After many weeks of voting and a large push throughout the Purdue community, Coach Matt Painter and the Smith Family BReaK Thru Fund has officially won the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge as of 3:00pm ET today!
Throughout the last round of voting, it became a head-to-head battle between Painter and Iowa State's Hoiberg. Marshall of Wichita State and Beilein of Michigan were also in the Final 4, but never eclipsed 10% of the votes. At one point, Hoiberg developed a 49%-41% lead over Painter, but the large push from the Purdue community gave Painter the lead and the eventual win.
Humbled to win the Coaches Charity Challenge and a big thanks to all Purdue fans everywhere. More proof our fans are the best in America!— Purdue Matt Painter (@CoachPainter) March 17, 2015
The BReaK Thru Fund will be awarded $100,000, whose goal is to find a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C Disease. The Smith Family are heavily involved within the Purdue community, being present at both men's and women's games as well as being part of St. Thomas Aquinas on Purdue's campus. Their three children, Braden, Riley, and Keaton, were born with NPC, and Keaton remains their lone surviving child.
The $100,000 will make a huge impact for the BReaK Thru Fund, NPC research, as well as assisting the Smith Family. On top of this win, we here at Hammer & Rails encourage the Purdue family to continue their support for the BReaK Thru Fund well beyond this year's Coaches' Challenge and continue to push for the cure of NPC.
Here's the statement from the BReaK Thru Fund's Facebook page:
Purdue Coach Matt Painter has won the 2015 Coaches' Charity Challenge and $100,000 for Niemann Pick Type C Disease research. And in typical Purdue and NPC fashion, it was a complete team effort.
We want to thank Coach Painter for his continued support and allowing our cause to benefit by not only raising much needed research funding but also awareness for NPC.
We thank the Purdue Community for their help in the challenge and the research that they are doing for NPC.
We thank our family and friends who continue to support us each day. It is humbling to see the support from those we have met throughout our stops in life (Decatur, Monticello, Champaign, Charlotte, West Lafayette, Bloomington, and St. Joseph). We are blessed and always know that we are never alone in this fight.
And we have to thank the passionate NPC community for the perseverance through this challenge. I can tell that behind every NPC family, there is a support network similar to ours that's ready to lend a hand whenever needed.
Finally, we remember those that we have already lost to NPC and honor those that fight NPC each day. This is victory is for them.
Each year that we have been fortunate to participate in this challenge, the level of support has increased and we expect that won't change in 2016 when we look to repeat.
Again, thank you all for your continued love and support.
Trent, Julie, Chandlar, Braden, Riley, and Keaton Smith