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Virtual Bob Huggins Fish Fry raises $500K to support WVU Cancer Institute, Remember the Miners

WVU Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Huggins (at center) speaks with (from left) emcee Tony Caridi and Remember the Miners co-founder Erik Muendel at the 2021 Fish Fry, streamed live Feb. 26 from Triple S Harley Davidson.

WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins (at center) speaks with (from left) emcee Tony Caridi and Remember the Miners co-founder Erik Muendel at the 2021 Fish Fry, streamed live Feb. 26 from Triple S Harley Davidson.

The first livestreamed Bob Huggins Fish Fry raised $500,000 to benefit the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment at the WVU Cancer Institute and the Remember the Miners organization.   

The annual Fish Fry was held Friday, Feb. 26, via livestream to ensure the health and safety of participants amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters had the opportunity to enjoy a cutting-edge experience featuring virtual live and silent auctions, a raffle drawing and star-studded segments. Tony Caridi, multiple-time West Virginia Sportscaster of the Year, served as emcee.

More than 1,000 people from across the country – from as far as California, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida and New Jersey – tuned in to view the Fish Fry live. The event was streamed from Triple-S Harley Davidson in Morgantown and presented by Little General Stores. Coach Huggins was joined by a star-studded lineup of guests, including Dave Portnoy, Rich Rodriguez, Fran Fraschilla, Da’Sean Butler and others. Moving tributes were also featured, including a segment during which Coach Huggins shared the powerful story of his first connection with Remember the Miners and the origins of the Fish Fry.

Whether you joined us from near or far, I want to thank all those who supported the Fish Fry this year. It is absolutely incredible that, despite the pandemic, we raised over half a million dollars to support our causes,” Bob Huggins, head coach of men’s basketball at WVU, said. “I appreciate all of our participants and sponsors for making this benefit possible.”

The Norma Mae Huggins Endowment was established in 2003 by Coach Huggins in honor of his mother, who passed away after a long battle with colon cancer. The endowment has raised over $7 million in support of cancer research and care at the WVU Cancer Institute, where lessening the cancer burden in and around West Virginia is the foremost goal. 

“We rely on the generosity of supporters to fund critical and practical needs related to this essential service provided by the WVU Cancer Institute to the state of West Virginia. There is no one more passionate about supporting the WVU Cancer Institute and its mission to provide high quality of care to as many West Virginians as possible than Bob Huggins,” Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, MD, FACS, director of the WVU Cancer Institute, Jean & Laurence DeLynn Chair of Oncology and associate professor of surgery at the WVU School of Medicine, said. “We are grateful for Bob Huggins’ generosity of time and advocacy and for the donors who support him and the WVU CI with the Fish Fry.”

Former WVU men’s basketball player Da’Sean Butler speaks at the 2021 Bob Huggins Fish Fry

Former WVU men’s basketball player Da’Sean Butler speaks at the 2021 Bob Huggins Fish Fry.

“By donating to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment, supporters help the CI be on the forefront of cancer care, from education and prevention, through treatment and into survivorship,” Hazard-Jenkins said. “It is our responsibility to be the place that provides patients and their families both knowledge and comfort during someone's cancer care." 

Remember the Miners is a nonprofit public awareness campaign committed to telling the story of America’s real source of energy: the coal miner. Remember the Miners tells the story through events, media and its flagship Scholars Program. The Scholars Program has raised $150,000 and funds scholarships for mining engineering students in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University

“I am enthusiastic about what is being accomplished thanks to the long-standing partnership between Remember the Miners and the Bob Huggins Fish Fry. The event has become the key fundraising effort for the RTM Scholarship Endowment Fund. The students who benefit from these scholarships represent the future of mining technology and safety,” Erik Muendel, founder and CEO of Brightline Interactive and co-founder of Remember the Miners, said. “The Fish Fry has also fostered an incredible relationship with WVU’s Mining Extension Service and Mine Rescue Team.”

The Fish Fry was made possible thanks to a number of sponsors, including top-level sponsors such as Joe and Lisa Subrick, Brightline Interactive, Morgantown Printing & Binding, Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration, The Boston Beanery, Three Leaf Solutions, Wayne and Kathy Richards, Hartley Law Group, PLLC, Mona Supply, the Antoline Family Foundation, Steve and Joy Ferguson, Oxford Physical Therapy, Mid State Ford, McCrea Heating and Air Conditioning, Paul Ladosky and Astorg Motors

To donate to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment, contact Cory Chambers, director of annual giving for the WVU Cancer Institute, at CChambers@wvuf.org.

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