Undefeated "An Unconventional Gala"

"Don't give up... Don't ever give up!"®

Jim "Jimmy V" Valvano was a winning basketball coach, sportscaster, and motivational speaker. Valvano was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 at age 46. He gave a moving and inspirational speech at the 1993 ESPY awards and announced the creation of the V Foundation for cancer research. The foundation's motto is "Don't give up... Don't ever give up!"®  Jimmy V died of cancer eight weeks later.

"Serving as the heartbeat of The V Foundation for Cancer Research, formed by ESPN and Jim in 1993, his words throughout the ESPY speech have never been more meaningful. After being diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 46, Jim dreamed of finding cures for cancer. Passionate and committed, he wanted to see his fight through to victory. As a former coach, he began to recruit his team of family and friends to lead the Foundation in his quest to eradicate the disease."  (The V Foundation)

The event's Fund a Need was Chicago Blackhawk Andrew Shaw’s mother supporting breast cancer research.

The V Foundation holds several "V Events" throughout the year to raise money and awareness for cancer research. "Undefeated, An Unconventional Gala" was held on Thursday night at the Zhou B Art Center. Celebrity Chef headliner, Rick Bayless, Eric LeVine, Dan Marquis, Phil Stefani Catering, and Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse provided little plates inspired by Valvno's ESPY speech, "Laugh, Think, & Cry".

Entertainment was provided by the Gold Coast All Stars. Bars were hosted by Crown ImportsConstellation WinesSvedka Vodka, Blue Chair Bay Rum, and Debbie Peek. The event had several participating sponsors and partners.

You can donate to the V Foundation here.

On a personal note, it was an honor to be selected as one of the photographers for the event. Rick Lobes, another ChicagoNow blogger, was also chosen to photograph the event.


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