In the Fall of 1998, Pat and I created a fund to support cardiac research — the UConn Foundation Inc.’s Pat & Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health. The Cardiology Center is dedicated to the full spectrum of cardiology research activities at the University’s School of Medicine. In addition to our personal gifts, I launched this event eighteen years ago – the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic – to benefit the work of the cardiologists at UConn Health. Since the event’s inception in 1999, more than $8 million has been raised.
Again this year, we are excited to have the Mohegan Sun / Jim Calhoun Charity All-Star Game back as one of our Jim Calhoun Celebrity Classic activities. NEW THIS YEAR, in addition to having many of my greatest players back to compete, they will be joined by many of the top Connecticut women's players. It should be a great night with a new format, all for an important cause.
I want to extend a very special thank you to our title sponsor, Mohegan Sun. Mohegan Sun has supported this event generously for each of the past 18 years. I also want to thank our event presenting sponsor, Robert and Renee Samuels, for all they have done to support my work here and on behalf of the Neag Cancer Center.
We also welcome Cigna this year as the game's presenting sponsor. We very much appreciate their generous support. Additionally, I thank Whelen Engineering for serving as the presenting sponsor of our Sunday golf tournament again this year.
As we celebrate our eighteenth year, I am grateful to each and every corporation and individual that has made this event the overwhelming success it has become. Many of our partners have been with us since we started. Their generous support has and continues to enable the great research staff at UConn Health, led by Dr. Bruce Liang, to advance the fight against heart disease – still the number one killer in America today.