Pistons owner Tom Gores pledges $500K to Dick Vitale’s cancer charity

Detroit News

Through his own battle with cancer, Dick Vitale has continued to tirelessly raise money for pediatric-cancer research. And this week, Vitale’s foundation received one of its largest single donations to date.

Pistons owner Tom Gores and wife Holly announced Tuesday a $500,000 gift for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, to be directed to the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of Tom Gores,” Vitale said in a statement. “It is time that the pediatric oncologists get the funding needed to develop new medicines and treatments to help children win this battle.

“We are so grateful that Tom has joined our team and extended a hand to us in this worthy cause.”

Said Gores, in a statement: “Dick Vitale’s relentless pursuit to aid in pediatric cancer research, while courageously battling the disease himself, is inspiring. My wife, Holly, and I are honored to be a part of a basketball community who comes together to make an impact on the lives of others, and Dick’s work with the V Foundation represents the epitome of impact. We hope our support can aid families battling pediatric cancer by continuing the research needed to fight this disease.”

Vitale’s foundation has raised more than $60 million to end pediatric cancer, with more than $40 million raised through his annual charity gala that he’s held in Sarasota, Florida, for 16 years.

The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by ESPN and late basketball coach Jim Valvano, and has funded nearly $300 million in cancer research grants.

“What an incredible gift from the Tom Gores Family Foundation,” Shane Jacobson, the CEO of the V Foundation, said in a statement Tuesday. “We are grateful for this generous donation that will support the very best in pediatric cancer research. Children facing cancer endure a terrible burden, and the need to improve treatments for them is urgent. This donation will ensure we move research forward, improving and saving the lives of our youngest patients.”

Last week, Vitale, 82, announced that he is cancer-free, after seven months of treatment following his lymphoma diagnosis. He previously had surgery to remove melanoma.

Vitale celebrated the cancer-free news by ringing the bell at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

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