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 of who were UCF alums — to bring a new college bowl game to Orlando and to make it unique by directly tying it to a charitable cause. Among those initial supporters were the founding Board of Director members and Advisory Board members : Dave Almstead, Megan Dowdy, Alan Fidelo, Mike Foristall, Alan Gooch, Joe Hornstein, Jeff Lagos, George Lamelza, Joe Mckinney, Mack Mclaughlin, Alan Morrison, and Scott Rose.
That goal became a reality in December 2015 with the inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl kicking off between Georgia State and San Jose State. The game featured a bounty of big plays on special teams, which was only appropriate on a night dedicated to raising money for a special cause.
During the game a spotlight was shined on the fight against breast cancer with survivors of the disease and family members included in pregame and halftime ceremonies.
In addition, AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson and his wife Alice, who is a breast cancer survivor, presented a check for $1 million to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). The Orlando Sports Foundation, led by executive director Alan Gooch and president Megan Dowdy, also presented a check to Myra Bibblowit, CEO of the BCRF and Dr. Annette Khaled of the UCF College of Medicine, for $150,000, which was the largest single donation ever made by a bowl game to a charitable cause.
Following the fourth installment of the AutoNation Cure Bowl in 2017, Orlando Sports Foundation and AutoNation have teamed up to provide donations totaling $3.7 million. BCRF has also awarded local researcher Dr. Khaled over $1.1 million in funding grants.
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. Another devastating loss hit close to home when on March 24, 2015, OSF Board CFO Sandi Breitenstein passed away from stage IV liver cancer. Laura, Sandi and others who will lose their battle against cancer today, tomorrow, and the days to come continue to motivate OSF to make the AutoNation Cure Bowl a success.
AutoNation Cure Bowl History
December 19, 2015
San Jose State 27 – Georgia State 16
Game MVP: San Jose State QB Kenny Potter
December 17, 2016
Arkansas State 31 – UCF 13
Game MVP: Arkansas State WR Kendall Sanders
December 16, 2017
Western Kentucky 17 – Georgia State 27
Game MVP: Georgia State QB Conner Manning
December 15, 2018
Tulane 41 – Louisiana 24
Game MVP: Tulane RB Darius Bradwell