Sports stars come out to battle cancer at Vitale gala

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SARASOTA, Fla. - More than 800 people, including many professional athletes and coaches, came out to the Sarasota Ritz Carlton Friday night for the 8th annual Dick Vitale gala.

The event raises money for pediatric cancer research and awareness for the V-Foundation for Cancer Research. Over the last eight years, close to $10 million has been raised.

"This event is so special because it affects the lives of kids. If you can make an impact on a child's life, there is no greater feeling," said Vitale.

This year's event honored Kansas Basketball Head Coach Bill Self, retired UCONN Basketball Head Coach Jim Calhoun and retired FSU Head Football Coach Bobby Bowden. Both Calhoun and Bowden have fought cancer themselves.

"It takes everyone working together for something like this to succeed. That's what's happening here. I thank them for letting me be a part of it," said Bowden.

"I've always said that you stand pretty tall when you have a microphone in your hand, but with that microphone comes responsibility and obligation that you try and help others. I think Dick is the ideal person to do that," said Calhoun.

If you'd like information on how you can donate to the V-Foundation for cancer research, visit: