By: Lauren Fabrizi
Two Lincoln Southwest High School students have organized a fundraiser to benefit the V Foundation for cancer research, and are getting help from sports announcer Dick Vitale himself.
Karlye Cygan and Lisa Ingham have been close friends since middle school. They both know other friends who have been affected by cancer, so the decision to raise money for pediatric cancer research was an easy one.
"It felt like a perfect thing to join those two things together," Cygan said. "And it was something I cared about."
They're doing it as part of a National Honor Society project at LSW. It started out as a small fundraiser by selling t–shirts. Little did they know a big–time sports announcer would help out.
Dick Vitale is neighbors with Cygan's mom's boss who lives in Florida. When he found out the girls were raising money for the V Foundation, which he's heavily involved with, he knew he needed to help.
We reached out to Vitale via Twitter. He said, "I will do anything to raise dollars 4 kids battling cancer..."
So he shipped some autographed items to Lincoln for the girls to sell.
"I was like, 'Wow, this person that is big in society wants to help us, and we're just girls from Nebraska,'" Ingham said.
The girls will sell the memorabilia at LSW's boys and girls basketball games next Friday. They said Vitale will even ship more autographed basketballs to students who fill out order forms at those games.
Both Cygan and Ingham said it's incredible to see their fundraiser pan out in a way they never imagined.
"It's just good being able to know that you are doing something to give back to others," Cygan said. "And that people outside of even Nebraska are watching what we are doing, knowing that we can make a difference, too."
Vitale also reached out to the Team Jack Foundation. He wants Jack Hoffman and his family to attend the Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota, Fla., in May.