Top-rated cancer research charity, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, celebrated three decades of game-changing cancer research in style this weekend with a special 30th Anniversary Gala at NC State’s Valvano Arena inside Reynolds Coliseum. Sports and science teamed up for an impactful night, raising $2.8 million in support of therapeutic resistance research that will be granted to four North Carolina institutions: NC State, Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University. The memorable evening was presented by Constellation Brands and co-hosted by local television institution and 1985 Wolfpack graduate Jeff Gravley and ESPN’s Jay Harris.
“When people ask me, what would Coach Valvano think about the V Foundation now? He would gladly say well done,” said Dereck Whittenburg, 30th Anniversary Gala Chairman. “While we've helped many people, we must do more! Victory Over Cancer® is our goal, and when we achieve that goal, then we’ve won the greatest championship of all.”
The night began with a cocktail reception followed by a wine-pairing dinner. The program included speakers from the V Foundation’s past and present. Shane Jacobson, V Foundation CEO, and Jamie Valvano shared stories on how the V Foundation has grown in its mission to fund the best and brightest scientists and play an essential role in accelerating critical cancer research since Jim Valvano’s famous 1993 ESPYS speech. Thurl Bailey, NC State 1983 men’s basketball team member and acclaimed singer and songwriter, gave an inspirational musical performance. Many other 1983 team members were in attendance to commemorate Jim’s legacy. The evening also included a Fund-A-Need and one-of-a-kind live auction lots, with the top items of the night being two weeklong luxurious stays in the Bahamas.
"As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the V Foundation, we don't just look back at what has been achieved, but we look forward to the future. With each step, we're making strides toward the ultimate goal: Victory Over Cancer®,” said Gravley. “This gala was more than a celebration; it was a renewal of commitment, a reminder of why we fight, and a testament to the power of collaboration in pursuit of a cancer-free world. Tonight, we've turned hope into action, and together, we continue to honor the legacy of Coach Valvano and all those who have been touched by cancer. Because in this game, every player, every scientist, every supporter counts in making a difference."
It was of utmost importance to the V Foundation to dedicate funds raised from the evening to therapeutic resistance research. This refers to the resistance that develops when the body becomes unresponsive to the effects of certain treatments. Multidrug resistance is responsible for over 90% of deaths in cancer patients receiving traditional chemotherapeutics or novel targeted drugs. Recognizing its widespread occurrence and influence on treatment outcomes, the V Foundation remains dedicated to pursuing ongoing funding for research into this issue.
The V Foundation is incredibly grateful to Constellation Brands for its continued contributions as a top corporate partner of the V Foundation for the past 13 years. Since 2010, its dedication and unwavering encouragement has helped fund $25 million for cancer research. Additionally, the V Foundation would like to thank its founding partner ESPN for its continued involvement from day one, when Jim shared “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!”® with the world.
"As the presenting sponsor of the V Foundation's 30th Anniversary Gala, we are honored to stand alongside this remarkable organization to help fund game-changing research and all-star scientists,” said Alex Schultz, Vice President Brand Marketing, Corona at Constellation Brands. “We believe that making a positive impact in the communities we serve and the world around us is an essential aspect of our business and company culture. Supporting the V Foundation connects our brands and business with people with this devastating disease in meaningful ways."
For more information about the V Foundation, and other signature events, visit v.org.