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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA BAY - The Lightning Foundation has teamed with sports broadcasting personality Dick Vitale for a special event to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research. On Saturday, Vitale will appear and speak at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., prior to the Lightning vs. Atlanta Thrashers game at the St. Pete Times Forum (7:30 p.m.).

The evening kicks off with a cocktail reception at 4:30 p.m., followed by a motivational speech from Vitale at 5 p.m. Following the speech, guests will have the opportunity to meet the legendary basketball coach and broadcaster, and all guests will receive a signed photo featuring Vitale and Lightning head coach John Tortorella.

Cost for the event is $100 per person; $50 for Lightning season ticket holders. For information or to buy tickets, call 813.301.6814 or 813.301.6764.

Vitale, a college basketball analyst and considered by many to be the sport’s biggest ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season - just after the network’s September 1979 launch —-following a successful college and pro coaching career. He recently extended his contract with ESPN through 2013.

Vitale’s talents and influence extend way beyond game analyst. He provides commentary on a variety of topics in his "Dick Vitale's Fast Break" segment which airs Wednesday evenings during the college basketball season on SportsCenter, and serves as a college basketball analyst for ESPN Radio, appearing each Monday on the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show. He has been a college basketball analyst for ABC Sports since 1988, and has covered the NBA Finals and the 1992 Summer Olympics for ABC Radio. His weekly column is one of the web site’s most popular features.

The always-energetic Vitale is a favorite endorser among a wide array of major corporations. He’s also one of the nation’s most requested public speakers, providing motivational speeches to numerous leading corporations and organizations across the U.S. In 1987, he signed an exclusive contract with the Washington Speakers Bureau.

Vitale sits on the Board of Directors for The V Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer, founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano. He co-chairs with Mike Krzyzewski and John Saunders the annual V Foundation Golf Classic.
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