“It was another great event” said Vista Murrieta boys basketball coach Andy Rucker. “It seems to be catching on more and more each year. This year we had 10 teams involved. People seemed more willing to help with giving donations or buying a shirt. I would really love to increase this project every year”
Vista Murrieta Coach Andy Rucker launched the Coaches vs. Cancer game at Vista Murrieta two years ago. Last year all six Southwestern Boys teams participated. This year the Girls teams have joined in as well as the Boys Teams from Elsinore and Heritage.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer, according to American Cancer Society.
The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.
Through fund-raising efforts, the Broncos were able to donate more than $7,000 to the American Cancer Society in the past two years. “We were able to raise close to $5000 this year” said Rucker. “What a great night of basketball and service to others. All of the teams and coaches around our valley were awesome”.
“They did a great job in such a short period of time to help. It was really cool to know that we did our events on Thursday and then to watch all of the college games this past weekend and see the college coaches doing the same thing with wearing sneakers during their games on Saturday. We are just a small part of a much bigger event, but it is cool to know that we in our small little valley are doing something great. This was our 3rd annual event and next year will be even bigger”.
Most of the money was raised through t-shirt sales at all of the schools. Vista Murrieta also raised cash for cancer with other promotions during the game. White carnations, memory cards were sold and a basket raffle was held. Donations were accepted at the concession stand and by students walking through the stands. Staff members at the various schools also made individual donations for the cause.
Rucker said he hopes to bring in much more than that next year as the program grows.