Allan Hancock College will suit up once again to join the fight against cancer during its annual Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event on Saturday, February 3. All ticket, t-shirt and snack bar sales will go directly to Marian Regional Medical Center's Mission Hope Cancer Center. Mission Hope provides support programs and services to patients and families who utilize the center's medical services.
"I am overwhelmed by how many lives cancer affects," Kim Ensing, associate dean and athletic director at Hancock. "It is an honor and a privilege to host an event like this to support our community and honor a great man like Coach Carney."
Carney coached girl's and women's basketball on the Central Coast for nearly 30 years, including the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Allan Hancock College. In 2015, the college chose to honor the coaching legend for his accomplishments on the court and his inspirational battle off the court. The college renamed the national Coaches vs. Cancer event it hosted every year to Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event. Carney is a four-time cancer survivor.
"The event means even more to me this year. Not only am I still fighting the disease that took my loved ones away, but now my wife is battling cancer," said Carney, who said his wife, Bonnie, was diagnosed less than a month ago. "I hope the community will support the fight thousands of others in the community and myself face every day. If anything, I want people to be aware of cancer and know that there is so much help out there."
As if his personal battles with cancer were not trying enough, Carney's father, Lawrence, died from prostate cancer about 30 years ago. In January 2015, he lost his mother, Roma Jean, to cancer. His younger brother, Timothy, lost his battle with brain cancer the following week. After losing his mother and brother within a week of each other, Carney donated $5,000 to Marian Medical Center's Mission Hope Cancer Center in their memory.
"I grew up in Santa Maria. I want to keep the money local to help people in my hometown who are fighting cancer," said Carney, who has donated more than $8,000 in the last three years. "My brother and many of my friends have received help from the Mission Hope Cancer Center. I want to make sure people in town who need assistance receive it. Mission Hope is an invaluable resource."
The college will hold Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event on Saturday, February 3, when the basketball teams host Ventura in Western State Conference games. The women will play at 3 p.m. and the men will follow at 5 p.m. inside Joe White Memorial Gymnasium. A special ceremony will take place prior to the women's game when the college will present a check to the Mission Hope Cancer Center.
All ticket, commemorative t-shirt and snack bar sales will go directly to Mission Hope. Donations will also be collected during the event.