Bracket Breakfast honors UVA basketball and benefits local organization

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- As a player on the University of Virginia basketball team that advanced to the Final Four in the late 80s, Jim Miller came up with the idea to host a Bracket Breakfast three years ago to help raise money for Piedmont Casa in Charlottesville.

"It's a fun morning for people who love basketball," Miller said. "We wanted to do something that was different. We didn't have anything centered around March Madness and everybody's filling out a bracket. Given my background with basketball and having gone to UVA, I thought, 'Wow wouldn't it be neat if we could put something together that brought those two worlds together for a good cause."

A panel of bracketologists, including some of UVA's all-time great players like Ralph Sampson and Barry Parkill, will help the crowd fill out brackets and raffle off prizes.

Ticket sales to the event will benefit Piedmont Casa, a local organization that trains volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system.

"It's very easy to think everyone who is living in Charlottesville is living a great life, but there is another Charlottesville," said Alicia Lenahan, the president Piedmont Casa.

The organization helps about 250 children each year, but the wait list is growing.

"The number of kids coming into foster care is really spiking and the need always outpaces our resources," Lenahan said.

Along with Sampson and Parkhill, Jay James will serve as a Bracketologist for the second year. He may not have the same basketball pedigree as his fellow panelists, but said he knows firsthand how important the work of Piedmont Casa is.

"Piedmont Casa was significant in my own family's life," he said. "My youngest sister is adopted. She had a Casa advocate when she was three. We adopted her when she was five back in the year 2000. I saw what a court appointed special advocate can do. You can't help but get behind it and then you marry that to a fun event with some of our great basketball players of the past."

The breakfast will be held March 14 at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville. Tickets are available for individual purchase online through Piedmont Casa.

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