It's been nearly 20 years since legendary N.C. State University basketball coach Jim Valvano succumbed to cancer in 1993. In the two decades since, his brother, Nick, has carried on Jimmy V's fight against the disease through the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The foundation's efforts recently expanded to a rather stylish means of fundraising through the new V Foundation Neckwear Collection ( www.jimmyv.org/vties).
The collection features ties inspired by sports celebrities, such as Jimmy V, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, ESPN anchor Chris Berman, NHL legend Bobby Orr and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.
"We went to Jerry Rice, who was in the original V Foundation tie collection in 2000, and he said, 'I'd love to do it again,' " says Nick Valvano of the selection process for this collection. "Vitale and Mike are much closer because they're on our board, and Chris has been a donor from the beginning and he's been a good friend."
Each tie is connected to one of the sports figures, with a design representative of that person. The designs are small, making the ties look from afar like ordinary patterned ties. Valvano says that was intentional, as they envision these as everyday neckwear, rather than novelty ties.
"The designs were created by either having conversations with the athletes or coming up with something that's signature for the person," says Valvano. "From afar it looks like a regular graphic design, but up close you can see the uniqueness - Bobby Orr has a Bruin and a hockey goal, and Dick Vitale's has the diaper dandy, a basketball with a diaper."
The ties retail for $40 and are available at Belk, Kohl's, Macy's and on Amazon.com. A portion of the proceeds benefits cancer research and related programs at cancer centers nationwide.
Valvano says the foundation is already working with PVH on a new collection, featuring more sports celebrities. They already have several big names interested in collaborating.
"What's really nice about this collection is it gives these athletes who want to help an opportunity to help without a great demand on their time," says Valvano. "They're all so willing to be part of it."
For the aisle walk
The wedding fair goes upscale today at Cary Magazine's Elegant Weddings Gala at the Angus Barn, 4:30-8:30 p.m. Brides can meet with a variety of local wedding vendors while enjoying cocktails, live music and catering samples. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For information, or to buy tickets, visit www.carymagazine.com/weddings or call 674-6020.
A trunk full of classics
With spring right around the corner, Monkee's of Raleigh is getting ready with a Jack Rogers trunk show on Friday. The show will feature the new spring collection of the Palm Beach shoe brand, filled with classic sandals in bright, beachy colors.
Monkee's is at 4158 Main at North Hills St., Raleigh. 785-1400, www.monkeesof raleigh.com .
Facial hair face-off
Some of the Triangle's hottest beards and mustaches (and the men they're attached to) will compete for facial hair bragging rights at the first Carolina B.A.M. (beard and mustache) Competition, 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro. The event, which is sponsored by the Beard and Mustache Club of North Carolina, will benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina.
Admission is $25 for those who want to compete, $10 for spectators. For more information, visit www.bmcofnc.com.
A cute dress for a cure
Shop for a good cause at Scout & Molly's next week during the National Association of Women Business Owners and the M.S. Society-Eastern N.C. Chapter shopping event, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday.
With a $25 suggested donation to the M.S. Society, attendees can enjoy a 20 percent discount on one item at Scout & Molly's (the discount rises to 35 percent with a $100 donation), as well as beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres.
Scout & Molly's is in Cameron Village at 435 Daniels St., Raleigh, 754-8430, scoutand mollys.com .
Real diamond giveaway
While we all know most Facebook giveaways are a scam (sorry, no one ever scored a tablet by clicking on one of those free iPad links), there are actually a few legitimate contests on the social networking site. Through March 15, visit the Passion Cut Diamond Facebook fan page ( www.facebook.com/ PassionCut ) and click "Like" for a chance to win one of six half-carat loose diamonds from a participating jeweler. Bailey's Fine Jewelry in Raleigh is one of the participating stores.
Winners will be announced on March 21.
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