Dawgs Fight Cancer

Feb. 6, 2008

By Honsen Lin
The Daily

During Saturday's barnburner men's basketball game against California, spectators may have noticed the sea of white in place of the Dawg Pack's signature purple. A large number of the student section was wearing a white shirt with the words 'Dawgs vs. Cancer' in large purple letters.

In addition, the coaching staffs of both UW and California were wearing white sneakers in the nationwide 'Suits and Sneakers' event.

The 'Suits and Sneakers' event was held by Coaches vs. Cancer, a collaborative effort between the American Cancer Society's Colleges Against Cancer (ACS-CAC) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Why suits and sneakers?

'Suits and sneakers look weird,' said Laurie Miyauchi, president of the group's UW chapter. 'It draws attention.'

Miyauchi and fellow activists hoped to raises awareness for the event, and in doing so bring greater awareness to cancer.

Aside from having their basketball coaches make this unusual fashion statement, many other colleges organized events with their student bodies last weekend.

Coach Lorenzo Romar has been participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer event for the past five years; however, this is the first year ASC-CAC's UW division held a full-scale cancer awareness campaign.

'It's a great program,' Romar said, about Coaches vs. Cancer. 'It brings attention and notoriety [to cancer] and it comes up with donations.'

On Saturday, the Dawg Pack, as well as the first 500 fans, received 'Dawgs vs. Cancer' T-shirts. Donation buckets were also placed outside the entrances to Hec Edmundson Pavilion, and a silent auction was held throughout the game.

Auctioned items included Romar's autographed shoes worn at the game, as well as a basketball signed by the entire UW basketball team.

'We raised almost $3,000 from donations, and Romar's sneakers and the basketball raised [an additional] $500,' Chris Aversano, ACS relationship manager said.

The ACS received all proceeds from the donation buckets and the auction, Miyauchi said.

'The money goes to research, patient services, advocacy and education,' Aversano said.

Miyauchi, who also runs a nonprofit group in her spare time, hopes that there will be similar collaborations between the ACS and Husky Athletics in the future.

'The women's basketball team will have an event that focuses on breast cancer [awareness],' Aversano said.

'Think Pink,' as the event has been dubbed, is scheduled for Feb. 15 and 17.

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