremely honored to have been invited to the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children Annual Champion Honors Luncheon, and to support Barbara'' as the 2017 Champion Honoree.

``I applaud the efforts of Barbara and Frank (Sinatra) in establishing a facility and program 30 years ago for children who have suffered abuse,'' he said in a statement.

Event chair Helene Galen, a center trustee, said Phelps ``has a history of giving back to children as evidenced by his efforts with the Michael Phelps Foundation, and that fits well with what the Barbara Sinatra Center does making a difference in the lives of the children it serves.''

Phelps, who holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23), Olympic gold medals in individual events (13) and Olympic medals in individual events (16), started his founation after the 2008 Summer games. It focuses on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Luncheon organizers said Phelps ``will conduct a rare and unforgettable intimate conversation with a surprise celebrity conversationalist'' as a part of the March 3 program at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa in Indian Wells.

John Thoresen, CEO of the Children's Center, said he expects luncheon tickets to go quickly.

``While we have a history of attracting world-class athletes and sports executives to our luncheon, this will be our first Olympian, and America's most decorated athlete,'' he said. ``We are very excited to have Michael serve as our headliner, especially following an Olympic summer and a full schedule.''

Phelps, who temporarily retired following the 2012 Olympics, won five gold medals and one silver at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, his fifth Olympics.

Founded in 1986, the mission of the Barbara Sinatra Center -- located on the campus of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage -- is to counsel children suffering the effects of abuse, and to focus on prevention, community education and breaking the cycle of generational abuse.

No child is ever turned away due to a family's ability to pay, according to center officials, who said more than 22,000 children have been served in the past three decades.

For luncheon ticket information, contact the Children's Center at (760) 773-1636.

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