Commentary

Gathering for a great cause

Updated: May 15, 2014, 2:44 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Lacey HolsworthGregory Shamus/Getty ImagesDick Vitale has started a memorial fund in Lacey Holsworth's name to raise money for cancer research.

I am so thrilled that our gala, which raises money for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, has been sold out for months.

More than 870 people will be in attendance at the Sarasota (Florida) Ritz-Carlton on Friday night. That is why Sarasota will be the sports capital of the world for a very special evening.

There will be more than 70 celebrities from the world of sports there. Three special coaches -- Nick Saban of Alabama, Mike Brey of Notre Dame and Tom Crean of Indiana -- will be honorees. We will also have Nebraska football coach Bo Pellini introducing a special young man, ESPY winner Jack Hoffman. Battling brain cancer, Jack scored a touchdown at last year's Nebraska spring game.

We will have many inspirational stories of youngsters who have beaten cancer. There will also be a presentation of a grant in honor of Lacey Holsworth, the young lady who meant so much to Michigan State basketball before losing her battle with cancer. Coach Tom Izzo, as well as Lacey's parents, will be in attendance.

There will be another grant in the name of Eddie Livingston, a youngster from our area who also lost his battle with cancer.

I hope that one day, kids will not have to worry about chemotherapy and will be able to play ball and live normal lives. We have to beat this dreaded disease.

While the event is sold out, you can still help. For details, visit JimmyV.org.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.

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