May 11, 2012
Infiniti capped another winning year of support for NCAA® Division I men’s basketball, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and various coaches’ charities with a check presentation ceremony at Infiniti Americas Headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee. This was part of more than $1 million donated during the 2011-2012 season. The event was emceed by ESPN sports analyst Doug Gottlieb.
Ohio State University men’s basketball coach Thad Matta received a $100,000 check for his charity, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio, for winning the annual “Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge.” Coach Matta, with support from his Ohio State Buckeye fans, bested 47 other NABC NCAA Division I men’s basketball coaches in the annual competition. Fan participation determined the ultimate winner by voting online over an eight-week period. The other 47 coaches’ designated charities received $5,000 each from Infiniti, for a total donation of $335,000 for the event. Receiving the $100,000 check from Infiniti and Matta was Dee Anders, CEO and executive director, RMHC of Central Ohio.
In addition, Saint Joseph’s University men’s basketball coach Phil Martelli, Chair of the Coaches vs. Cancer Council, received Infiniti’s donation of $700,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the NABC. The total amount, a significant increase from previous years, was a direct result of fan participation in the Infiniti sponsored online “Round by Round” bracket game during the NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Joining Martelli for the award were representatives of the American Cancer Society and NABC.
Q1. What does the $100,000 donation from Infiniti mean to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio?
A1. Dee Anders, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio:
It will provide approximately 1,000 nights for families while their child is in the hospital, so they will be able to stay close to the kids, right across the street.
Q2. How did the contest impact your community?
A2. Dee Anders, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio:
The contest was really fun and it was great for our community. It brought the entire community together. Everyone really rallied behind Coach Matta and the Ronald McDonald House. We got so much great exposure from the contest. People got excited about what the contest meant to the house and what it could bring to the house and all of the families it could support so it was very, very exciting for us.
Q3.Can you describe the impact that the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge has had on local charity programs?
A3. Jim Haney, Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC):
First of all I think you have to recognize that the coach in his community has a leadership role, people look up to him. So for the coach to all of a sudden participate in a program like this where he can reach out to folks in his local community, whether they are fans of his particular school or not, and yet look to raise money and awareness, it’s just a great thing. From the NABC’s perspective, it is something we always believe so strongly in. The coach, we all see him on the court for a defined period of time. But he is really doing other things in his community, and nationwide, that are impacting the lives of people in a very positive way.
A4. Howard Goodrow, Senior Director, National Business Development, American Cancer Society:
There are four areas that we look to focus on. One is to help people stay well. That is through prevention and detection activities. If people can find a cancer early on, their odds of surviving are so much higher than if they were to let it go and not seek treatment. So that is one of the areas. And then, we help people get well. If they have been diagnosed, we want to help them through their journey.
Getting the right treatment, potentially staying at one of or Hope Lodges around the country, so they can get outpatient treatment and stay at one of our lodges. Then we help, obviously, to find cures through our research program. We’ve been involved in virtually every groundbreaking research program over the last 50 years. And then finally, we hope to help people fight back. So, those are the four areas we focus on. We can’t thank Infiniti enough for what they have done for us over the last two years. The dollars they have given to us have gone to help thousands and thousands of people across the country – both survivors and those of us who haven’t yet been touched by cancer.