PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Rice and his wife Kerry hosted the second annual tip-off dinner at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Sunday evening to benefit the American Cancer Society and its Coaches vs. Cancer program. Fans and friends of the program had the opportunity for an up-close look at the Scarlet Knights at the fun and friendly affair, which was emceed by Chris Carlin and centered around a team practice on the RAC floor.
The highlight of the evening took place before practice even began, with the presentation of two meaningful awards. The 2012 Courage Award went to Tommy Cleary, while the 2012 Fighting Spirit Award was presented to longtime Rutgers Athletics employee and friend to the men’s basketball program Kathleen Conlin.
In addition to the practice, the evening featured hors d'oeuvres, food stations, a silent auction, an open bar and the opportunity to meet the coaches and players. Dinner tables were adjacent to the game floor.
The mission of Coaches vs. Cancer is to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living among students, faculty, school staff, fans, and the community at large, through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities and advocacy programs. The Coaches vs. Cancer program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to raise awareness and funds to support the American Cancer Society’s mission. More than 3,000 college and high school coaches participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer program annually, having raised more than $70 million since its inception in 1993.
Rice is an active member of Coaches vs. Cancer and its many endeavors. In March, he was named to the NABC Coaches vs. Cancer National Council. His commitment to the organization was never more prevalent than on Sept. 28, when he rappelled a 470-foot skyscraper in Jersey City in the “Over the Edge” event. A week prior, he participated in the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit and Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.