In fall 2007, college football in Orlando experienced a surge of support thanks to the completion of a new on-campus stadium at the University of Central Florida. The community enthusiasm inspired a group of Orlando leaders and philanthropists, many who were UCF alumni, to bring a new college bowl game to Orlando and to make it different by directly tying it to a charitable cause.

As the bowl game committee was being formed, Laura Goldstein — who was a strong, early advocate — was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. These unfortunate events inspired the initial board to choose breast cancer research as its charitable funding focus.

Through years of experience working with and supporting college athletics, Florida Citrus Sports and the NCAA College Football Bowl system, this group knew that each college bowl game donated its profits to a charitable cause. However, the general public typically is unaware of which charitable causes are being supported. To separate this bowl from the rest, the founding board wanted the bowl game to be different, to allow the public to support the game as well as a significant cause. To do this, it was decided the cause would be incorporated into the game title. As a result, the Cure Bowl was born. In 2014, the name was updated to reflect the new title sponsor, AutoNation.

Unfortunately, Laura Goldstein will not be able to experience the bowl game that she helped inspire. She lost her long and hard-fought battle with breast cancer on April 20, 2011. On March 24, 2015, Board CFO Sandi Breitenstein passed away from Stage IV liver cancer. The loss of Laura, Sandi and others continues to motivate the founders to make the AutoNation Cure Bowl a success. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Kick-off: December 19, 2015 

Pairing: American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt Conference

AutoNation Cure Bowl

Orlando Citrus Bowl

1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando |

This article appears in the October 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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