Suits and Sneakers raising awareness

The Coaches vs. Cancer ‘Suits and Sneakers’ weekend kicks off on Friday and runs into Saturday to help raise money for the fight against cancer.

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

On Friday night, ‘Suits and Sneakers Weekend,’ the main event of the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign in PIAA District II will kick off to help spread cancer awareness.

Coaches vs. Cancer in District II, now in its fourth year, has involvement from all schools in Wyoming and Susquehanna counties including Blue Ridge, Elk Lake, Forest City, Montrose, Mountain View and Susquehanna, along with 36 other schools.

‘Suits and Sneakers Weekend’ is an event where all schools in District II will have games in which coaches will wear suits with sneakers, and PIAA Officials, who are also involved in the cause, will wear white shoes instead of black all in the name of spreading cancer awareness.

Andrew Kettel, Lackawanna Trail boys’ basketball head coach and chairman of the Wyoming Valley Conference/Lackawanna League Coaches vs. Cancer Committee, said the goal of the weekend is simply to raise awareness.

“We have a bunch of smaller events throughout the fall, but this is the fundraiser’s main event,” Kettel said.

This year’s goal is to raise $80,000, around $10,000 above the more than $70,000 that was raised last year. In the past three years, the organization has raised nearly $200,000 to fight cancer.

“We know it’s a high goal, but if we put forward our efforts we feel like we can reach it,” Kettel said. “The money isn’t really what drives us though, its spreading awareness.”

Kettel, now in his fourth year as chairman, said that awareness is important because it may get kids to start leading healthier lives.

“We’re getting awareness out to junior high age kids,” Kettel said. “Unfortunately, cancer can be caused by decisions that individuals make, but maybe if kids realize how bad cancer is, they may lead healthier lifestyles.”

Kettel said that one goal is to help kids realize that decisions they make regarding tobacco and alcohol may affect them later in life.

And on top of that, Kettel feels that the charity can show kids how to give back to the community.

In preparation for Suits and Sneakers Weekend, a television commercial has been in rotation on Fox 56, along with radio advertising on ESPN Radio 630AM, print ads in the Scranton Times-Tribune, Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice and Electric City.

Kettel also noted that there are billboards posted in the region to promote the cause.

On Saturday, as a part of the weekend’s festivities, a pair of varsity basketball games will be televised on the MY9 network. The games will be Mid Valley vs. Valley View at5 p.m.andRiversidevs. Old Forge at7 p.m.Both games will be played atMarywoodUniversity.

A schedule of charity games is listed below:

Girls’ Games

Friday, Jan. 27 –  Elk Lake home against Montrose, 7:15 p.m.; Blue Ridge home against Susquehanna, 7:15 p.m.; Forest City at Lakeland, 6 p.m.; Mt. View home against Lackawanna Trail, 6 p.m.

Boys’ Games

Saturday, Jan. 28 –  Elk Lake at Montrose, 7:15 p.m.; Blue Ridge at Susquehanna, 1 p.m.; Forest City home against Lakeland, 7:15 p.m.; Mt. View at Lackawanna Trail, 1 p.m.