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Dick Vitale Gala Reaches $10 Million Milestone in Eighth Year

Net Proceeds from the Event will be Awarded to Cancer Research  through The V Foundation

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a leading nonprofit funder of cancer research, is excited to announce that the Eighth Annual Dick Vitale Gala, which took place on Friday, May 17, raised more than $1.7 million for pediatric cancer research.  With the addition of this year’s total, the gala has raised over $10 million in its eight year history.

“When Nick Valvano called me initially to have a little party at my home to bring awareness of The V Foundation to the West Coast of Florida, I never in my wildest dreams thought we would reach $10.3 million,” said ESPN College Basketball Analyst Dick Vitale.  “My sincere thanks goes to all of my friends, business associates in the corporate community and certainly the sports celebrities that have inspired so many to make Jimmy’s dream of beating cancer live on.  My team, headed by Mary Kenealy Events and my wife, Lorraine, has dedicated itself to making our gala ‘Awesome baby with a capital A!’”

The fundraising total was reached through a combination of ticket sales, sponsorships and a raffle drawing for a Mars Red Mercedes E350A convertible.  This year’s raffle drawing winner was Doc Brede of Summerfield, Florida.  In addition to raising funds for pediatric cancer research, the Eighth Annual Dick Vitale Gala honored the University of Kansas head men’s basketball coach Bill Self, former Florida State University and Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden and former University of Connecticut and Hall of Fame college basketball coach Jim Calhoun. 

More than 800 people and 80 celebrities contributed to the evening’s success.  Notable NCAA men’s basketball coaches in attendance included Miami’s Jim Larranaga, Florida’s Billy Donovan, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, NC State’s Mark Gottfried and Villanova’s Jay Wright.   Other attending sports celebrities included Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, current NBA player and former University of Connecticut All-American Kemba Walker and ESPN College Basketball Analyst Seth Greenberg.  ESPN Sportscaster Dan Shulman emceed the event and The Temptations Review, featuring former lead singer of The Temptations Dennis Edwards, performed at the gala’s after party. 

“Dick Vitale is a major force in the fight against cancer,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. “He and his remarkable team have held yet another extraordinary event, bringing people together to help children with cancer by funding critical research.  The V Foundation is fortunate to have such a great partner in our quest to end cancer. “