Community Activities

You’re almost as likely to find Dickie V on the streets of his hometown as you would behind the microphone during hoops season! Learn about Dickie V’s latest activities—from a scholarship event with the Boys and Girls Club to a fundraiser in downtown Lakewood Ranch, there is never a dull moment when Dickie V’s around Sarasota!

Pediatric Cancer Research Grant in Memory of Payton Wright

altPlease assist me in developing a special pediatric cancer research grant in the memory of Payton Wright (5 year old girl in Sarasota who passed away May 29th from brain cancer). This beautiful little girl battled twelve tough months against this dreaded disease which eventually took her life. Help me raise money for a grant in Payton Wright's honor for pediatric cancer research, so no other little child has to endure what Payton and her family have had to.

DONATIONS of ANY amount are accepted- please make check payable to the V Foundation for Cancer Research and mail to:
Tandem Enterprises
7810 Mathern Court
Bradenton, FL 34202

Manatee Person of the Year - Nolan Middle School

altOn May 10th, I was truly honored to receive the “Manatee Person of the Year” Award from the students of Nolan Middle School in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  The students of the Gifted Program at Nolan Middle had a special evening called the “Night of the Notables” whereby each student in the gifted program at the school had to select someone they admired, living or dead, and study their life and their accomplishments.  Some students studied past world leaders, famous athletes, architects, writers, business leaders, inventors, etc.  It was a fun night as it took place right in the Nolan Middle School cafeteria.  The night was organized by Dr. Novello, Head of the gifted program at Nolan Middle School.   Dr. Novello was a very kind and intelligent woman who reminded me of my days as a middle school teacher back in New Jersey. 

Read more: Manatee Person of the Year - Nolan Middle School

Florida High School Baseball Championships

altMother’s Day is always special as you reflect back on your childhood and all you learned under the guidance and direction of your mom.  I certainly would like to toast every mother out there for health and happiness and success in their lives.  My day included an evening bash at my home with all the coaches of the various high schools that have earned the right to play for the Florida High School State Baseball Championships.  Each year, my wife and I have the pleasure to host a celebration in honor of the participants of the state tournament since the games were awarded to the City of Sarasota and are played at Ed Smith Stadium (Spring Training Home of the Cincinnati Reds).

Read more: Florida High School Baseball Championships

The Sarasota Film Festival

altSpencer Ross, voice of the New York Knicks, and his wife joined Lorraine and me at the Film Festival.
This year I was thrilled to be asked to be the honorary chairperson for the 2007 Sarasota Film Festival. Over the past nine years, the Sarasota Film Festival has grown to one of the premier film festivals in the country. It has grown in length, (from three to ten days), attendance (from 2,300 to over 45,000) and scope (from 10 screenings to over 200 films, and adding nationally-recognized education programs, over a dozen special events, and talkbacks and panels with some of the leading voices in film today). The festival's mission is “to present unique and high-quality cinema in a festival atmosphere for the purpose of educating, stimulating and entertaining audiences” remains its guide as it selects and organizes in-festival and year-round activities.

Read more: The Sarasota Film Festival

A Night Honoring Football Coach Mike Dowling

altI had a blast being a guest speaker at an event honoring high school football coach, Mike Dowling. Coach Dowling has coached 28 years at Cardinal Mooney High School located in Sarasota County. Over 400 people were in attendance to congratulate Caoch Dowling on his accomplishments and to wish him well in retirement. Several former players spoke as well as Congressman from the Sarasota District, Vern Buchanan.



Coach Mike Dowling and Congressman Vern Buchanan.

The Lake Club Experience Benefitting the V Foundation

Tom Danahy, President of SMR Communities, and his associates.

altI was proud to help raise over $10,000 for the V Foundation through the support of the Lakewood Ranch Community. A new development of homes is being constructed in Lakewood Ranch in a community called The Lake Club. The ten model homes in this development welcomed donations to the V Foundation over a two month period. I also was a guest speaker at one of the homes in which I spoke passionately about the V Foundation and my late buddy, Jim Valvano and encouragd people to give whatever they could to the cause of finding a cure for cancer. Thru the generous support of this community we raised over $10,000 - way to go Lakewood Ranch! I am so proud to be a part of this community!

The Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota

Mack Reid, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County:

alt"The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those that need us the most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. The Clubs serve over 6,200 boys and girls between the ages of six and eighteen at nine sites throughout Sarasota County. Dick Vitale and his friends and associates created the “Dick Vitale Sports Night” dinner to raise funds to benefit the children of Sarasota County. It was Dick’s dream at the inception of this event to eventually raise $1,000,000. After six years, the event raised over $1,100,000 and Dick’s dream for the kids became a reality. The funds were used to build a state of the art, 38,000 square foot Boys & Girls Club! In honor of Dick’s love and concern for the children, the board of directors and staff dedicated the “Dick Vitale Health and Fitness Center” in the new facility.

In addition, for the past nine years, Dick and his wife Lorraine have sponsored five Boys & Girls Club members each year to a $1,000 college scholarship!! A personal gift of $45,000 to help our kids get off to college on the right foot!!

Dick brings great awareness and has motivated others to help support the Boys & Girls Club and its mission. He is a great role model for our children and is always willing to help them in anyway that he can."

For more information and photos, click here

V Foundation for Cancer Research

altNick Valvano, Chief Executive Officer, V Foundation:

"When the Board of Directors for The V Foundation for Cancer Research was being formed more than a dozen years ago, Jim Valvano’s friend and broadcast colleague Dick Vitale was a natural choice to help keep Jim’s “Don’t Ever Give Up!” spirit alive. 

Since then, The Foundation has raised more than $60 million for cancer research, funding hundreds of research grants nationwide. Dick Vitale has played a vital role in accomplishing the three objectives of all great board members – creating awareness, linking and introducing business and private connections, and raising funds – all to help support The V Foundation’s mission to finance cutting-edge research to help find cures for cancer.Dick has used his personal and professional contacts to help generate a number of new donors to The V Foundation, resulting in significant financial contributions annually.

Read more: V Foundation for Cancer Research

Children's First Head Start and Early Head Start of Sarasota

altI had so much fun as approximately 40 kids from the Sarasota area, ranging in ages from 4 to 6 years old, joined me for breakfast at my favorite place, The Broken Egg in Lakewood Ranch.  The children, along with their teachers, piled into their school bus for a mini field trip to meet "Yours Truly" and enjoy some of the delicious pancakes, eggs and fruit from The Broken Egg.  The kids also enjoyed a special behind-the-scenes tour of the busy happenings inside a restaurant and how it operates in the kitchen.  In fact, each kid had a blast as they helped the cooks when they helped to crack several eggs in the kitchen!   The kids were all very well-mannered and had a great time. But, honestly, I think I had more fun than all of them combined.

Read more: Children's First Head Start and Early Head Start of Sarasota

Muscular Dystrophy Fundraiser

I had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast at the Broken Egg on Siesta Key with some great people who also live in the Sarasota area.  I had a blast talking it up with NFL stars, Mike Gruttadauria and Tom Nutten, as well as with Dick Smothers of the hilarious, Smothers Brothers.  They were all there to participate in the kick-off for the Muscular Dystrophy fundraising campaign at the Broken Egg.  The campaign is led by the one and only, Betty Matthews, who dedicates her efforts to raising money for this important cause.  Last year, the Broken Egg raised over $10,000 for MDA and they hope to match it or even exceed it this year.

Tom and Mike were NFL teammates for the St. Louis Rams, and were Super Bowl Champs under the leadership of Dick Vermeil.  Tom, Mike, Dick SMothers and "Yours Truly" all had a great time and patrons of the Broken Egg generously gave to support the MDA campaign.  We certainly had a blast signing autographs and taking pictures with guests and Betty worked tirelessly to spark a lot of excitement for this fundraising effort.  It was a special and fun-filled morning.

Sarasota Area Sports Alliance

altThe Sarasota Area Sports Alliance (SASA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support area sports events and programs, including providing scholarship opportunities to high school athletes and financially needy youth. On November 11, 2006, SASA presented Dick Vitale with its Sports Person of the Year award for his tireless effort in promoting youth sports and supporting efforts to bring events to the Sarasota area. For more information on the event and award, click here.

Quote of the Week

"The Yankees won two out of three at Seattle and the Dodgers. Impressive."
-Dick Vitale