As seen on last night's WWE RAW episode, it was announced that WWE will once again celebrate Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month during the month of September. The Amway Center in Orlando will be decorated for the campaign to support Connor's Cure, and there will be custom Superstar merchandise released. Above and below are two of the "Superstars of Tomorrow" promos released for the campaign.
WWE announced today that they, along with Dick Vitale's The V Foundation, have each donated $900,000, for a total of $1.8 million, towards three Translational Grants to help fund research and raise awareness. Translational Grants are three-year awards for a total of $600,000, to support bench-to-bedside research. Two of these grants will fund studies related to DIPG, a fatal brain cancer, and the third will fund research for solid tumors in kids.
WWE will also host Connor's Cure Superstar Challenge this month, which is a virtual challenge to honor the late Connor Michalek, who passed away at the age of 8 in 2014. He had cancer of the spine and the brain since age 3. Connor posthumously received the inaugural Warrior Award during the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The virtual challenge to honor Connor is detailed at v.org/superstarchallenge. There is no set distance or donation, and participants can run or walk any time during the month.
This is the 5th year that WWE and The V Foundation have partnered to raise money for pediatric cancer research through Connor's Cure.
"We are thrilled to team with Dick Vitale to help further critical research and studies that are necessary in the fight against pediatric cancer," said WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon. "Through WWE's partnership with the V Foundation, and in honor of Connor Michalek, we are committed to continue helping find a cure and will not stop until we do."
Above and below are the new "Superstars of Tomorrow" promos released by WWE, and below is the full announcement sent to us today:
The V Foundation for Cancer Research Kicks Off Month-Long Campaign for Pediatric Cancer Research
Partnerships with Dick Vitale, WWE will fund millions in promising research
Cary, NC [September 1, 2020] – The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is recognizing Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month by increasing awareness of the disease and calling for more funds to support pediatric cancer research. Just four percent of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to pediatric cancer, and more than 15,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed among children in 2018 (the most recently available National Cancer Institute data). The month-long campaign, in conjunction with long-time partners Dick Vitale and WWE®, highlights the critical need to fund research for children with cancer. Throughout September, the V Foundation will spotlight pediatric thrivers and the researchers who work tirelessly to stop childhood cancers. The V Foundation has funded nearly $50 million in research for pediatric cancer.
"Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles – we all feel the pain of a child diagnosed with cancer," said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. "And we all recognize the incredible power of hope. It is the excellent research into cures for pediatric cancer that fuels that hope. The V Foundation, with champion Dick Vitale, strives to make more of that life-saving research a reality until the disease is totally cured."
Kicking off the month, Dick and Loraine Vitale will present the Annual Dick Vitale Gala, "Passion 4 Pediatrics," virtually on September 4. Vitale is a champion for pediatric cancer research, raising nearly $30 million through his Gala for the pediatric fund in his name at the V Foundation. Private funding is critical to propelling research for the leading disease-related cause of death for American children over 1 year old. For more information or to participate in the Virtual Gala, please call the Mary Kenealy Events Gala Office at (941) 350-0580. To donate, visit v.org/donateforkids.
The V Foundation and WWE are in the fifth year of their partnership to raise money for pediatric cancer research through Connor's Cure. During September, WWE is hosting the Connor's Cure Superstar Challenge, a virtual challenge to honor Connor Michalek, an 8-year-old WWE fan who battled medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. No set distance or donation is required, and participants can run/walk anytime during the month. To learn more or to register, visit v.org/superstarchallenge. Additionally, to support children fighting cancer, WWE produced the "Support Tomorrow's Superstars" campaign for pediatric patients undergoing treatment. To learn more about Connor's Cure, visit v.org/connor.
Vitale and WWE have combined their efforts this year to fund three pediatric V Foundation Translational Grants totaling $1.8 million, with $900,000 being contributed by Vitale and WWE. Translational Grants are three-year awards of $600,000 total and support bench-to-bedside research. Two of the grants will fund studies related to DIPG, a universally fatal brain cancer, and the third grant will fund research for solid tumors in children.
"We are thrilled to team with Dick Vitale to help further critical research and studies that are necessary in the fight against pediatric cancer," said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. "Through WWE's partnership with the V Foundation, and in honor of Connor Michalek, we are committed to continue helping find a cure and will not stop until we do."
"Words cannot describe the excitement and joy I am feeling learning that Stephanie McMahon and her WWE team have united with us in providing funding that will play a vital role in battling pediatric cancer," said Vitale. "It is simply amazing what they are doing to attack the cancers that have caused nightmares for many youngsters and their families. These grants are made possible by the generosity of WWE and the kindness and generosity of those who have donated to our Gala. We feel confident that these research grants will make a difference in the outcome for children with cancer."
The V Foundation has proudly awarded more than $250 million for cutting-edge cancer research. The V Foundation holds a 4-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest evaluator of charities, and is among the top 3% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is a GuideStar platinum-rated charity.