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Dec. 8, 2006

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women’s basketball head coach Debbie Ryan and WINA Radio sports director Jed Williams exceeded their goal of raising $5,000 in monetary donations in two days for Toy Lift.

The 55 pledges collected during Williams’ talk show- “The Best Seat in the House”- totaled $5,160. The money has been specifically earmarked for the purchase of children’s bicycles for the holiday season.

As per their agreement, Ryan and Williams donned their Speedo swimwear and were hoisted in the bucket truck at 8:15 this morning in 21 degree weather.

“I can’t thank the Central Virginia community enough for their generosity,” Williams said. “The money we raised should purchase between 300-400 bicycles for area youth this Christmas, and that’s something we can all be proud of. I don’t know if the thought of Coach Ryan and me in speedos is one we want to stomach again anytime soon, but in spite of that visual, this community has delivered as it always does.”

“It was a lot of fun to be able to go up in the lift bucket, because we knew many children would be happy during the holidays,” Ryan said. “We want to thank the entire Charlottesville community for stepping up and providing kids with bikes.”

Toy Lift is the signature event of the Kids Lift Foundation. Toy Lift began in 1988 when founder Tom Powell decided to perch himself eighty feet up in a bucket truck at the corner of Hydraulic Road & Route 29. He stayed there until people donated 1,000 toys, which he then distributed to local children. Eighteen years later, Toy Lift has grown into a huge annual community event with food, entertainment, and media coverage, raising over 17,000 toys.

Toy Lift serves children ages newborn to 13 in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties. For more information on Toy Lift 2006, please visit Toy Lift

Virginia (7-2) is in the midst of an 11-day break for final exams. The Cavaliers resume action on Saturday, Dec. 16 when they host Cleveland State at 7 p.m. at the John Paul Jones Arena.

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