With the support of dozens of generous Allan Hancock College faculty, staff and students, and members of the community, the annual Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event raised $3,551 for the Mission Hope Cancer Center. The center provides support and program services to patients and families who utilize the center's medical services.
"Allan Hancock College is proud to support the Mission Hope Cancer Center," said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. "Mission Hope and the college have similar missions. We are both dedicated to changing the odds for our community."
Three years ago, Hancock put its own twist on the national Coaches vs. Cancer event by naming it after Larry Carney, an assistant coach of the women's basketball team. Carney is a four-time cancer survivor, who has lost his father, mother, and younger brother to cancer. Carney has donated more than $12,000 over the last few years to Mission Hope and the American Cancer Society in memory of his family. Carney said he was thrilled to continue raising funds for the Mission Hope Cancer Center through the college's annual Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event.
"I want to keep the money local to help people in my hometown who are fighting cancer," said Carney. "My brother and many of my friends have received assistance from Mission Hope. I want to make sure people in town who need assistance receive the help and care they deserve."
The $3,551 raised this year represents a more than triple the amount raised last year.
"I am overwhelmed by the 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."
The college launched a 10-day crowdfunding campaign to help raise money online. Supporters donated online from as far as way as Denver, Colorado. The college also raised funds through ticket, commemorative t-shirt, and concession stand sales during the basketball teams' games against Moorpark last week. Several community members also mailed in checks to join in the fight.
"It was both heartwarming and inspiring that Allan Hancock College students, college faculty, and community members throughout the Santa Maria Valley all rallied in support of the Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer event," states Cheryl Decker, MD, FACEP, Medical Director, Mission Hope Cancer Center Survivorship and Support Care Program. "The unexpected diagnosis and journey of cancer often bring exhausting emotional challenges and financial burdens. What is special about Carney's Coaches vs. Cancer is that all event proceeds remain local and are used to help Central Coast cancer patients by funding Mission Hope Cancer Center patient outreach services, the latest medical equipment and technology, and support programs."
What stands out is the repeated support of coach Carney himself. You don't realize how many people are affected until you host an event like this and the community support that comes out in the name of this is always an eye-opener. We have people sharing their own personal stories.
With nearly 595,000 Americans expected to die of cancer in 2017, cancer continues to be the second most common cause of death in the United States. More than 1,500,000 new cancer cases are reported each year in the nation, according to the American Cancer Society.