Ninth Annual Dick Vitale Gala Attracts Sports Celebrities in the Fight Against Cancer
Proceeds to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research and Related Programs through The V Foundation
The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research funding organizations, and ESPN Hall of Fame Sportscaster Dick Vitale are pleased to announce the many sports celebrities scheduled to attend the Ninth Annual Dick Vitale Gala on May 16 in Sarasota, Florida. Net proceeds from the event will benefit pediatric cancer research through The V Foundation. University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban, University of Notre Dame head men’s basketball coach Mike Brey and Indiana University head men’s basketball coach Tom Crean will be honored at the event.
“I know Jimmy V would be thrilled that these personalities from the world of sports are donating their time and effort to be with us,” said Vitale. “We are blessed that they are willing to help make Jimmy V’s dream of battling cancer a reality by utilizing their celebrity status to raise funds for cancer research.”
Prominent coaches from the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament scheduled to attend include championship runner-up coach John Calipari (Kentucky), as well as Elite Eight coaches and brothers Sean Miller (Arizona) and Archie Miller (Dayton). More notable college basketball coaches scheduled to attend include Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Jim Larrañaga (Miami), Steve Alford (UCLA), Herb Sendek (Arizona State), Joe Dooley (Florida Gulf Coast), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech), Anthony Grant (Alabama), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) and Mark Gottfried (NC State). Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery, whose 14-year-old son had a malignant thyroid removed during the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, will also be in attendance. Hall of Fame high school basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr. and his son, Bob Hurley Jr., former Duke All-American and current Head Coach at the University of Buffalo, will be attending. Other renowned celebrities include Florida State’s 2014 BCS National Championship winning head coach Jimbo Fisher, a few members of the Nebraska’s football coaching staff including head coach Bo Pelini, tennis legend Nick Bollettieri, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, Florida State’s former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, daredevil and King of the High Wire Nik Wallenda and member of NC State’s 1983 NCAA Championship team Dereck Whittenburg. Popular national sports personalities confirming attendance include ESPN’s Dan Shulman and John Saunders.
The Ninth Annual Dick Vitale Gala will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014, at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. The evening will begin with a “Celebrity Meet & Greet Private Pre-Party” and include after-party entertainment featuring the Four Tops, an American vocal quartet.
Last year, the Dick Vitale Gala raised more than $1.7 million for pediatric cancer research, bringing the event’s total to more than $10 million in its eight-year history. Net proceeds and direct donations from this year’s Gala will be used to fund cancer research focused on children. Grants are made to leading pediatric cancer research centers around the country, selected under the guidance of The V Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee. This year’s grants will include $250,000 awarded in memory of Lacey Holsworth and $250,000 awarded in memory of Eddie Livingston. Both children deeply touched the community with their courage and strength. Both awards will remain open for funding until the end of the year so supporters can continue to donate in loving memory of these two brave children.
“The V Foundation is incredible grateful to Dick and Lorraine Vitale and the wonderful supporters of the Gala,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. “Through their year-long efforts, we are able to fund extraordinary research on childhood cancer and do all we can to beat the disease that takes too many of our beloved children.”
A raffle drawing for a 2013 Mercedes-Benz CLA V-edition will occur during the Gala. Tickets for the raffle are offered at a suggested $100 minimum donation. The car includes many special features including custom seating with a light gray base seat, red stitching and gray suede inserts, customized stitched headrests, custom colored wheels, an aluminum badge engraved with Dick Vitale’s signature and more. Raffle winners do not need to be in attendance at the Gala for the drawing.
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