You’re almost as likely to find Dickie V on the streets of his hometown as you would behind the microphone during hoops season! Learn about Dickie V’s latest activities—from a scholarship event with the Boys and Girls Club to a fundraiser in downtown Lakewood Ranch, there is never a dull moment when Dickie V’s around Sarasota!
It was that time of year again - time for our annual Christmas party at our home! For the past several years, my wife and I have opened our home to a handful of youngsters from the Sarasota Boys and Girls Club. They come for an afternoon of food, fun and presents! This year we had a surprise visit from Santa at the house. The kids had a blast ripping open their gifts and enjoying time with Santa. There is nothing better than being able to bring a smile to youngsters during the holiday. I have been so blessed in my life and I feel fortunate to be able to give a little something back.
I had the pleasure of speaking at the US Sports Congress meeting tonight at The Shore Restaurant in St. Armands Circle. This organization promotes amateur sports. The event was hosted by the Florida Sports Commission and its director, John Webb. The function was put on by The Florida Sports Commission as well as the Sarasota County Sports Commission. The purpose was to showcase why Sarasota would be a great place to have events such as swimming, tennis, volleyball, baseball etc. It was a great, enthusiastic group. I was happy to share my ideas on why Sarasota would serve as a terrific host city for various amateur events.
I was thrilled to be able to speak to the football team at Booker High School in Sarasota today. I love being able to talk to youngsters and to help inspire and motivate them. I talked to them about the Game of Life, and the importance of chasing dreams and making good decisions. I was fortunate and blessed to be able to provide the Booker football team with new uniforms and equipment this year. I can't thank head coach, Johnny Jones, and Athletic Director, Rod Dragash, for allowing me to come and spend time with these youngsters. I was also happy to be able to pass out some new copies of my new book, Getting a "W" in the Game of Life, to a select few of attentive members of the team.
It is always an exciting time for my wife and I to be with all the youngsters from the Boys and and Girls Clubs. Today was our Dick Vitale Scholarship Day and Awards event and it really thrills me to see youngsters chasing their dreams and their goals. I told them to never, ever believe in the word “CAN’T” and to always make good decision and choices in pursuing their goals. My wife and I presented a total of $5,000 in college scholarships— $1,000 each to five outstanding Club members bound for college. As long-time supporters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, we have donated a total of $75,000 for scholarships in the last 15 years. This year the recipients were:
Lee Wetherington Club:
Jordan Palavra is an 18-year-old member of the BGC Keystone Club and teen volunteer. Jordan attends The University of South Florida, St. Petersburg Campus. Jordan has been a member of the Club since 2006. He is pursuing a double major in Psychology and Accounting.
Josh Slater is an 18-year-old member of the BGC Keystone Club and teen volunteer. Josh attends Sarasota County Technical Institute. After two years at SCTI, he plans to attend a State University to study Culinary Arts and photography. Josh has been a member since 2006.
Gene Matthews Club:
Krystal Antoine is an 18-year-old graduate of North Port High School and was a BGC Member for 10 years. She currently attends State College of Florida, pursuing a Nursing degree, and volunteers her time teaching performing arts at the Gene Matthews Club. Her special interests include basketball, dancing, and traveling.
Robert and Joan Lee Club:
Cynthia Nixon is an 18-year-old graduate of North Port High School. Cynthia was the Youth of the Year for her club this year and attends the University of Florida.
Roy McBean Club:
Anquanesha S. Rutledge graduated from Booker High School, class of 2012 and attends Jackson State University in Mississippi and pursuing a Nursing degree. Anquanesha has been a member of the Roy McBean Club for 12 years, and she is a current member of the Air Force J.R.O.T.C.
I had a terrific time being a part of the 6th Annual Vinny Lecavalier Texas Hold 'Em event to benefit All Children's Hospital. There is a wing at the hospital named after the hockey superstar and the funds raised will go towards the Vinny Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at the hospital. There was a host of sport and entertainment celebrities at the event and participating in the Poker tournament. It is such a terrific cause and I am so proud to be able to help. Great work by Vinny, so nice to see an athlete using his fame in a positive fashion. Keep up the great work!
I had a super time in Orlando all week watching my grandsons compete in the 9 and under Elite World Series travel baseball tournament. The tournament featured the top 32 teams from across the country. It was held at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. I had a great time cheering for the Meteors and watching the amazing talent of these 9 year olds. We stayed at the beautiful Disney Yacht Club Resort and enjoyed a lot of time by the pool when the kids weren't playing. A super week!!!
I enjoyed doing a PSA for the Suncoast Communities Blood Bank for ABC 7. I was proud to be able to be part of a campaign to help get awareness on how important it is to donate blood. I did the PSA along with Ashley Kruegger, a 16 year old cancer survivor. I can't thank Jayne Tiroux and Laketra Barber of the Suncoast Communities Blood Bank enough for their help and asking me to participate. Also, I would like to thank Chris Robertson, from ABC 7 in Sarasota, for his assistance in shooting the PSA.
After returning at 2 am this morning from Nashivlle, I was honored to be a speaker at the Florida Scholastic Regatta at the Florida World Aquatic Center in Sarasota. This unbelievable rowing facility was built thru the dedication of the late Nate Benderson, and his son Randy. I had a chance to share with the people there today my thoughts on the generousity of the Benderson family and how they have also been vital in helping us in the battle against cancer with the V Foundation. I had a great morning meeting some young outstanding athletes. This facility is absolutely the best according to people in the know on rowing. It is located at Nathan Benderson Park off of University Parkway. It was a thrill to be there and to pay tribute to Mr. Benderson who recently passed away at the age of 93. My good friend, County Commissioner, Joe Barbetta was there and introduced me to address the crowd.