We here at KSR are excited to announce a partnership with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, Coach Calipari, Roy Williams and the University of North Carolina on a first-of-its-kind charity fundraiser benefiting pediatric cancer research. You might have noticed the fancy new graphic at the top left of the page and wondered what it was all about. This is what it’s all about. The V Foundation logo at the top of KSR will take you to Coach Cal’s donation page, which will monitor total donations as both fan bases compete to earn the first “Heart of the Program” award. The winning coach will receive the award at the Dicke V Gala May 20.
Below is the press release for those of you who are more formal…
UK and UNC fan sites ask followers to show who has the biggest heart!
Two wildly popular college basketball fan websites today announced they will challenge their respective schools’ rabid following to help raise funding and awareness for the 2011 Dick Vitale Gala. Kentucky coach John Calipari and North Carolina coach Roy Williams are the two honorees for this year’s event, which benefits the The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Both www.KentuckySportsRadio.com and www.TarHeelBlue.com will be primary hosts for the “Heart of the Program Challenge” to determine which fan base from two of college basketball’s all-time winningest programs can raise more funds for The V Foundation between now and the May 20th event in Sarasota, Florida. The Vitale Gala annually raises money for The V Foundation in honor of Dick’s good friend, the late Jim Valvano.
“It’s an incredible privilege to be honored with Coach Williams on this special night and it’s something I hope all of the Big Blue Nation will join in supporting — and attending,” said Coach Cal, whose mother, Donna Calipari, lost her brave fight with cancer this past November. “We want to make this the biggest gala yet and help Dick and Lorraine Vitale and The V Foundation with their ongoing efforts to defeat this terrible disease.”
“I’m truly flattered to be honored as part of the Dick Vitale Gala, not only because of the enthusiasm and passion that Dick and Lorraine have for fighting this awful disease, but to honor the memory and legacy of Jimmy Valvano,” Coach Williams said. “I am proud to have coached against Jim as Coach Smith’s assistant and admired not only the way he shared his love for his family and for the game of basketball, but the dignified way in which he lived his final days.
“The V Foundation has done outstanding work in research and education and I am privileged to help them continue the fight with Coach Calipari,” he said. “I hope Tar Heel fans will lend their support and join my family and me at the Gala in Sarasota in May.”
Fans from both schools will be able to donate through customized links at those two sites, in addition to links at www.CoachCal.com. Those wishing to donate on behalf of Coach Calipari should visit www.jimmyv.org/coachcal; those showing support for Coach Williams can visit www.jimmyv.org/coachwilliams. The fan base that contributes the most money will be presented with a trophy that can be proudly displayed in the office of their coach.
“We have a great on-court rivalry with UNC, but cancer is a battle we all need to fight together,” said KentuckySportsRadio.com’s Thomas Beisner, who originated the contest idea. “The opportunity to help Dick Vitale and The V Foundation for Cancer research in their efforts is one we are all thrilled to be a part of.”
Net proceeds from the contest and the Dick Vitale Gala will go to fund pediatric cancer research. Past honorees at the Gala include Tom Izzo, Tony Dungy, Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan, Bob Knight, Pat Summitt and Mike Krzyzewski. Fans can also send donations by mail (c/o The V Foundation, 106 Towerview, Cary, NC 27513) or by calling 1-800-4JIMMYV. Please mention that you are donating to the “Heart of the Program Challenge” and indicate which coach you are supporting.
About The V Foundation
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by the Foundation’s endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
More information on the Dick Vitale Gala is available at: http://www.dickvitaleonline.com under the “Community” tab.
Go Cats. Beat the Heels.