Napa, CA, December 09, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Contributions to U.S. Charities continued to decline in the first half of 2009 according to the latest Philanthropic Giving Index (PGI), but The V Foundation Wine Celebration is extremely optimistic for the coming year. The annual event raised more than $2.2 million dollars this past August for cancer research, and the organization will add three new high-profile members to its Board of Directors this month. Suiting up for the cause are: Brett Hurt, the well-respected Co-Founder and CEO of Bazaarvoice, an Austin based provider of online consumer review management services, Jeff Kuhlman, Chief Communications Officer for Audi of America and Robert Stone, an intellectual property litigator with Quinn Emanuel's Silicon Valley office. All three have been involved with the organization on past projects and jumped at the chance to become part of the team.
"We are so excited to be able to announce three outstanding new additions to an already visionary group," says Julie Constantin, V Foundation board member and high tech industry whiz kid who together with husband Andrew created the cancer research fundraiser in 1998. "These guys represent some of the smartest and most successful thinking in their respective fields, and we can't wait to see what will result from having them in our mix."
"Everyone is impacted by cancer in some way, and that’s certainly true for me. Our effort here is critical to so many people," says Kuhlman. "Audi has been working with The V Foundation Wine Celebration for the last several years and I'm truly honored to be asked to help support this cause in a more hands-on way." And Kulhman isn't the only rookie joining the team. Earlier this year, Bazaarvoice donated its award-winning Stories technology to The V Foundation to create a place for people to share their stories about Jim Valvano and the work of The Foundation, and the result was an incredibly poignant and supportive new community space online that helps engage the community and inspire further donations. “Even in tough economic times, it is important to nourish our souls – and the souls of our companies – and give back when we can,” said Hurt, who lost his grandmother to cancer when he was 18. “My wife, Debra, and I became personal donors when we attended the incredibly moving and motivating Wine Celebration in Napa last year, and I am are very proud to support V Foundation through Bazaarvoice and to lend my social media and fundraising expertise to the board.” Robert Stone, who has attended the Wine Celebration for several years and is currently working with the organization on a pro-bono basis, was also delighted to be approached. “Both my parents have been stricken by cancer – and it took my mom when I was only five. When I was asked to become more involved, I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough," remarked Stone. “The track record here speaks for itself. This is a real hands-on board, and I am delighted to sign on and help wherever I can."
Hurt, Kuhlman and Stone join an impressive roster from a wide range of technology, business and non-profit backgrounds, including Michael Clair, Julie Contantin, Andrew Constantin, David Kane, Bob Lloyd, Frank Lonergan, Suzanne Narducci, Tom Pallack, Larry Probst, and Tony Smith. (link to complete list: http://www.winecelebration.org/about/board.html) "We've been incredibly successful for more than a decade thanks to the many generous donors who have supported us since we began," says Bob Lloyd, chairman of the Board of Directors of The V Foundation. "Our ability to find a cure for cancer depends largely on our ability to continue to fund much needed research. Jim started the organization -- he laid the foundation. Anyone who follows sports will tell you that the success of an organization often lies in their ability to continuing to scout and identify new talent, broadening resources and adding to the mix. We couldn't be happier that Brett and Jeff and Robert have agreed to sign on and help us in this fight."
The V Foundation Wine Celebration, a signature fundraiser for legendary sportscaster and coach Jim Valvano's eponymous V Foundation, has raised more than $30 million for research efforts to address a wide variety of cancers since it was first held eleven years ago. The V Foundation has earned a top four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, for a sixth consecutive rating, and 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net event proceeds are applied to cancer research and related programs.
To learn more visit www.winecelebration.com.
About The V Foundation: Since 1993, The V Foundation has raised more than $80 million, awarding grants in 38 states and the District of Columbia. The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of some of the top physicians and research scientists from prominent universities and cancer centers nationwide, assures that only the cancer research projects with the most potential are funded.