Cougars Raise $1,800 for Coaches vs. Cancer
COLUMBIA -- Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.
This past Saturday, the Cougar athletic department collected funds for the Coaches vs. Cancer program. Coaches for Columbia and opponent Hannibal-LaGrange University asked those in attendance to stand as one in the fight against cancer and donate what they could. Cougar men's coach Bob Burchard encouraged everyone to give what they were able and that he and his wife Faye would match the total donated. Combined with ticket sales, the Cougars raised $1,800.
Coaches vs. Cancer evolved from a concept championed by Norm Stewart, former head coach of the University of Missouri's men's basketball program, cancer survivor, and member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He started the program by challenging fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three points made by his team during the season. Burchard has been spearheading the event for NAIA basketball coaches since it took flight and helped raise thousands of dollars nationwide.
The American Cancer Society and the NABC adopted that concept in 1993 and transformed it into a nationwide effort to unite coaches across the country in the common mission to provide help and hope to all people facing cancer. Today, more than 2,000 Division I, II, and III college coaches are involved in the program. Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $50 million since its inception to support the American Cancer Society's lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease. Additionally, more than 100 high school coaches also participate in the program.
In 1998, the Coaches vs. Cancer Council was formed-a distinguished group of NABC member basketball coaches, American Cancer Society volunteers, and business leaders from across the country - to explore new and innovative ways to raise funds, recruit prominent coaches, enhance the program, and help win the fight against cancer.
Because cancer has touched so many of our nation's basketball coaches, Coaches vs. Cancer offers them the unique opportunity to fight the disease. Through integrated fundraising activities and public awareness campaigns, participating coaches are truly making a difference in the fight against cancer and are raising awareness in their communities about the importance of cancer prevention, early detection, and making healthy lifestyle choices.