Events and Partnerships Support Childhood Cancer Research through Dick Vitale Fund
Cary, N.C. [September 7, 2022] – The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, announces a lineup of fundraising initiatives to recognize September’s Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. The V Foundation has awarded nearly $60 million in research grants through the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer and September offers a variety of ways for supporters to help fund even more cutting-edge cancer research. In concert with these events and partnerships, Mark and Cindy Pentecost have announced they will match every dollar raised through September 30. This match, up to $1 million, will benefit the Vitale Fund. The Pentecosts want to honor Vitale’s battle with the disease, his recognition as the Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner at the 2022 ESPYS and encourage others to help save lives through pediatric cancer research.
“We have an outstanding group of partners who are committed to ending childhood cancer,” said Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “I applaud their tireless efforts to save our youngest cancer patients through fundraising for groundbreaking research. And I am thrilled that so many can join these initiatives – from breakfast, to basketball, to a walking challenge and a t-shirt purchase. I welcome everyone to join in our mission to achieve victory over cancer.”
The WWE and the V Foundation have partnered together since 2016 through funds raised by Connor’s Cure, which was established by WWE within the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Connor Michalek, an 8-year-old who battled a rare cancer affecting the brain and spinal cord, was a WWE superfan. Connor’s Cure has helped raise $3.8 million and assisted more than 500 families around the world. This September, the WWE is releasing a new t-shirt and donating 100% of the proceeds in support of Connor’s Cure through the V Foundation’s grant-making process. In addition, funding will continue to support the research being done at UMPC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
In addition, WWE superstar Titus O’Neil proudly announced a $100,000 donation to honor of Connor’s Cure to accelerate and advance pediatric cancer research. The gift moved the fund closer to Vitale’s challenge of raising $1 million and meeting the match. The donation was made by O’Neil’s Bullard Family Foundation and Heritage Insurance.
The V Foundation and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation are joining forces for the Dribble for Victory Over Cancer program. These events, hosted annually since 2008 by UCLA and St. John’s University, are expanding to include new partnerships with Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State University and more to come. Community members and sports teams will be invited to dribble through short on-campus courses culminating in the opportunity to meet the schools’ basketball players and coaches. The events offer a fun-filled day of sports and community-building while fundraising for research that will give kids battling cancer a chance at a brighter future. To learn more, visit thedribble.org.
A Walk 60 Miles in September Facebook Challenge has also been announced. Through this virtual challenge, participants will log 60 miles of walking, any time or place during September. Walkers are encouraged to post their progress on their individual fundraising pages to gather support and donations from their friends, families and communities. Participation is free and any walker who receives a donation will be mailed a V Foundation baseball hat. Learn more and set up a fundraiser here.
First Watch, an award-winning daytime restaurant, has been an ongoing sponsor of Dick Vitale’s annual gala since 2006. This year they’ve partnered with the V Foundation to fund lifesaving pediatric cancer research by donating 25 cents from the sale of every kid’s meal at locations nationwide. And, in September, at each new company-owned restaurant opening, customers will have the opportunity to make additional donations to the Vitale Fund during the Friends & Family pre-opening weekends. Learn more at v.org/partners/first-watch/.
“Kids helping kids is at the heart of our partnership with the V Foundation, and it’s been inspiring to see how family by family, meal by meal, our customers are powering a movement to change lives and achieve victory over cancer,” said Chris Tomasso, President and CEO of First Watch. “This month and all year long, First Watch is proud to join forces with Dick Vitale and the Foundation to support research into finding cures, in hopes that every child can live their life free of cancer and to their fullest potential.”
The V Foundation holds 11 consecutive 4-star (highest) ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, making the foundation among the top 2% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is also a GuideStar platinum-rated charity. For more information about the V Foundation, the Dick Vitale Pediatric Cancer Fund, pediatric cancer research, or to donate, please visit www.v.org.
About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The V Foundation has funded nearly $290 million in game-changing cancer research grants nationwide through a competitive process strictly supervised by a world-class Scientific Advisory Committee. Because the V Foundation has an endowment to cover administrative expenses, 100% of direct donations is awarded to cancer research and programs. The V team is committed to accelerating Victory Over Cancer®. To learn more, visit v.org.