LMPD Officer Nick Wilt awarded Kentuckian of the Year at Muhammad Ali humanitarian awards

Gov. Beshear presents Kentuckian of the Year to Nick Wilt at Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards
Published: Nov. 4, 2023 at 9:08 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Muhammad Ali is known as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he’s also remembered for his humanitarian efforts.

So Saturday night, the Muhammad Ali Center wanted to honor those who exemplify those same characteristics with their 10th Annual Humanitarian Awards.

The Muhammad Ali Center is considered to be the physical embodiment of what the greatest stood for and the fighting he did with his heart and not just his fists.

A dedication that inspired all of those honored Saturday to continue their respective fight for the greater good of humanity.

“It’s the Muhammad Ali Award, it is the Muhammad Ali Award! There are awards, and then there’s the Muhammad Ali Award,” LEARN Afghanistan Founder and Six Core Principles - Conviction Award winner Pashtana Durrani said.

Muhammad Ali is a man with a name that still resonates around the world. To receive an award in that name means more than people like Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Music industry exec. and Lava for Good Co-Founder Jason Flom, can explain.

“I’m rarely at a loss for words,” Flom said. “But being in this hallowed institution, it’s just different man and it’s humbling.”

The Humanitarians of the Year recipients were former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and Actress Holly Robinson Peete, and for them it’s a full circle moment for the work they do for the families impacted by Parkinson’s with their HollyRod Foundation.

A disease that Muhammad Ali suffered from and actively brought attention to.

“For someone like me who has a father and a brother who struggled with Parkinson’s disease, the way he put it out there and applied everything else that he had before to his life, to this disease and wouldn’t let it beat him,” Robinson Peete said. “It’s amazing.”

And even in the midst of being honored, folks like KIND LLC CEO and Civility and Compassion Award Recipient Daniel Lubetzky still found a way to make a statement about the change they want to see in the world.

Lubertzky founded the OneVoice Movement, an organization that seeks to amplify moderate Palestinian and Israeli voices to resolve conflict.

“Lonnie Ali and Muhammad Ali represent transcending that and uniting everybody and recognizing that it’s not Israeli’s vs Palestinians or Muslims vs Jews, or left vs right,” Lubetzky said. “It’s all moderates breaking the shackles of extremism and joining together for a resolution to the conflict for humanizing one another.”

The event kicked off with the presentation of the Kentuckian of the Year award to one of Louisville’s local heroes.

Governor Beshear presented the award to Officer Nick Wilt, whose family accepted it in his stead while he is still recovering from being shot in the head while responding to the Old National Bank mass shooting on April 10.

”We lost some really amazing people and some amazing friends,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “Others are still here with us because of LMPD Officer Nick Wilt.”

An honor that exemplifies what the city and Muhammad Ali are all about, courage.

“We thank you, all of you for uplifting us in our darkest hours,” Nick Wilt’s brother Zach Wilt said. “You guys were our beacon, reminding us that even through adversity, we’re never alone, thank you very much.”

For more information about the awards and the remaining winners, click or tap here.