Billy D gives back


During his 15 years in Gainesville, Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan has been heavily involved in local charities.
On Saturday, Donovan will continue to give back to the community as celebrity chair at Noche de Gala, the annual fundraising event for the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation. The event will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight at Besilu Collection, a 642-acre farm in Miconopy.
The foundation’s mission is to raise money to create a state of the art children’s hospital in Gainesville. It has been spearheaded by Horst and Luisa Ferrero, the parents of the late Sebastian Ferrero. Ferrero, a healthy 3-year-old boy, died in October of 2007 due to a series of medical errors.
“When I think about the Sebastian Ferrero foundation and what happened to Sebastian during that time, it was really tragic,” Donovan said.
For Donovan, the issue of pediatric health has been a strong and sadly tragic concern. This month marks the 10-year anniversary that Donovan and his wife, Christine, lost a stillborn child.
“My wife and I, we lost a child and I think you can identify inside a community different things that happen to families,” Donovan said. “I think what keeps a community together and a family together is the support you get from the community around itself.”
Donovan said he’s thankful for his four healthy children, all of whom have been raised in Gainesville. His oldest son, William, is now a freshman basketball player at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
“I felt like when my wife and I went through a difficult time there were so many people supportive of us, and I think this is an opportunity for me to bring awareness to the Sebastian Ferraro foundation, to try to bring awareness of the possibility to doing a children’s hospital,” Donovan said. “So I was just happy to be part of it and in some way help out.”


  1. SO glad “Billy-ball” (and “Urban-warfare”) reconsidered their would-be departures from Gatorville.
    Even the lure of greater money and better health (less stress) could not win the day! It really MUST be “GTBAG!”
    Though they’ve both experienced subsequent bumps in the road (perhaps as a result), it shall not be long before Titletown returns!
    Anxiously looking forward to when our two Big-boys humble Kentucky and Alabama again!!