First-ever Dick Vitale Telethon surpasses goal, raising $105,000 for V Foundation pediatric cancer research

SARASOTA -- The inaugural Dick Vitale Telethon netted $105,000, surpassing the stated goal of raising $100,000 from supporters, according to telethon officials,

"This was just the beginning, I am certain, with the great support team we have working with us," Vitale said, following the announcement of the results.

Vitale's first-ever telethon, held Wednesday in downtown Sarasota was supported by local celebrities and special guests, former professional basketball players Marcus Liberty and Jerod Ward.

Vitale, a Hall of Fame ESPN broadcaster and Lakewood Ranch resident, is raising awareness in the community through such events as the telethon and the annual Dick Vitale Gala, to be held May 15 this year, as a way to raise money for pediatric cancer research through The V Foundation for Cancer Research, established in 1993 by the late North Carolina State University basketball coach Jim Valvano.