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Talawanda community plays ball to fight cancer

For The Miami Student

Published: Friday, February 1, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 02:02

For the first time, Talawanda High School will participate in the Coaches v. Cancer program, which raises money for the American Cancer Society.

This event, which takes place today, is a combined effort between the high school’s FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) organization and the high school basketball program, according to Sharon Gregory, Talawanda’s FCCLA advisor.

Gregory ran a similar event at a school that she previously taught at and suggested the idea of the event to her students when the American Cancer Society contacted her with the idea. Gregory said that her students were enthusiastic about the idea of a cancer fundraiser because each student had a personal story relating to cancer.

“Cancer affects so many people, and everybody has a story,” Gregory said.

In order to raise more money, Gregory said the students of Talawanda’s FCCLA chapter are also working with LaRosas pizza, which will donate 25 percent of that night’s proceeds to the Coaches v. Cancer program. Additionally, Doughby’s restaurant will be selling crepes and 15 percent of the proceeds go to the program.

At the game, there will be a silent auction with prizes such as Vera Bradley baskets, hotel stays, a Valentine’s Day basket and baskets with other themes such as baking and scrapbooking.

According to Abby Sullivan, distinguished events manager for the American Cancer Society, the Coaches v. Cancer program is a national program that began with colleges and is beginning to gain popularity among high schools.

Charles Cole, the former Miami men’s head basketball coach, helped start the program, which has raised over $85 million since its start in 1993. There are five colleges in the area that participate in the program, including Miami, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Dayton, Xavier University and Wright State University, Sullivan said.

“Area coaches team up to fight back against cancer,” she said.

Sullivan said there are ten high schools from the Cincinnati and Dayton areas involved in the program. The goal is for all ten of these schools to raise a total of $10,000 this year. Since this is the first year Talawanda has held this event, there is no set goal and Gregory said that the group is just hoping to raise as much money as possible.

Miami University sophomore Gilberto Brito said he is a huge supporter of such fundraising events.

“I think events like this are a new and creative way to get money for an issue that is affecting a lot of people,” he said. “I feel like there should be more events like this, and more that are geared towards young people, like this basketball game so that it connects their interests with the world around them.”

To get more involved in this event, visit

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