Peach Bowl, Inc. Named Finalist for ESPN Sports Humanitarian Award
Peach Bowl LegACy Fund recognized nationally for its fight against childhood cancer.
ATLANTA (May 20, 2020) – ESPN today named Peach Bowl, Inc. a finalist for its Corporate Community Impact Award, a category in the annual Sports Humanitarian Awards.
The finalist designation recognizes the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund for its efforts in the fight against childhood cancer. Last September, Peach Bowl, Inc. donated $20 million to establish the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to be hyper-focused on funding clinical drug trials for the most promising new drugs and treatment options for children fighting cancer.
“There is an urgent and incredible need for the advancement of new drugs and treatments for childhood cancer,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and president. “We are humbled and honored to be recognized in this way, but this is only the beginning of our fight. We are all in on this, and we are going to continue until a breakthrough is made.”
The sixth annual Sports Humanitarian Awards sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is a celebration of the impact made by athletes, teams and sports industry professionals who are using sports to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world. This year, the Sports Humanitarian Awards will combine with The 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capitol One for an inspirational evening that showcases the true power of sports. The show will air on June 21 on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.
The Corporate Community Impact Award recognizes a corporation that utilizes its business platform and the power of sports to help advance a social issue, cause or community organization. For being named a category finalist, the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund will receive a $25,000 grant. The category award winner will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to the award-winning humanitarian efforts.
“ESPN recognizes that this year more than ever, athletes, teams and leagues have been leading the way in responding to the needs of communities across the country and the world,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “For six years, ESPN has been honored to telecast the Sports Humanitarian Awards, which highlights the impact that sports has to create social change, and we’re excited to carry that narrative through the ESPYS and our other platforms.”
Annually, only 4 percent of the National Institute of Health’s federal funding for cancer research benefits childhood cancer, making it nearly impossible to move the needle on clinical trials for new drugs. In the last 40 years, only one out of every 22 cancer drugs approved were approved for use in children.
“We are on a mission to change how we fight cancer in the future, starting right here in our hospital. The $20 million Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is giving hope to families nationwide who have been impacted by this disease,” said Donna Hyland, CEO of Children’s. “We are so thankful for the longstanding relationship between Children’s and Peach Bowl, Inc. and for their significant investment in finding cures for kids with cancer.”
The overall goal of the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund is to ensure that high-priority novel agents, devices and treatment strategies can be tested in patients at an accelerated pace, eventually leading to additional treatment options.
In April 2018, Anna Charles Hollis “A.C.”, the six-year-old daughter of Benji Hollis, a Peach Bowl executive, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). After a five-month fight, A.C. succumbed to the disease and passed away on September 16. Her fight against AML has served to focus the Peach Bowl’s gift and is the inspiration for the Peach Bowl LegACy Fund, named in her honor, and meant to carry on her fight.
Including its contribution to create the LegACy Fund, Peach Bowl, Inc. has now contributed more than $57 million to those in need since 2002 making it college football’s most charitable bowl organization.
All nominees will be featured in ESPN studio shows the week of June 15. The winner will be announced during The 2020 ESPYS on June 21.