Miami Heat fans, cancer survivors, novice and experienced dribblers and others who want to make a difference in the fight against cancer recently took to the streets of Miami in an event like no other: The first-ever community-wide “Dribble Drive Against Cancer.”
The fundraiser — presented by Miccosukee Resort & Gaming — marked the culmination of this year’s “Heat.Help.Cure.” initiative, representing “Join the Heat. You can help find a cure.” Three leading South Florida organizations — the Miami Heat, Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute and Entercom — are in Year Two of the distinct philanthropic partnership.
“Heat.Help.Cure. is about our community coming together as a team in the fight against cancer,” said Baptist Health’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer Joe Natoli. “It’s us versus cancer.”
Novice and experienced dribblers alike raised funds for the cause by dribbling a basketball at their own pace on three different routes:
• The Dribble Drive Challenge, 13.8 miles from Miami Cancer Institute to AmericanAirlines Arena;
• The Dribble Drive, 3.3 miles from Vizcaya Village to the arena, or
• The Dribble Drive Dash, around the perimeter of the arena.
Dribble Drive Challenge (13.8-mile) participants received a signature “pineapple” basketball autographed by Bam Adebayo and a photo at the arena with Heat legend Glen Rice. Dribble Drive (3.3-mile) participants received two free tickets to a Miami Heat game.
Five participating Entercom stations — Power 96 (WPOW-FM), 101.5 LITE FM (WLYF-FM), 102.7 The Beach (WMXJ-FM), AM 790 The Ticket (WAXY-AM) and 104.3 The Shark (WSFS-FM) — joined the community in the Dribble Drive. Kicked off by AM 790 The Ticket midday show co-host and Miami Heat reporter Jonathon Zaslow, the Dribble Drive featured station talent dribbling from Miami Cancer Institute to AmericanAirlines Arena, with listeners encouraged to join them and donate along the way.
The same lineup of stations participated Nov. 13 in the second annual “Heat.Help.Cure.Radiothon,” broadcasting live from the plaza at AmericanAirlines Arena.
During the 13-hour event, listeners made phone and online donations to benefit Miami Cancer Institute. The radiothon featured interviews with Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, Heat legends who have been affected by cancer, coaches, patients who have been treated at Miami Cancer institute, and physicians who provide expert, compassionate care to those patients.
The tipoff of Heat.Help.Cure. was the Miami Heat’s “Red, White & Pink Game,” an open scrimmage on Oct. 6 at AmericanAirlines Arena with ticket sales benefiting the cause.
The combined events within the Heat.Help.Cure initiative raised more than $576,881 to benefit groundbreaking cancer research at Miami Cancer Institute, which opened in 2017 and now cares for more than 1,000 patients daily.
“Every day, cancer researchers and physicians at Miami Cancer Institute work tirelessly to build a world without cancer,” said the Institute’s CEO and executive medical director Michael Zinner, MD. “Our community can make a genuine impact through this significant partnership.”