Friday, May 22, 2009 | 5:40 p.m.
Lon Kruger looks at last year's Coaches vs. Cancer event in Las Vegas as just a starting point.
As the second installment gets set to kick off next weekend, beginning with a Party at the Palms, he can feel the momentum gaining.
"It's got a little bit more of a foothole the second time around," the UNLV men's basketball coach said. "Our coaches coming back, it's a very similar group, and there's good local support. Times are tough, and we really appreciate that. And I think it's obviously in support of a good cause."
The Kruger-hosted event -- with funds benefitting the American Cancer Society -- begins next Sunday, May 31, with a party at the Hardwood Suite inside The Palms. The party will include food, drink, a silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets for the party are $100.
Over the next two days, the event will head outdoors for rounds of golf at Southern Highlands on Monday and TPC Las Vegas on Tuesday.
The cost for the Golf Classic package, which includes tickets to Sunday's party, is $10,000 per foursome or $2,500 for individuals.
"I just started to play the last couple weeks," said Kruger, an avid golfer. "I'm far from playing well, but always have fun doing it."
A long list of other coaches on-hand will include Utah's Jim Boylen, Kansas State's Frank Martin, Creighton's Dana Altman and Cal-Berkeley's Mike Montgomery.
"It means a lot," Kruger said. "I think anytime you can contribute -- it's a terrible disease -- and anytime you can do anything to contribute in a small way, you feel good about that."
Coaches vs. Cancer and his involvement with the American Cancer Society holds special meaning for Kruger, whose father, Don, passed away in 1998 after a battle with skin cancer.
Since its inception in 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $40 million in support of the American Cancer Society.
The concept was created by former Missouri coach and cancer survivor Norm Stewart.
"Over the years, the coaches throughout the country have done a good job with making this our national signature charity," he said. "We've been involved for a lot of years, and everyone's been touched by cancer in some degree or another. It's a cause everyone can relate to, and we're very sincere about our involvement with that."
For further ticket information, contact Melissa Stemmle with the American Cancer Society at 702-891-9012, Option 3, Extention 21, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, visit www.events.cancer.org/cvclasvegas.