Between classes, practice and games, it isn’t often that the William Woods University baseball team has extra time. During April, the players plan to make the time to help the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Led by their assistant baseball coach, Josh Swenson, the team has organized an event to raise cancer awareness. The program will take place at 8 p.m. April 12 in the Library Auditorium on the William Woods campus. It is free and open to the public.
The V Foundation was started by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano. A victim of cancer, Valvano was a basketball coaching great at North Carolina State University and a commentator for ESPN. His team won the NCAA National Basketball Championship in 1983, but he died 10 years later at the age of 47.
The organization’s mission is to save lives through cancer research and to bring a high level of awareness to all Americans about cancer. Since it began in 1993, the foundation has raised more than $60 million to fund cancer research grants.
After an anonymous donor made a contribution to the V Foundation in the name of the WWU baseball team, the players decided to host an event that will present what the V Foundation is, its mission and its importance in society.
A month before he died, Jim Valvano was awarded the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the first annual ESPY Awards. His emotional acceptance speech, which has come to be known as the “Don’t Ever Give Up” speech, will be shown during the program at WWU. Also, Keri Burk will speak on behalf of the American Cancer Society.
According to Swenson, the baseball players have become involved with the foundation and are eager to assist.
“Some of the guys on the team wear bracelets that promote the cause and a lot of them are going to help organize and present the event. It is a good cause and we are happy to help.”