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Gootter Foundation’s First Down Honoring Rich Rodriguez By Valerie Vinyard Rich Rodriguez, head football coach for the University of cure for sudden cardiac death, the leading cause of natural Arizona Wildcats, will receive the Philanthropic Award from death in the United States. the Steven M. Gootter FoundaClaudine Messing is Andrew’s tion at its 10th anniversary gala on wife, Gootter’s sister and VP of the March 7. Rodriguez served as the foundation. Her husband said she is honorary chair of last year’s gala. “the heart and soul of the founda“Coach Rodriguez got involved tion.” immediately when he arrived in She explained how the foundation Tucson three years ago,” said Anwas established so quickly. “Friends drew Messing, president of the and family were motivated by the Gootter Foundation. “I don’t even grief. It was such a tragedy to all of think he had been on the football us,” she said, noting that the foundafield yet. In the short time he’s been tion is entirely run by volunteers, so in Tucson, he’s embraced the com“every dollar can go to research.” munity.” Bobby Present was the president Ten years ago, Steven M. Gootter of the Gootter Foundation until died unexpectedly of sudden cardiabout two years ago. He played tenac arrest at age 42. He went out for nis with Steven and has known the a morning run with the family dog Gootter family for years. and never made it home. Though “With a lot of hard work and the young athlete’s death remains some luck, we really were able to Steven M. Gootter with a shock to friends and family, much find people who were committed daughter Sophie and son Max good has come from the tragedy. to funding SCD research,” PresThe Gootter Foundation was established within months. To ent said. “The volunteers have deep roots in this community. date, it has raised about $3.5 million for research in finding a continued on page 86 >>>

PAST HONOREES

Clockwise – 2014 Honorees Humberto and Czarina Lopez, 2007 Honorees Robert and Penny Sarver, 2009 Honoree Dr. Gordon Ewy, 2012 Honorees Dr. Gulshan and Neelam Sethi, 2013 Honoree Ginny Clements, 2008 Honoree Bazy Tankersley, 2011 Honorees Alfie and Allan Norville and 2010 Honoree Bobby Present

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