Mark and Marcy Few’s Coaches vs. Cancer turns 10 years old this weekend and they sound like proud parents when describing the event’s growth and impact.
“Looking back over the last 10 years, I am just blown away by the support from the community,” said Few, who has guided the Gonzaga men’s basketball team to 10 WCC titles and 11 NCAA tournament appearances in 11 seasons as head coach. “To think we’ve raised almost $5 million is unbelievable. Marcy and I have both lost loved ones to cancer. It affects us all. The event is tons of fun and meaningful at the same time.”
The festivities begin Friday with a golf outing at Circling Raven and tip-off party at the Davenport Hotel. The golf venue moves to the Spokane Country Club on Saturday, followed by the Basketball Gala at the Davenport.
George Karl, the former Seattle SuperSonics coach currently with the Denver Nuggets, will be the guest speaker. Karl took a leave of absence during the 2010 season to battle throat and neck cancer. He returned to coach every game last season, leading Denver to a 50-32 record.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas was scheduled to emcee the Gala for the ninth time in 10 years, but he’s unable to travel due to a bad back. ESPN’s Neil Everett and Sean McDonough will fill in.
Coaches expected to attend include San Diego’s Billy Grier, Boise State’s Leon Rice, Long Beach State’s Dan Monson, Washington State’s Ken Bone, Idaho’s Don Verlin, Eastern Washington’s Jim Hayford and Montana’s Wayne Tinkle.
The event has raised $4.7 million for the American Cancer Society and local cancer-fighting organizations. It is the single largest Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising event in the country. More than $675,000 has been donated to Camp Goodtimes, a camp held annually in Post Falls for children with cancer.
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