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 which were UCF alums, to bring a new college bowl game to Orlando and to make it different by directly tying it to a charitable cause.
Among those initial supporters were the founding Board of Director members and Advisory Board members : Mack Mclaughlin, Alan Fidelo, Joe Mckinney, Jeff Lagos, Dave Almstead, Joe Hornstein, Megan Dowdy, Scott Rose, Alan Morrison, Mike Foristall, George Lamelza, and Executive Director, Alan Gooch.
As the bowl game committee was being formed, Laura Goldstein — who was a strong, early advocate for OSF — was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. These unfortunate events inspired the initial board to choose breast cancer research as its charitable funding focus.
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. On March 24, 2015, Board CFO Sandi Breitenstein passed away from Stage IV liver cancer. The loss of Laura, Sandi and others who will lose their battle today, tomorrow, and the days to come against the disease of breast cancer, will continue to motivate us to make the AutoNation Cure Bowl a success.
Through years of experience working with and supporting college athletics, Florida Citrus Sports and the NCAA College Football Bowl system, this group knew that each college bowl game donated its profits to a charitable cause. However, the general public typically is unaware of which charitable causes are being supported. To separate this bowl from the rest, the founding board wanted the bowl game to be different, to allow the public to support the game as well as a significant cause. To do this it was decided the cause would be incorporated into the game title. As a result, the AutoNation Cure Bowl was born.