‘V Courtyard’ dedicated

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As CEO of The V Foundation, Nick Valvano’s duties take him many places away from the organization’s North Carolina headquarters.

Friday, he’s expected to meet with a scientist in Tampa, Fla., whose cancer research has uncovered a way to regenerate lymph nodes in mice.

“It’s in Phase One right now,” Valvano said, “but it’s very, very encouraging.”

That scientist’s work is the result of funding provided by The V Foundation, the organization founded by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, Nick’s brother, former college basketball coach and television analyst.

Thursday in Bristol, Conn., Nick Valvano and several other members of the V Foundation Board Of Directors (pictured in the slideshow above) joined ESPN employees in dedication of a courtyard in Jim Valvano’s memory.

The V Courtyard, adjacent to Building 13 on ESPN’s main campus, is dedicated to company employees in recognition of their support.

In little more than the past year alone, employees have helped raise $3 million for The V Foundation, ESPN President George Bodenheimer said.

Since 1993, The V Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of the events directly to cancer research and related programs.

“To see all of these employees, some of whom who weren’t employees when Jim was here, so committed makes me swell up inside, ” said Valvano, pictured left of Bodenheimer before a plaque honoring the court.

“I’m so happy. What their contributions mean to us, you can’t quantify it.”

Bodenheimer told the crowd assembled that “within the last 10 months, we’ve lost three of our colleagues to cancer. But in their honor and many others’ honor, we will never give up the fight. ”

The V Courtyard dedication ceremony also provided a chance for The V Foundation to be honored by the group Celebrate Positive with the 2010 NGO Positive Peace Award, Entertainment Broadcast Event Category.

The Foundation’s “Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research” was hailed by Celebrate Positive for its commitment to cancer research, said Scott Pederson, the group’s president and CEO.

Judges from United Nations NGOs — or nongovernmental organizations — including Rotary International, Pathways to Peace and Sister CIties International voted on the award.

Brad Cole, Chairman of Sister Cities Interanational, presented the award to V Foundation representatives (left to right in photo) Carol Stiff, Ilan Ben-Hanan and Ben Dooley.

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