ESPN Lines Up Big-Ticket Prizes for Charity

Want to watch MLB batting practice from the field? Stand sideline on an NFL game day? Ask Grant Hill about his game? ESPN is offering fans a chance at sports memorabilia and exclusive experiences with the “Don’t Ever Give Up” V Foundation Auction on ESPN Radio Networks.

The live radiothon coincides with the July 13 taping of the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, whose official charity is the Jimmy V Foundation, named for the late Jim Valvano, former N.C. State men’s basketball coach and athletic director. The gala event has become so popular with the A-lists of sports and entertainment that producers have to turn celebs away in lieu of seating them in the balcony with fans.

The show will run on ESPN television networks on Sunday , July 17. Former Friends star Matthew Perry will serve as host, Oprah Winfrey will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to disabled athletes Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah and Jim MacLaren, and female R&B group Destiny’s Child, with well-known frontwoman Beyonce, will perform in one of their last group appearances before retiring to solo careers.

Beginning July 3, fans can visit to see the full list of bidding and bid for smaller ticket stuff. On July 13, beginning at 6 a.m. ET (yes, that’s 3 a.m. for you West Coast sports enthusiasts) a big-ticket item will open for auction and listeners can call 1-800-FOR-JIMMYV to make their offers.