Hoops for Hope was started in 2006 when Diane Brumwell, a well-respected mother of four and small business owner, was experiencing a reoccurrence of ovarian cancer. Her children, upon witnessing their mom’s courageous battle with cancer, decided they needed to increase awareness of the disease and raise funds for cancer research. Diane’s sons, Ryan and Jason Brumwell, thought a basketball tournament was the perfect opportunity for publicity and fundraising as they had grown up playing the sport and knew a tournament would bring both members of the press and players with donations to their hometown.
During the inaugural tournament, Diane sat on the sidelines and watched as four teams vigorously competed. However, it was obvious from the beginning that the players on the court were not just playing for sport, they were rallying behind every cancer patient, survivor, and casualty. The original four teams raised over $4,000 for The American Cancer Society and Relay for Life; a significant accomplishment for such a small group of individuals.
Unfortunately, three short months after the inaugural tournament, Diane lost her courageous battle with cancer. In the spirit of their inspirational family matriarch, the family quickly decided that the tournament must continue. The event was renamed “The Diane Brumwell Memorial Hoops for Hope” to honor the great lady who had inspired so many, and planning began. The second tournament doubled in size to eight teams and raised over $9,000 in donations.
As the donations continued to increase, Diane’s two sons began to research several foundations that devoted significant amounts of money to cancer research as they believed research dollars would have the biggest impact on conquering the disease. After exploring several incredible organizations the pair discovered The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The V Foundation struck a particular heartstring with the Brumwell Family because of the person that Jim Valvano, the founder of the V Foundation, was. Valvano started the organization shortly before his death so that others battling cancer could benefit from the dollars raised to fight the disease. He, too, believed in research like the Brumwells and specified that 100 percent of the dollars raised through the organization be donated to cancer research. After contacting the foundation, the Brumwells decided that the V Foundation and Hoops for Hope created the perfect partnership.
The third annual tournament was held in April of 2008 and was the first year it partnered with the V Foundation. Over 16 teams competed including, for the first time, several female teams. The players collectively raised over $16,000.
Since 2006 the tournament has now raised over $425,000 and continues to grow each year. What at first was hard to get people to rally around since many had never heard of The V Foundation, has now inspired more and more people to donate so much of their hard earned money and time to help find a cure. Where many organizations have come under fire lately for their distribution of funds, the trust in The V Foundation seems to be growing and is certainly an organization that it is easy to be passionate about. Many are starting to believe, like The Brumwell's, that the end of cancer begins with organizations like The V Foundation, and individuals like yourself. Together we can find a cure for this terrible disease!