May 17, 2012
SARASOTA, Fla. - Villanova head men's basketball coach Jay Wright will be among those honored on Friday night here at the seventh annual Dick Vitale Gala to benefit the V Foundation. The Gala takes place at the Ritz-Carlton hotel here and is sold out.
"It's a great honor," stated Wright, who will be saluted along with former Maryland head basketball coach Gary Williams and ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.
The event hopes to raise over $1 million to benefit pediatric cancer treatment and includes a wide range of celebrities. The evening will conclude with a concert performed by the Spinners.
It is anticipated there will be a strong Villanova presence at the event. Among those expected to attend are legendary Wildcat head coach Rollie Massimino (1973-92); former Wright assistants turned head coaches, Tom Pecora (Fordham) and Joe Jones (Boston University); current VU assistant Doug West; Alvin Williams, a Villanova guard from 1993-97 who played nine seasons in the National Basketball Association; Brian Harrington and Steve Pinone, members of the 1985 NCAA championship team; former VU guard and long-time radio analyst Whitey Rigsby and director of athletics Vince Nicastro.
The guest list includes more than 50 other notables from the world of sport and entertainment. ESPN's John Saunders serves as host of the event, which honors the memory of Vitale's friend, the late Jim Valvano, who created the V Foundation not long before he lost his own battle with cancer in 1993.
Though the event is sold out, donations can still be submitted to The V Foundation, 106 Towerview, Cary, N.C., 27513 or be made by telephone at 1-800-4JIMMYV.