Gary Pinkel talks new foundation at philanthropy gala

ST. LOUIS - Former Missouri head football coach, Gary Pinkel, spoke about his new foundation GP MADE, last weekend at a gala benefiting the American Cancer Society.

The gala was hosted by MU fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, as a part of their biennial philanthropy, Rock-A-Thon.

"Coach Pinkel talked a lot about his fight against cancer, and what is now his new foundation," said Jack Bizar, the philanthropy's co-chair and organizer of the gala. "We've never planned a gala before, so to have Coach Pinkel there to support us and help run the evening was really special."

In his speech, Pinkel introduced GP MADE, said, "People ask me what do you do now" and made a joke about the amount of time he had to speak. He also explained that the name of the foundation, GP MADE, is an, "acronym for M-A-D-E: make a difference everyday."

Pinkel said the foundation's focus will be made up of three components.

The first component is "about helping kids," Pinkel said. The second will focus on helping those diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma, along with individuals who have physical limitations.

"The third component is going to be to help kids who come from really tough backgrounds," Pinkel said.

"I could tell you about home visits I've had in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, anywhere you want to go and you would not believe some of the environments some of these kids grow up in," Pinkel said.

"It was inspiring to hear a Mizzou legend and leader in the community talk so passionately about what he is now doing," Bizar said. "While at the same time supporting the American Cancer Society."

"We're going to beat cancer someday, I probably won't be alive to see it, but it's going to happen, and we're winning now because of people like you," Pinkel said at the end of his speech.

The foundation will have its official kick-off event on April 24 in Columbia.

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