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Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic to end after 20 years

Posted December 14, 2013

Celebrities and coaches were out in force Sunday at Raleigh's Lonnie Poole golf course for the  19th Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic.

— After 20 years of successful fundraising, the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic will no longer be the centerpiece of the V Foundation's activities in the Triangle, the foundation announced on Friday. 

Charity organizers said in a release that they are giving up the tournament to focus local efforts elsewhere, including a new partnership with the Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh Marathon. 

"The Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic generated tremendous fundraising and exposure for The V Foundation. Moving forward, we are strategically developing new platforms that allow us to engage an even more diverse group of supporters and partners," Nick Valvano, president emeritus of The V Foundation, said in a statement.

"We will forever be grateful for the work and dedication of Golf Classic Executive Director Frank McCann, the board of directors and thousands of Golf Classic volunteers who have been tirelessly devoted to finding a cure for cancer. I know Jim would have been proud of all the accomplishments over the past 20 years."

Since its inception, the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic has generated about $13.5 million for cancer research. About 500,000 fans have attended the 20 classics, The V Foundation said, and hundreds of celebrities have attended to help raise money.

Michael Jordan, Darius Rucker, Mia Hamm, Charles Barkley, Kevin Costner, Paul Dimeo, Stuart Scott and Arnold Palmer and other celebrities have attended.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and former North Carolina State University basketball coach Valvano. The charity has funded more than $115 million in cancer research grants.

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  • vt94hokies Jan 1, 2014

    Great organization. Really hate to see this end.

  • FAN72 Dec 16, 2013

    Jimmy V loved golf and was in fact on the golf course when he felt the first twinges that led to his cancer diagnosis. This tourney was symbolic of that love and that diagnosis. I hate to see it end, but know at the same time that his memory and spirit do not depend upon a game of golf. His words will continue to echo throughout the years for those battling this dread disease..."Don't ever give up!"

  • StunGunn Dec 16, 2013

    Sad to see this end, but hopefully the new events planned by the Foundation will be successful.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Dec 16, 2013

    I agree with funding fatigue, however, when it comes down to it, I do not think this event has been that successful. In this day and age, with all the celebrities and big wigs, to raise only 13.5 million over 20 years seems to not be that much. Attendance averaged 25k a year...thats half of Carter Finley stadium capacity. Its almost a conclusion that all these celebs did not donate much, just showed up.
    am I that far off in my thinking?

    Oh well, so much for the Dont ever give up theme.

  • landonsgrampa Dec 14, 2013

    If enough people flood the V Foundation with phone calls and letters, they will understand that the golf tourney and the basketball format, are both vital to the V Foundation. Don't let them end this extremely loved event. Write or call, numerous times. Jimmy would be in tears right now if he was here.

  • heelsforever Dec 14, 2013

    Bad decision IMO.

  • RainierBeer Dec 14, 2013

    the event has run it's course, no pun intended. there is a thing called donor fatigue, which probably set in a few years ago. also look at the base of participants and audience, many of whom were too young to really know and appreciate JV's life, and legacy. also, fundraising costs for this event were huge, so this announcement was not unexpected. best of luck in the future, looks like they are diversifying which is a good thing.

  • TwoWheels Dec 14, 2013

    A big THANK YOU to all of the volunteers and supporters. I can only imagine how much time it takes behind the scenes that it takes to pull off something of this magnitude - and then to do it again, year after year for 20 years. Thank You!!!!!

  • NCSU84 Dec 14, 2013

    I volunteer at the Golf Classic for the past 10 yrs. Also enjoyed the Reverse Raffle too!!

  • evadbbat Dec 14, 2013

    Sad to see it go,it had become a great tradition.

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