The C-word. Imagine that you are sitting (or standing) at a Georgia basketball game at Stegeman Coliseum. According to The American Cancer Society, the person standing to your left, and maybe even the person to your right, will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime*. What if that person were you or your loved one?
University of Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox and his wife Cindy are taking on the fight against cancer in the Athens area. They have hosted the Suits & Sneakers Gala in Athens since 2010, and raised almost $450,000 for the local American Cancer Society chapter. The Foxes hope to raise $175,000 this year.
The fifth Annual Suits & Sneakers Gala will be held at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday, August 16th. While cancer is a very sobering subject, the event is energetic and filled with games and opportunities to bid on many live and silent auction items.
The highlights of the live auction are an original design garnet and diamond pendant and necklace from T.K. Anderson, a vacation rental in Mexico, and a dinner for 10 cooked by celebrity chef and local restaurateur Hugh Acheson at Coach Fox’s home. Among the silent auction items include autographed sports memorabilia, items from local businesses, and experiences at area attractions.
“We expect over 500 guests, and many have been to the event since the first year,” said Cindy Fox, who has hosted the event with her husband since their stint in Reno. “It is so much fun to see the imagination that is put into decorating the sneakers. We even started a ‘Best in Shoe’ contest to recognize the most creative. It is a delight to see everyone in their suits and cocktail attire and sneakers to support the fight against cancer.”
ABC’s Good Morning America anchor and UGA graduate Amy Robach will be the guest speaker. Robach’s story is astounding. Just nine months ago, she agreed to undergo a mammogram on live TV as part of GMA’s breast cancer awareness programming. She was reluctant to do the exam initially because she thought she was too young (40) and had no family history. Fellow GMA anchor and cancer survivor Robin Roberts convinced her to have the exam to inspire other women who had the same objections.
ESPN football and basketball commentator Rece Davis will emcee the event.
The Suits & Sneakers Gala was inspired by Coaches vs. Cancer, a weekend where in an effort to remind audiences of the many ways to reduce the risk of cancer, basketball coaches around the nation, coach while wearing sneakers with their suits.
The gala will take place at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 6pm to 10:30pm. Visit www.SuitsAndSneakersGA.org to purchase tickets – pairs ($300) or tables of 10 ($1500).
*In the US, men have slightly less than a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer; for women, the risk is a little more than 1 in 3.