LAKEWOOD RANCH — Hall of fame broadcaster Dick Vitale helps thousands through his charitable contributions.
And his latest gift hits home for his family. Surrounded by family members, Vitale cut the ribbon Wednesday in front of the new Dick Vitale Family Student Center at Out–Of–Door Academy’s Uihlein Campus in Lakewood Ranch. Vitale’s five grandchildren attend the private school.
It’s part of a $4.5 million facility made possible through a gift from the Dick Vitale Family and the Dart Foundation. The second floor houses the Dart STEM Center, a collection of science labs and math classrooms.
“Financially to be able to do something of this stature, I’m very blessed, very lucky, ” Vitale tells SNN. “I’m just so proud.”
The Dick Vitale Family Student Center features study areas with tables, sofas and chairs, along with a tech center, cyber café and writing lab.
ODA 11th grader called the addition to campus “incredible,” and says he’s looking forward to using the facility.
ODA Head of School David Mahler says the facility and the Vitale and Dart families who made it happen provide “a transformational moment in the life of ODA.”
Vitale has also donated to charitable groups around the Suncoast. And he still helps raise millions annually for pediatric cancer research. In May, the inaugural Dick Vitale Telethon on SNN raised more than $100,000 in 12 hours.