The foundation started by Runnin' Rebels head coach Dave Rice held a fundraiser Friday night to raise money for various charitable causes with an emphasis on autism.
And it's a cause that hits close to home.
One of Rice's two sons is on the autism spectrum and has made great strides after being diagnosed.
Now the family wants to help other families get a proper diagnosis and help.
"Mindy and I both graduated from UNLV and our sons were both born in Las Vegas," Rice said. "We're back here, and this is exciting for us. This is home, and to try to do something to make a difference is extremely special for us."
"The earlier the intervention, the faster the child can get on with their life, a normal life and do all those things that do come a little harder to them," Mindy Rice said.
Last year, the foundation donated $100,000 to the UNLV Center For Autism Spectrum Disorders.
That money allowed UNLV to open a diagnostic assistance clinic that gives families an affordable option to get tested.
"Because of the support, we are now seeing kids and families, assessing them to help parents answer questions about the developmental concerns that they have and helping them figure out the best path forward," said Director Shannon Crozier.
Rice started the foundation not long after getting the UNLV head coaching job.
It falls into his belief that giving back isn't just about making fans happy with wins. It's about making the place he calls home better.
"We have the opportunity to make a difference," Rice said. "We understand the importance of winning games and competing for championships, and we're gonna do all of that. But to make a difference in the community, make a difference in the lives of others, if all we do is worry about winning basketball games, then life is really shallow."
For more information about the Dave Rice Foundation or to make a donation, head to www.davericefoundation.org.
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