Stevens: Lobos Asking Community To Join In Fight Vs. Cancer
March 31, 2010
What: Coaches vs. Cancer BasketBall Gala
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It has nothing to do with championship rings, titles, Xs and Os, or scoreboards. But it is a major battle, a critical battle, and one of the more important ones the University of New Mexico Lobos will ever fight.
It's a war against cancer and a few Lobos and the American Cancer Society are asking Lobo fans - everyone - to step up and join the fight. The event is the third annual Coaches vs. Cancer BasketBall Gala. It will be held Saturday, May 8 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa.
"I don't know of anyone who hasn't been affected by cancer in some way," said Marjori Krebs, a co-chair for the event, and wife of Paul Krebs, UNM's Vice President for athletics. "We are hoping the connection with Lobo athletics and basketball will bring more visibility to the event and the cause.
"This is a great opportunity for people who are basketball fans and Lobo fans to come together for a great cause. But we welcome anyone who appreciates this cause and wants to join us in the fight."
"The Gala is a tremendous event, a lot of fun, and it's an important community project for our athletic department," said Steve Alford, the Lobo men's basketball coach. "Cancer has impacted so many people's lives and this project ties in to what we try to do on a national level with our coaches' association.
"This is a neat way to reach our community, improve awareness for this cause, and raise money for research, care, and summer camps for kids. This event is extremely important to us and we hope our community, our state, embrace this effort and join us."
In a way, the Gala also is a birthday party - for about 650,000. That's a modest estimate of the number of lives that have been saved - and extended - by the efforts of the American Cancer Society. Overall, 11 million cancer survivors in America will celebrate a birthday this year.
Of course, a huge the key to this success is getting people to dig into their pockets and donate. The Gala offers a fun and special way to contribute. It's a party with Lobos, Lobo fans and community leaders.
"Our goal this year is to raise $125,000. We are hoping for a sellout," said Alford's wife, Tanya. "It's a fun event for a great cause and it's a great way to kick off spring.
"We'll have a teen-age girl speaking and that's so important to this event because it really stresses why we are there and why this event matters."
It just might be the item of the most value: You get to bid on the privilege of sending a cancer survivor to summer camp.
There are a couple of other items to be auctioned that will have direct appeal to Lobo basketball fans. Ever wonder what coach Alford or coach Flanagan say in the huddle? Ever wonder what Dairese Gary or Jessica Kielpinski eat before a game. Here's your chance to find out.
The Gala will auction off a "Coach For A Day" opportunity with Alford and one with Flanagan. The item includes a pre-game meal, behind-the-scenes access, and a seat just behind the UNM bench. Just don't try to call any plays!
The auction also will include a ride for four on a private jet to a Lobo road game and a weekend stay at a lake home in Pagosa Springs.
"There are some unique items to bid on," said Tanya Alford. "This is a fun time for a great cause and we urge everyone to come out and support it."
Coaches vs. Cancer Mission: To increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living among students, faculty, school staff, fans and the community at large, through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities and advocacy programs.
What Is Coaches Vs. Cancer? Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program empowers basketball coaches to join the fight against cancer by participating in local and national events that leverage their community leadership to raise awareness and funds in support of the Society's mission.