Donor Spotlight

Mike Pereira

Pereira helps host Mike Golic auction off a Super Bowl trip during the Jimmy V Basketball Classic Dinner Auction.

I knew I had to get involved when I looked right into the eyes of my dear friend Joyce Aschenbrenner. It was time.

Joyce is a survivor. She is a battler. She is strong. Joyce exemplifies everything that we must be when we fight this dreaded disease. I too am i survivor which makes this cause very personal to me. While I have my friend Joyce, I have lost my friend Jack Gatto, an official for 36 years who was also one of our observers. I have lost my ex-wife, who to me was one of the finest people to walk on this earth. It is not fair and it strikes too many of us along with our friends and family.

This disease will affect one out of every two males and one out of every three females. Each of us has to do whatever we can to help find a cure.

People who are a lot smarter and a lot more creative than I came up with the idea of “blowing the whistle on cancer.” Officiating is like being a part of a family. Whether you officiate in the NFL, NBA or in Pop Warner football, we are all connected.

Mike and Gail Pereira with Rulolph Giuliani (left) at the 2005 Spirit of Jimmy V New York Gala.

I have never been more proud to represent a group of officials who have had 100 percent participation in donating to this worthy cause. I am also proud of the Arena League officials and others who have become involved.

While there are many foundations that raise money for cancer, it is The V Foundation that stands out. They are one of us. Jimmy was a coach, his dad was a former official and both of them are considered to be part of our family. Over the past six years, 83 cents out of every dollar has gone directly to cancer research. With more endowments, that number will rise. It is like officiating, always striving to be the best, always trying to maximize what you can give. Editor’s Note: since this article was written, The V Foundation has completed the first phase of their endowment program and now proudly assures all donors that 100% of their donation will go directly to cancer research and related programs.

I want to continue to look into my friend Joyce’s eyes. I want to do it now and I want to continue to do it in the future. I want her to continue to be a survivor and I want to continue to be a survivor. We have to find a way to curb this dreaded disease.

Editor’s Note:

Mike Pereira is the Vice President of Officiating for the National Football League. A native of Stockton, CA, and graduate of Santa Clara University, Pereira was a highly respected Division I NCAA official from 1982-96, logging nine years in the Big West Conference and five in the Western Athletic Conference. He served for two years as WAC Supervisor of Officials from 1997-1998. Pereira officiated in the NFL during the 1997 and 1998 seasons before being named Supervisor of Officials. He served in that position for three years and was then named NFL Director of Officiating, a position he held for five years before his promotion to NFL Vice President for Officiating in 2005. Mike and his wife Gail live in New York City.