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Friends of WVU Hospitals donates $57K to support Huggins endowment at WVU Cancer Institute

WVU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins (at center) accepts the latest donation to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment.

WVU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins (at center) accepts the latest donation to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment from (left to right) Janna Yoder, manager of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital Friends Gift Shop and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital Friends Gift Shop; Adrienne Davis, president of Friends of WVU Hospitals auxiliary; Kimberly Hartsell, director of volunteer services, gift shops and business liaison, Friends of WVU Hospitals, and Project SEARCH; and Tom Shadd, assistant vice president of support services.

Friends of WVU Hospitals has raised more than $57,000 to benefit cancer care and research at the WVU Cancer Institute through sales of its limited-edition Bob Huggins bobbleheads.

All proceeds from the bobbleheads go to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment, which Coach Huggins established after his mother’s passing in 2003 following a long battle with colon cancer. Friends of WVU Hospitals leadership joined Huggins this week to present a check for the latest installment of bobblehead proceeds totaling $15,000.

“It’s really amazing to have support from the Friends group,” Huggins said. “They have done so much over the years to benefit my mother’s charity and keep her legacy alive. I am honored to sign the bobbleheads when they bring them to me because it all goes to supporting our fight against cancer. I appreciate their partnership and encourage everyone to check out the bobbleheads.”

Friends of WVU Hospitals partnered with Huggins to create the first bobblehead in 2020. Now available in a second edition, the bobbleheads are sold exclusively through Friends Gift Shop. They can be purchased in the gift shop at WVU Medicine’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, online at the Friends Gift Shop website, at select WVU men’s basketball games, and at fundraising events to support the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment.

“Our mission is to raise money to help with different projects at the hospital,” Adrienne Davis, president of the Friends of WVU Hospitals board, said. “Certainly, the WVU Cancer Institute is near and dear to our hearts, and Coach Huggins’ story in connection with his mother’s passing and his passion and commitment to the Norma Mae endowment is something we really admire. So, we really wanted to jump on board and help him come up with these ideas. It’s been a great journey, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Bob Huggins

Based on bobblehead sales, Friends of WVU Hospitals leaders hope to launch a third edition soon. The first bobblehead featured Huggins standing with his arms outstretched, and the second edition features Huggins seated on his signature stool with his arms crossed.

The Huggins bobbleheads build upon the success of Hug-A-Bear, the first collector’s item created by Friends of WVU Hospitals to benefit the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment. Hug-A-Bear wore a coonskin cap and blue blazer, held a basketball, and played “Country Roads.” Friends donated $10 from the sale of each bear to the Huggins endowment, raising a total of $40,000.

Friends Gift Shop provides valuable services for WVU Medicine patients, their families, visitors, and employees. Over the years, Friends has provided more than $2 million in support for patient comfort and care programs. Learn more at

All contributions to the Norma Mae Huggins Endowment are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities.

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