The event, already postponed from April to September, will now be online-only out of COVID-19 concerns.
The 2020 Dick Vitale Gala will be a virtual-only event, Dick Vitale and the V Foundation for Cancer Research announced Wednesday.
The 15th-annual event, originally scheduled for April, will stick to its postponed date of September 4, but will not be held in person. Instead, Vitale will hold an online version of the gala titled "Passion 4 Pediatrics." In a release, Vitale and the V Foundation said the move is being made to protect the health of both attendees and the staff of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, where the gala was scheduled to be held.
Ticket holders will now be able to watch the presentation online. The gala's 2020 honorees — Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith and Gonzaga men's basketball head coach Mark Few — will still be honored, as will the gala's Courage Award recipients, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and Orlando Magic co-founder Pat Williams.
“In today’s world, virtual events have become the way of life due to COVID-19”, Vitale said. “We are excited to provide so many virtually with a night to remember. Everyone that experiences our gala to help kids battling cancer will be moved to tears, to laughter, and to thought.
"More than ever, we need your help in raising dollars. My wife and I receive numerous calls, emails, and letters from parents with the life-changing news that their child has cancer. Your donation may ultimately save someone you know, someone you love."
For more information or to participate in the virtual gala, call the Mary Kenealy Events Gala Office at 350-0580. To donate towards pediatric cancer research, visit the V Foundation's website.
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