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It's "Suits and Sneakers" Weekend at the Kohl Center

PHOTO: The "Bo-Tie" t-shirt, with Coach Bo Ryan's likeness, will be handed out to everyone at the Badgers game against Minnesota at the Kohl Center on Sat., Jan. 26.
PHOTO: The "Bo-Tie" t-shirt, with Coach Bo Ryan's likeness, will be handed out to everyone at the Badgers game against Minnesota at the Kohl Center on Sat., Jan. 26.
January 25, 2013

MADISON, Wis. – Don't be surprised to see businessmen and women wearing sneakers with their dress suits today (Friday) – it's the start of the American Cancer Society "Coaches versus Cancer Suits and Sneakers" weekend.

Tomorrow at the Kohl Center when the Badgers take on Minnesota, Coaches Bo Ryan and Tubby Smith will join 4,000 other coaches turning cancer awareness into action, by swapping their dress shoes for sneakers.

Former Badger basketball player Charlie Wills is involved in the event.

"I've had some friends close to me that have had to battle through cancer,” he says. “When it's really close to you, I think you take a different look on it, and when it's not affecting you directly, you want to do as much as you can to help. And when I got asked to be on the board for Coaches Versus Cancer, I jumped right at the opportunity."

Fans at the game tomorrow will be given white Bo-Tie t-shirts and cancer survivors will be honored at the game. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 31,000 Wisconsinites will hear the words "you've got cancer" this year.

Wills says cancer touches everyone in one-way or another.

"Everybody in America has someone that's either close to them or knows of someone in their circle that has cancer," he says.

Many Wisconsin businesses are participating in the Suits and Sneakers challenge today, asking their employees to wear sneakers to work and make a $5 donation to the American Cancer Society.

Anyone can donate $5 to the Coaches Versus Cancer program by texting the word "COACH" to 20222 any time between now and April 9. You'll also be registered to win basketball-themed prizes.

As for tomorrow's game, Wills, who played for Coaches Dick Bennett and Bo Ryan, likes the Badgers.

"I really feel that this is a Badger team that's going to pull out a victory against Minnesota,” he says. “Minnesota's extremely talented, but I've seen them fall since the Big Ten season started – they've lost a bunch of games."


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI