This weekend is the official kick-off for the 2018 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising event. This marks the third year that conference members have participated in a league-wide initiative to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients.
Over the next two weeks, members from across the SLIAC will hold various events at home basketball games with all proceeds going to Coaches vs. Cancer. With the help of Ashley Hale, the conference contact with the American Cancer Society, this will mark the first year that the proceeds raised will go directly to The Hope Lodge, an arm of the American Cancer Society which hosts patients of cancer and their families from out of town.
Blackburn College got an early jump on the fundraising and held a 'Replace the Lace' event on January 17th. During the men's and women's basketball doubleheader, Blackburn players switched out their normal shoelaces for rainbow laces, raising awareness for all types of cancer. They also handed out donation cards and held a 50/50 raffle. In all Blackburn collected over $400 during the night for Hope Lodge.
Fontbonne University and Webster University will be partnering up to raise money this weekend at 'The Battle of Big Bend' when the two cross-town rival schools meet on the basketball court. The games will be held at the Fontbonne University campus on Saturday, January 27 and the game day will start with a tailgate outside of the gym. There will be a donation table with different colored ribbons for purchase in which people can write the names of loved ones fighting cancer or those they have lost. The ribbons will then be placed on a wall in the gym for display to see the impact cancer has on each and every one of us. The Fontbonne team will be playing in particular for Alex, the daughter of a Fontbonne alum as well as Leo Flemming. Those making a donation can get a free cupcake/coffee/hot chocolate. Tailgating will be from 11 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
Iowa Wesleyan University will hold their event on January 31 when they play host to Blackburn in a SLIAC doubleheader. Iowa Wesleyan will hold a three-point pledge, in which money is raised for every three-pointer made.
Greenville University will also be holding their Coaches vs. Cancer game on January 31 when they host Fontbonne in a conference doubleheader at 6 and 8 p.m. Greenville will be selling wrist 'Fight Like A Panther' wristbands provided by the American Cancer Society.
MacMurray College will hold their event on February 3 when they host Greenville in a double header at 1 and 3 p.m.
Westminster College will wrap up the two weeks of conference-wide fundraising on February 7th when they host Iowa Wesleyan. Westminster will be dedicating the game to those on campus who have been affected directly by cancer. They will be holding a 50/50 raffle and selling t-shirts and bracelets. In addition, they will have a dunk contest and dance-off competition.
The SLIAC was the first conference in any NCAA division to partner league-wide with the American Cancer Society and dedicate all proceeds to the foundation. Also new this year is the ability to make a donation from your phone. Iowa Wesleyan, MacMurray, and Westminster are among the schools that will give their fans an opportunity to make a donation in the name of their school directly to the SLIAC conference fundraising efforts. For more information and to join coaches and the SLIAC in the fight against cancer, visit coachesvscancer.org/suitsandsneakers.
Coaches vs. Cancer, founded in 1993, is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The upcoming Coaches vs. Cancer - Suits and Sneakers campaign encourages coaches and their staff to wear sneakers with their suits during games to raise awareness of the fight against cancer and demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. The initiative aims to increase cancer awareness, highlights the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing a person's cancer risk, and promotes the American Cancer Society's free programs and services available to those facing cancer. Since 1993, coaches have raised more than $100 million for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.
The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III athletic conference and was chartered in 1989 and includes 10 private institutions across four states. Members include Blackburn College, Eureka College, Fontbonne University, Greenville College, Iowa Wesleyan University, MacMurray College, Principia College, Spalding University, Webster University, and Westminster College.