When the Wisconsin Badgers host the UW-Stout men’s basketball team Nov. 5 at the Kohl Center, it will mark the second game that Badger coach Greg Gard has used as a platform to call attention to cancer awareness in a Garding Against Cancer event.
The Badgers men’s basketball team has been playing Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) schools in an early season exhibition game since the 2004-05 season.
Gard added more meaning to the game last October when the Badgers hosted UW-Platteville. Gard’s brother Jeff is the head coach of the Pioneers and the Gards’ father, Glen, passed away Oct. 30, 2015, from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
“If there’s a purpose, a silver lining in all of this, it’s that this is what he would have wanted,” Greg Gard said in a story posted on UWBadger.com Insider last fall. “He would have wanted us to use this experience to be able to help other people. He would want to do it as much as possible here at home.”
On Aug. 31, Gard and wife Michelle will come to Menomonie in advance of a two-part event in Menomonie, Sept. 7, where he, along with UW-Stout chancellor Bob Meyer and men’s basketball coach Eddie Andrist, will meet with regional media. The Gards will also meet throughout the day with local business leaders that are planning the event.
The two-part event Sept. 7 will include a business lunch at UW-Stout’s Memorial Student Center starting at 11:30 a.m. and a Family Fun Night at Johnson Fieldhouse from 5-8 p.m. All proceeds raised at these events will stay in Dunn County to locally support cancer patient care.
The business luncheon will include a keynote address from coach Gard, Q&A session with both Gard and Andrist, a raffle and more. Matt Lepay, the voice of Badger sports and the Milwaukee Brewers, will be the guest emcee. Cost is $65 per individual or $500 for a table of eight.
The Family Fun Night is a community gathering that includes Culver’s custard, a bounce house, face painting and a lively band. Menomonie’s Culvers and Toppers will be donating 15 percent of that day’s total sales from their store and the pizza truck that will be selling food at the event. Cost is $5/per person, kids 5-and-under are free.
Andrist has known Gard for 30 years and is looking forward to both the Garding Against Cancer event in Menomonie and facing the Badgers at the Kohl Center in November. Andrist was the Blue Devils’ head coach when Stout last played the Badgers in 2006.
“I was extremely excited when Greg became the head coach of the Badgers,” Andrist said. “We are grateful that Greg and the Badgers have continued to invite the WIAC to play exhibition games to start the season.
“We are now even more excited that Greg and Michelle are using these games to champion the fight against cancer. Greg and Michelle’s passion in this incredible cause is unequaled and together with the WIAC games and all of their events, a cure for all types of cancer is on the horizon. “
Online Registration for the Sept. 7 event is expected to close on Sept. 3.