May 9, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Less than a month after being honored with the Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award at the Final Four in Atlanta, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan proved exactly why he earned such a prestigious honor.
At last Saturday night's annual gala, Ryan and the Wisconsin chapter of Coaches vs. Cancer teamed up to raise a record $693,000 toward the fight against cancer.
An event which began in 2008 and raised $56,000, the Wisconsin Gala has ballooned into the largest Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising event in the nation.
"The Coaches vs. Cancer Gala was a phenomenal event and I'm so proud of the way our people stepped up. We were really blown away," Ryan, who served as the national spokesman for Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers campaign, said after the event. "My wife, Kelly and I kept looking at each other throughout, just amazed at the generosity.
"We set a record last year with $456,000 raised, and we were hoping to break that, but this was beyond our expectations. I'm always thinking about `Next,' and this sets the bar pretty high for next year... but I think we can break it."
In an event jointly hosted by Ryan, UW-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter, UW-Parkside coach Luke Reigel, UW-Platteville coach Jeff Gard, and Edgewood College coach Justin Meyer, the 2013 Wisconsin Coaches vs. Cancer Gala hosted a sellout crowd of more than 700 attendants. The evening featured dinner, a live auction and special guest speaker Tim Brando of CBS Sports. Like Ryan, Brando came away very impressed.
“I have been a part of many charity events on college campuses but never one as inclusive with other state schools in other divisions of intercollegiate athletics,” Brando said. “Bo has done a great job networking basketball and the fight against cancer in Wisconsin. The hospitality was tremendous and I was happy to play a role in the event’s success this year.”
Over the past six years, Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin has raised more than $2 million to support the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives and create more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and fighting back. At the University of Wisconsin, the American Cancer Society has funded over $44 million in research since 1947.
On April 5, Ryan was given the 2013 American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award, presented annually to a college coach who has been significantly engaged in the program's fundraising, education and promotional initiatives and who has demonstrated leadership in supporting the American Cancer Society's fight to save lives from cancer.