Celebrities to Rally in Support of Pediatric Cancer Research at 11th Annual Dick Vitale Gala

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 excited to announce a growing list of sports and entertainment celebrities scheduled to attend the 11th Annual Dick Vitale Gala to be held on May 13, 2016, at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Florida.  Net proceeds of the event will support The V Foundation’s continued effort to find cures for pediatric cancer.  In its 10-year history, the Dick Vitale Gala has raised more than $15 million for pediatric cancer research.  With another expected sell out gala this year, The V Foundation is committed to increase its investment in pediatric cancer research.

“We must all unite to help children who are battling this dreaded disease,” said Vitale. “There is a great need for pediatric cancer research dollars and I am going to dedicate myself, until my last breath, to raise as much money as I can to help our children win this battle.”

Drawing hundreds of supporters to Sarasota, Vitale will honor former University of Wisconsin Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bo Ryan, ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts and Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer at this year’s event.  Notable NCAA Division I college basketball coaches scheduled to attend include Mike White (Florida), Frank Martin (South Carolina), Sean Miller (Arizona), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Steve Alford (UCLA), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Bob Huggins (West Virginia) and Bruce Pearl (Auburn).  Other notable sports figures scheduled to attend include Michigan Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh, two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin as well as numerous icons and current players from the National Football League and National Basketball Association.  Many ESPN personalities will also be in attendance including John Saunders, Chris Fowler, Seth Greenberg, Shannon Spake and Dan Shulman.  Retired ESPN President and Executive Chairman and member of The V Foundation’s Board of Directors, George Bodenheimer, will also be present.

“Once again, Dick and Lorraine Vitale and their extraordinary team are preparing us for success,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. “Their generous and tireless support of children with cancer is an inspiration to all. And the result is a large and targeted investment into research to end pediatric cancers.”

Though cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in American children, only 4 percent of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research.  Funds raised through the Dick Vitale Gala, as well as other partnerships and signature events, have allowed The V Foundation to award nearly $20 million in pediatric cancer research grants.  Grants are awarded to leading cancer research centers nationwide through a competitive process vetted by The V Foundation’s world-renowned Scientific Advisory Committee.

The 2016 gala fundraising is already off to a tremendous start, beginning with a $100,000 donation from Taylor Swift.  A raffle for a custom 2016 Mercedes-Benz E400A is already sold out, with 1,500 tickets purchased at a suggested $100 minimum.  The winner of the raffle will be announced at the event.  The 11th Annual Dick Vitale Gala will begin with a “Celebrity Meet & Greet Private Pre-Party” at 6:30 p.m. on May 13 and include live entertainment.  A limited amount of gala tickets are still available.

For more information about the 11th Annual Dick Vitale Gala or to purchase tickets, please visit /vitale.