The V Foundation Reaches $1 Million Match, Announces Over $2 Million Raised For Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month


A Team Effort for Victory Over Cancer® With Funds Raised from Individual Donors, WWE and Titus O’Neil, First Watch Restaurants and a $1 Million Match from Mark and Cindy Pentecost

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is proud to announce that during September’s Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month over $2 million was raised for the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research. To date, the V Foundation has awarded more than $60 million to research grants for pediatric cancer. These additional funds were raised thanks to the overwhelming support of individual donors and corporate partners and a $1 million match proffered by Mark and Cindy Pentecost through their company ItWorks!.

“Cindy and I, along with our company ItWorks!, are so proud to support the V Foundation and the Dick Vitale Fund for Pediatric Cancer,” said Mark Pentecost of the family’s matching donation. “We are thrilled that the public met the challenge of our $1 million match and have helped raise $2 million for the fund. As a cancer survivor myself, I know what it takes to fight this dreadful disease and my heart aches for kids who go through this battle. We issued this challenge to make a difference. There’s still so much more to do in this fight, but we know that research is the path to a cure.”

The Pentecosts focused their gift on pediatric cancer in heed of the call of their longtime friend Dick Vitale, the Jimmy V Perseverance Award winner at the 2022 ESPYS, for whom the pediatric fund at the V Foundation is named. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children over the age of one. Yet, only 4% of federal cancer funding goes to pediatrics. Private funding, like that from the V Foundation, is crucial in advancing research to advance Victory Over Cancer® for all.

“To all of the PTPers, contributors, donors – I say thank you on behalf of the V Foundation,” said Vitale. “There so much work that has to be done to support young kids battling this dreaded disease, and this $2 million+ will go towards game-changing research that will help us end pediatric cancer.”

Throughout September, a variety of other partners and initiatives assisted in raising funds for pediatric cancer including:

  • The Pediatric Cancer Research Fund through Dribble for Victory Over Cancer at Duke, North Carolina, NC State, St. John’s and UCLA
  • First Watch Restaurants donating a portion from the sale of every kids meal at its 400+ locations nationwide, in addition to collecting additional donations during Friends & Family pre-opening weekends at each new company-owned restaurant in September
  • A Walk 60 Miles in September Facebook Challenge
  • WWE releasing a new t-shirt with proceeds benefiting the V Foundation
  • WWE superstar Titus O’Neil proudly announcing a $100,000 donation in honor of Connor’s Cure, made by O’Neil’s Bullard Family Foundation and Heritage Insurance

“Like many people around the globe, I have lost a loved one to cancer,” said O’Neil. “My grandmother helped raise me and when she passed away from cancer, it was one of the hardest moments of my life. The V Foundation continues to blaze a trail in cancer research and I am humbled to support them in the fight against this devastating disease and help save children’s lives and move us closer to a cure.”

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.

"Victory Over Cancer® is a team effort,” said V Foundation CEO Shane Jacobson. “The V Foundation is extremely grateful for the support of all of our valued donors and partners in helping to accelerate better treatment options and cures for pediatric cancer.”

For more information about the V Foundation, the Dick Vitale Pediatric Cancer Fund, pediatric cancer research, or to donate, please visit