Sarasota was the sports capital of the world on May 12th. It was a special night as as we raised over $3.1 million for pediatric cancer research at the Dickie V. gala.
Over 870 people were in attendance at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota as the Jimmy V Foundation was the beneficiary of major generosity.
We honored Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins, and ESPN’s Chris Berman, who was unable to attend following he tragic passing of his wife, Kathy.
The sports world was well represented. Everywhere you turned, there was another celebrity and I cannot thank them enough for their support.
College football had Kelly, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. There were many former Notre Dame players in attendance, including Ron Pawlus, Autry Denson, Willie Clark and Marc Edwards to name a few.
College basketball’s coaching fratenity came out big time. Besides Huggins, there was South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastne, Memphis coach Tubby Smith, Miami’s Jim Larranaga, Floride State’s Leonard Hamilton, Florida’s Mike White and former Indiana coach Tom Crean.
The NBA had former Cavaliers star Austin Carr and former coaches Mike Fratello and Richie Adubato.
The real stars of the night were the young boys and girls that have fought hard against the dreaded disease. I introduced my All-Courageous team. These youngsters have proven that the dollars work to help.
We also gave special grants in the name of my buddy, former ESPN announcer John Saunders. His daughters Jenna and Aliyah came on-stage and accepted the grants.
In the 12 years of the Dickie V. gala, we have now raised over $21 million. My friends, it is not enough. We have to keep fighting to beat the disease that affects so many lives.I will work hard until my last breath on earth, begging and pleading for support. Only four cents of every dollar for cancer research goes to pediatrics and there is something very wrong with that.
Kids should be able to go play outside instead of suffering through tough times.
We will keep going. Next year, we will honor Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, ESPN’s Mike Grenberg and Florida State’s Hamilton.