Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dick Vitale Gala has record setting night

Final Four coaches gather with Dickie V. at Dick Vitale Gala
(L-R Jim Calhoun, Dick Vitale, Shaka Smart, John Calipari, Brad Stevens)

Dickie Vitale broke the bank at this year’s Dick Vitale Gala raising a record $1.3 million for pediatric cancer research.

It was the most money ever raised the Gala exceeding the $1.2 million that event brought in several years ago when it honored Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“We are ecstatic that we broke the record,” Vitale said after learning of the figures late last week. “It’s absolutely amazing and I want to thank all the people from the Bradenton-Sarasota are and the celebrities who came and made this possible.

“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can’t thank enough all the stars that came on their own expense without charge and the many, many thousands of dollars they gave. I am talking serious donations. We in the Jimmy V Foundation are very happy with the final numbers.”

The scene at Vitale’s house the next day where many of the guests gathered was very emotional. Anthony Littlejohn, Lakewood Ranch assistant football coach who lost his 15 month old son Adrian Shawn to cancer on May 1st, gave an impassioned speech thanking everyone who had helped him and his wife Ivette get through the tough times.

Vitale said plans are already under way for next year’s Dick Vitale Gala that will be held May 18th at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. He plans to honor former college football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz, Villanova head basketball coach Jay Wright and former Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams.

1 comment:

  1. whoa record $1.3 million for pediatric cancer research... Such a big one.. Interesting to read these facts.