Basketball hall of famer, college basketball analyst and ABC Sports and ESPN talent Dick Vitale was in Salina Thursday. Vitale was the featured speaker at the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet and Meeting.
Vitale met with the media prior to the banquet. The 80-year-old who is in 14 different halls of fame, spoke about many things, including what motivates him to continue doing what he does.
Vitale also spoke about the recent brawl between the University of Kansas and Kansas State University basketball teams in Lawrence, and the upcoming rematch between the two teams.
Vitale is as passionate about raising money to fight childhood cancer as he is about basketball. He helps raise funds for ESPN’s Victory Over Cancer “V Foundation”. All money raised by Vitale is dedicated to fighting pediatric cancer. The effort has brought in over $250 million. As part of the effort Vitale also sells merchandise on his website DickVitaleOnline and donates all of the proceeds to fight cancer.
The evening consisted of remarks by outgoing Board Chair Joyce Volk and incoming Chairman James Lambert, a brief review of the Chamber’s accomplishments in 2019, and the address by Vitale.
The chamber has a history of bringing big name speakers for their annual banquet and membership meeting. Last year actor and comedian Rob Riggle spoke. Other speakers have included Kansas City Royal’s General Manager Dayton Moore, Republican Presidential Nomination Candidate Carly Fiorina, Emmy-Award winning journalist John Stossel, cancer surviving hall of fame figure skater Scott Hamilton, presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Former President George Bush, Former British Prime Minister John Major, sports journalist Bob Costas, and Major League Baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr., among others.