Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Week
March 2, 2002
OXFORD, Miss. - The first American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Week kicks off at The University of Mississippi Monday, Feb. 25, with a fund-raising competition between students in the Golden Key national honor society and "Rod's Squad" cheering section.
The student group raising the most money for the American Cancer Society wins a catered meeting with the Ole Miss men's basketball team and coaches March 4.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program asks fans and community members to pledge a dollar amount for each 3-point shot the Rebels make during the season. For example, if a fan pledges a dime to every 3-point shot and the team finishes the season by making 150 shots, the donation is $15.
"This year we hope to bring more awareness of the program to the campus and the community, and in the future we hope to increase participation and donations," said Derek Horne, assistant athletic director at Ole Miss.
Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Week concludes Sunday, March 3, at the Ole Miss-Alabama basketball game in Tad Smith Coliseum.
Fans arriving early may for $5 have their pictures taken with life-size cutouts of Rod Barnes, head basketball coach, and Jason Harrison, the Rebels' senior stand-out guard. Photos will be taken in a tent at the Coliseum's entrance from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and can be picked up after the 1 p.m. game.
The life-size cutout of Barnes will be sold in a silent auction before halftime. Bids can be submitted at a table inside the coliseum, where 3-point pledge cards also can be picked up.
The new owner of the cutout, the winner of the fund-raising competition and local contributors will be recognized at halftime.
In addition to Coaches vs. Cancer balloons and pledge cards, Golden Key members will distribute information about cancer before the Alabama game.
"While this is a fund-raising event, it is also a time to inform the community about cancer detection and prevention," said Mandy Fong, Golden Key's Coaches vs. Cancer volunteer coordinator. "We just want to tell the entire community about this program. Hopefully, more people will want to become involved, and the event will grow."
Although this is the first year for an awareness week, it is the seventh year the Coaches vs. Cancer program at Ole Miss has helped raise money for the American Cancer Society. For the past four years, Golden Key has been handing out pledge cards.
"So many people have been affected by cancer in some way - having a loved one with the illness or having it themselves," said Fong. "So many lives will be changed if a cure for cancer is found. That's why it's so important to contribute. Every little bit can make a difference."
Last year, the Rebels made 220 3-point shots, which raised $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year's goal is $30,000.
Since its inception in 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $15 million nationwide - all going to the American Cancer Society's efforts to find a cure for cancer. Some of that money has gone to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson for research grants, said Sheila Horne, the society's local income development manager.
Coaches vs. Cancer organizers and volunteers are encouraging local businesses, churches and civic organizations to contribute to this year's program.
For more information about Coaches vs. Cancer Awareness Week, contact Derek Horne at (662) 915-5677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.
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