Vitale’s Latest Gift Unveiled at Out-of-Door Academy


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.


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Grant Boxleitner
Grant Boxleitner is the SNN evening news anchor. He joined the SNN news team in October 2009 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Boxleitner covered the British tourist murders, a story that made international headlines. He was a member of the SNN reporting team that won a Telly Award for the 10th anniversary 9/11 special about the Suncoast’s connections to the terrorist attacks. He also covered 2012 visits to Sarasota by Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden. Boxleitner was named co-anchor of the SNN Morning Edition in March 2014. He anchored SNN's live 2016 Florida Presidential Preference Primary coverage and anchored coverage of live speeches from the candidates throughout the campaign. In March 2016, he was named SNN evening news anchor. He hosts the weekly SNN feature segment, "Feel Good Friday." You hear his voice at Ed Smith Stadium as the public address announcer for the Baltimore Orioles spring training games. Boxleitner has been a journalist in Southwest Florida since 1997. He joined WBBH-TV NBC-2 in Fort Myers as a reporter in September 2006, fulfilling a longtime career goal of breaking into television news after beginning his career in newspapers. Boxleitner grew up in Marengo, Ill., and is a U.S. Army veteran, completing a combat mission during Desert Storm. He earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in journalism and political science from Northern Illinois University. During his time in Florida, he completed a master’s degree in media and journalism studies at USF-St. Petersburg. When he’s not on the air, you may find him working out at the YMCA, eating in a Suncoast restaurant or spending time with family and friends.


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