Payton Wright Foundation will honor basketball legend at event in October
SARASOTA, Fla. – (Sep. 16, 2019) – The Payton Wright Foundation (PWF) announced today that basketball legend Dick Vitale will receive the “Payton’s Hero” award for his dedication to fighting pediatric cancer. The foundation, which financially assists families who have a child with brain cancer, will honor Vitale at its annual Palette fundraiser on Oct. 19, 2019, in Sarasota.
Vitale’s efforts to raise money for pediatric cancer research began after meeting Payton Wright, a then-four-year-old girl who was battling brain cancer. The ESPN broadcaster and former NBA and college basketball coach had spent years raising money for the Jimmy V Foundation, which was inspired by his late friend Jim Valvano. His efforts were further inspired after living near the Wright family as Payton battled a rare form of brain cancer.
“It is no doubt that my greatest inspiration in wanting to help youngsters battling cancer all started watching the courageous battle that Payton braved against this vicious disease. Payton’s drive inspired me to help other families and other people involved in dealing with this intolerable disease. Also, it was very inspirational for me over the years to watch how Holly and Patrick used their grief to form a Foundation to extend a hand with love in their heart to help other families that have to deal with the same situation that they had to face. I am honored to receive this award with the name Payton Wright on it as it means a great deal to me and my family,” said Dick.
Patrick and Holly Wright established The Payton Wright Foundation after losing their daughter Payton to brain cancer in 2007. As they spent the last few months of their daughter’s life caring for her and traveling to treatment, the Wrights struggled to pay their bills. Their financial difficulties were a painful distraction from their main focus: Payton.
“A parent should never have to choose between being with their child when they need them most or paying their bills. Too many families are weighed down by financial burdens at the worst time of their lives, as they try to save their child’s life or spend precious time with them.” said Patrick Wright, PWF chairman.
“Dick has used his resources, platform and relationships to help families like ours in so many vital ways. His efforts have done everything from giving kids fighting cancer memorable experiences to funding research for better treatments and an eventual cure for pediatric cancer.”
Proceeds from the “4th Annual Palette… Where art is uncorked” will help families pay their everyday household bills so that they can be with their child during brain cancer treatment. Palette will be held at The Devyn at 7113 Tamiami Trail in Sarasota on October 19 at 7 p.m. The event features gorgeous art, local restaurants and music. Attendees purchase raffle tickets to win artwork donated by local artists and collectors. Featured artist Clark Prosperi will donate an original piece for the auction. Supporting restaurants include Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Morton’s Gourmet Market, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Yume Sushi, Andrea’s, State Street Eating House and more. Sponsorships and tickets are available in limited supply.
About The Payton Wright Foundation
Established in 2008, The Payton Wright Foundation’s mission is to financially assist families who have a child with brain or spinal cord cancer. When a child is diagnosed with brain cancer they usually require weekly or daily treatment, such as chemotherapy. Often times, the hospital that treats this is not close to the family’s home so one or both parents has to either take a leave from work or quit their job. Without that income, they struggle to pay their household bills while being at the hospital with their child. The Payton Wright Foundation works to ease this burden on families all over the nation so they can keep their focus on their sick child. www.PaytonWright.org.