Jim Calhoun Receives Public Service Award from CBA

The Connecticut Bar Association honored UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun last week by awarding him the 2010 Distinguished Public Service Award.  Although Calhoun is best known for building the UConn basketball program into a national power, he has made significant contributions to Connecticut charities.  Here are some the highlights of Coach Calhoun’s charitable work:

  • In 1998, Coach Calhoun and his wife, Pat, established the Calhoun Cardiology Research Fund for the cardiology program at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
  • In 1999, the Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic Golf Tournament was launched and has raised more than $2.75 million for the Jim and Pat Calhoun Cardiology Research Endowment Fund. 
  • In 2006, Coach Calhoun and Mrs. Calhoun became involved with raising public awareness and research funding for Autism Speaks.  
  • For the last 10 years, the Jim Calhoun Holiday Food Drive has supported food assistance agencies throughout the state.  Nearly $1 million has been raised to help families in need.  Each year, the food drive culminates with Coach Calhoun, his family and his players delivering meals to hundreds of families.  
  • His “Hoops for Hope” black-tie galas have raised more than $400,000 for the American Cancer Society.
  • In June 2007, the Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk celebrated its first year as an annual statewide event to benefit the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center and Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by the American Cancer Society. The ride raised more than $225,000 in the fight against cancer.  
  • For the past 13 years, Coach Calhoun has served as honorary chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, helping raise more than $4.5 million to fund diabetes research.  
  • Finally, Coach Calhoun and Mrs. Calhoun have a long-standing involvement with the Franciscan Life Center in Meriden, a counseling and education center operated by the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist.  The Calhoun family has been involved each year in fund-raising activities by the Franciscan Sisters.  
  • Other charitable programs that the coach and his family are involved in include the Ronald McDonald House Kids Classic Golf Tournament, the Ray of Hope Foundation Golf Tournament, the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the “Character Counts” program in Connecticut.

Congratulations to Coach Calhoun and Mrs. Calhoun for their exemplary public service.

Thanks to Tom Ciuba of the Connecticut Bar Association for providing the information contained in this post.

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