Hawks raise money and awareness for cancer in basketball fundraiser


Joe Forrestdavis

CRC Athletics held a fundraiser called Coaches vs. Cancer on Tuesday which donates to the American Cancer Society. The Wall of Hope honors anyone who has fought or is fighting cancer by having their name placed on the wall.

The Athletic Department held a fundraiser dedicated to fighting against cancer during Tuesday’s women’s and men’s basketball games against Santa Rosa Junior College.
The fundraiser, called Coaches vs. Cancer, was part of a nationwide collaborative program between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. All earnings from ticket sales, concessions, donations and raffle entries over the two games were donated to the American Cancer Society.
“It puts everything back into perspective, I think putting it on the minds of the coaches and players and just realizing that we’re lucky to be able to have athletics and to play basketball,” said Athletic Department Clerk Brandon Merritt about the fundraiser. “It’s just a tiny part of life, there’s so much more out there.”
Merritt said CRC has hosted the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser games in previous years, but hasn’t been able to host one since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We did it right before COVID, but this is our first one since, so we’re actually excited to bring it back now that we have fans and now that we have the resources to be able to put it on,” Merritt said.
Scorekeeper Dee Dee Clark, who is the daughter of the late Basketball Head Coach James Clark, said that having the fundraiser continue at CRC means everything to her. The basketball court at CRC is named Clark’s Court in honor of James Clark.
“My father died of cancer and this school was really important to him, he was the coach here for 31 years,” Clark said. “With all the coaches that have been here that have had cancer and have passed away it’s very important for us to recognize it and to do everything that we can to raise money, fight cancer and just help in any way possible.”
Merritt said that as of Wednesday, the fundraiser has made $1,347, which is just short of their goal of $1,500. He also said they have until Sunday to reach their goal with the online donations link still open.
In the two games, both CRC and Santa Rosa integrated the color pink into their uniforms through accessories such as shoes, socks and athletic tape in honor of the fundraiser. The coaches joined the trend by wearing pink shirts with the Coaches vs. Cancer logo on them.
“If you look at my assistants they were dressed all the way down from the shoes to the jacket,” said women’s basketball Head Coach Samuel Kirby, while pointing to his coaching staff. “We got some pink socks for the girls to really represent for Coaches vs. Cancer.”
Kirby said the fundraiser is a special event.
“It’s fun to play basketball, it’s fun to be part of a team,” Kirby said. “There are some bigger issues going on outside of our sport that we need to recognize and we need to understand and if there’s a way for us to help then let’s do it.”