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American Cancer Society’s 12th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic Surpasses $5 Million Net Raised
May 23, 2019
Star NCAA coaches, Sanford Health team for signature Coaches vs. Cancer event

Coach Lon Kruger has reached a major milestone in philanthropy. In 2008, Las Vegas wasn’t yet home to the NHL, NFL or a myriad of college championships. However, Lon Kruger and fellow NCAA basketball coaches saw the power of the destination and wanted to take advantage of it to support the American Cancer Society. The 12th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic presented by Sanford Health has raised more than $1 million net. This accomplishment means the tournament has surpassed more than $5 million net donated to the American Cancer Society since its inception.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The Las Vegas Golf Classic – hosted by MGM Grand – has become a signature event of the national program.

Lon Kruger – head coach of Oklahoma and the new chair of the national Coaches vs. Cancer Council – is the founder and chair of the Classic. “The $5 million mark is a testament to those who have taken ownership in the success of the event,” said Kruger, who started the Classic during his time at UNLV. “From coaches to sponsors to participants, all are invested in growing the donation to the American Cancer Society and fighting this nasty disease.”

Sanford Health entered its third year as the presenting sponsor of the event after announcing a five-year renewal at last May’s Classic. “The commitment from Sanford to move forward as our presenting sponsor at last year’s Classic was an all-time highlight for the event,” Kruger said.

Kelby Krabbenhoft, President and CEO of Sanford Health, said, “Since first joining the Coaches vs. Cancer team three years ago, I have been so impressed by Lon’s leadership and the participation from so many great college coaches across the country. Renewing our financial commitment to the event was an easy decision – considering the alignment between the missions of the American Cancer Society and Sanford Health.  It is a sound investment and we look forward to many successful events in the years to come.” 

Coaches and participants played two days of golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands on Monday and Tuesday. Additionally, they came together for private benefit events Sunday night at MGM Grand and Monday night at Topgolf Las Vegas.

The 2019 Golf Classic was hosted by MGM Grand and Topgolf Las Vegas. NextGen Cattle Co. was the 2019 All-Star sponsor. Rounding out the team of generous supporters were Top of the World, The UPS Store, Nike, Xs & Os of Success and Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

During its first 12 years, the event netted over $5 million in support of American Cancer Society programs including prevention, early detection and research; free local patient and caregiver services including transportation, lodging, wigs and head coverings; a patient navigator at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas; and cancer-related guidance available 24/7 at 800-227-2345 and cancer.org.

For more information, contact Paul McGee: paul.mcgee@cancer.org