Sold Out Bear Down Luncheon Contributes Nearly $2M to UA Arthritis Center Research

Image of outakes from Bear Down Luncheon video on KVOA News4 on May 8, 2019The Bear Down Luncheon, an annual fundraising event hosted by the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, is so popular that it was sold out weeks before the 2019 event was held May 8 at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 6360 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

KVOA News4 Sports’ Paul Cicala, who said he has had psoriatic arthritis since he was in his 20s, emceed the luncheon for the fourth straight year.

UA Football Coach Kevin Sumlin and Athletic Director Dave HeekeAnd, once again, UA sports figures were the keynote speakers—this year, that being UA Football Coach Kevin Sumlin and Dave Heeke, UA vice president and director of athletics, continuing the center’s partnership with the UA Athletic Department that’s existed since 1983.

Through the years, the BearDown Luncheon has raised nearly $2 milllion to help fund research at the University of Arizona into therapies to relieve symptoms of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

Noted C. Kent Kwoh, MD, center director and chief of the UA Division of Rheumatology, during the event, “People don’t realize that joint injury is also another major cause (of arthritis) and, so, certainly, when one participates in sports, it’s important to be active, but if your joints get injured, then that predisposes you to getting arthritis. That makes this really a natural partnership between the Arthritis Center and the Department of Athletics.”

If you would like to donate to the UA Arthritis Center, you can call (520) 626-6046 or see this link.

Learn more at:

“2019 UA Arthritis Center Bear Down Luncheon Teams Up With UA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, May 8” | Posted May 1, 2019
“Wellness specialist is an example of UA Arthritis Center's approach to treatment” | (Arizona Daily Star/ Posted April 29, 2019
“UA Athletics, Bear Down Luncheon Help Raise Funds for Arthritis Center Research” | Posted May 11, 2018

Release Date: 
05/09/2019 - 9:00am