Nov. 6, 2009
LOS ANGELES - On Sunday, Nov. 1, head coach Ben Howland's UCLA men's basketball team, head coach Nikki Caldwell's Bruin women's basketball squad and the UCLA Athletic Department joined forces with Bruin basketball great John Vallely, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA for the second annual "Dribble For The Cure II."
The event, which took place at historic Pauley Pavilion, featured over 630 registered participants joining members of the Bruin women and men's basketball teams on a 1.2 mile "Dribble For The Cure" course around the UCLA campus. Participants were also given a unique opportunity to meet and pose for photos and obtain autographs from the 2009-10 UCLA Bruin women and men's basketball teams and coaching staffs.
The event raised approximately $85,000, with proceeds benefiting PCRF and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Money raised and participant numbers were an increase from last year's totals of 400 participants and $72,000 donated.
"Nikki and I want to thank everyone who participated and donated money in our continuing effort to finding a cure for children's cancer," Howland said. "Last year, during our closing ceremonies in Pauley Pavilion, all those involved filled the floor level bleachers on the west end. On Sunday, we filled the floor level bleachers on the north side of Pauley and I knew right away we had more participants and had raised more money than a year ago. It was a great experience for our teams and for those who `Dribbled For The Cure.' Thanks again to everyone who participated."
For many years, Vallely and his family have been on the front line in the battle against cancer. A starting guard on John Wooden's UCLA 1969 and 1970 NCAA Championship teams, Vallely is a cancer-survivor and the Director of Scientific Affairs for PCRF. In 1991, John and Karen Vallely lost their daughter Erin to cancer at the age of 12.
The top 2009 "Dribble For The Cure" fundraisers were recognized during closing ceremonies in Pauley Pavilion: Top Individual Fundraiser - Guru Parkash ($6,275); Top Corporate Team - Team Rockit ($971); Top Individual Team - Team Johnny Ricksen ($13,101); Top School Fundraising Team - Guru Simran #8 ($9,226) and Top UCLA Student Organization Fundraising Team - Sigma Chi ($1,475).