Dave Rice Foundation officially launches - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Dave Rice Foundation officially launches

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

As he enters the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus, Dave Rice sits next to his wife Mindy for a press conference that isn't about Runnin' Rebel basketball.

"We're very proud to announce the formation of the Dave Rice foundation," says Coach Rice from the dais. 

The foundation will focus on aiding autistic children and giving resources to those families in Southern Nevada.  Dave and Mindy's 9-year-old son Dillon is autistic, but it took three years to make an accurate diagnosis.

"It was extremely frustrating not to know where to go," says Mindy Rice who will run the day-to-day operations of the charity.  "We had a diagnosis but no one could tell what comes next."

"It took a long time and for us this is a cause near and dear to our heart," adds Mindy's husband.  "Las Vegas is home.  We've always talked about wanting to make a difference, we talked for sometime about the opportunity we have."

It wasn't until Rice became head coach at UNLV that the timing was right, or the platform big enough, to take on this challenge in the community.

"I hope with this foundation that we can help other parents avoid some of that frustration and get the treatments and help they need sooner rather than later," says Mindy.

The cause is near and dear throughout Rebel basketball. Senior Associate Athletic Director D. J. Allen and assistant coach Heath Schroyer are also parents of autistic children.

"I think it's going to be outstanding for the community of Las Vegas and for so many families and children out there because I know," says Schroyer.  "Coach (Rice) knows, we've been through it."

The charities' first official event will take place May 4 at The Palms.

More information for the foundation can be found via this link.

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