A Spectacular Evening Hosted at NC State by Jeff Gravley Will Honor Jim Valvano’s Legacy and the Work Toward Achieving His Goal of Victory Over Cancer®
The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a gala on June 3, 2023, at the NC State Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina. The V Foundation was founded by the late Jim Valvano, the legendary NC State Men’s Basketball Coach who led the 1983 “Cardiac Pack” to the 1983 National Championship. Since its inception 30 years ago, the V Foundation has awarded over $310 million to fund cutting-edge cancer research. The special night will be an homage to the history of the V Foundation and its connection with NC State. The event will be hosted by Jeff Gravley, a local television institution in his own right and 1985 Wolfpack graduate.
The weekend begins with a “Welcome Reception” for guests to enjoy on Friday, June 2 at the StateView Hotel. On Saturday, the 30th Anniversary Gala will feature a cocktail reception followed by a wine-pairing dinner. Throughout the evening, attendees will enjoy appearances from members of the 1983 Championship NC State men’s basketball team and speakers from the V Foundation’s past and present. Speakers will share stories about the organization and how it has grown in its mission to fund the best and the brightest scientists and play an essential role in accelerating critical cancer research. Additionally, Thurl Bailey, NC State 1983 team member and acclaimed singer and songwriter, will give an inspirational musical performance.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the impact of the V Foundation at home in North Carolina and uplift Jim’s legacy as a game-changing champion for cancer research,” said V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson. “While we have made strides in preventative screenings, early detection methods and new treatments - we still have more work to do. Cancer is overwhelming, but with a community of fighters and supporters, we are determined to conquer it.”
The gala’s host, Jeff Gravley, is a North Carolina native who had a successful run as a walk-on pitcher for the baseball team under NC State Athletics Hall of Famer Sam Esposito. Following graduation, Jeff began his career with Raleigh’s top-rated station, WRAL, as an intern. He worked his way through the ranks from a sports photographer to a reporter, to finally, one of the most respected anchors in the region. During his 35-year career in broadcasting, Gravley was named North Carolina Sportscaster of the Year twice by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association and is a seven-time regional Emmy Award winner. He now uses his vast sports knowledge and industry experience in his role as the Director of Content Strategy for NC State Athletics.
"I am so excited to host the monumental 30th anniversary celebration of the V Foundation,” said Gravley. “What better place to have it than at Valvano arena at Reynolds Coliseum - the place Coach Valvano and the "Cardiac Pack" started their run in 1983. We will think, we will laugh, and we will cry at an event to remember."
Attendees will have the opportunity to further support the foundation through a live auction and Fund-A-Need dedicated to therapeutic resistance research. Resistance to therapy, also referred to as drug resistance, is one of the most challenging issues facing cancer patients, researchers, and clinicians alike. This phenomenon occurs when the treatment options that patients have been using stop working due to the body building up resistance to the drug’s effects. Because of its prevalence and effect on the success of treatment, the V Foundation is committed to tirelessly pursuing continued funding for research in this area.
“Treatment works fine, and then it doesn’t,” said V Foundation Chief Scientific Officer Susanna Greer. “According to a published report, ‘Mechanisms of Multidrug Resistance in Cancer Chemotherapy,’ multidrug resistance is responsible for over 90% of deaths in cancer patients, underscoring the need to support therapeutic resistance research.”
When the creation of the V Foundation was announced, Jim Valvano’s call to “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!”® has continued to inspire, 30 years after his iconic ESPYS speech and the creation of the V Foundation. The Gala is a perfect opportunity to come together to honor Jim’s legacy and continue the work to achieve Victory Over Cancer®.
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the event, visit V.ORG/30YEARS.