to the 16th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala! We are excited to have you join us for a beautiful evening on the rooftop of the Monona Terrace on Wednesday, June 21, 2024. The gala will bring together prominent individuals from Wisconsin’s business and philanthropic community and will feature live and silent auctions, honorary tributes, and appearances from Coach Bo Ryan and other coaches across the state. In addition to this year's gala, the Board of Ambassadors is excited to again present the 3rd annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Golf Outing to be hosted at Maple Bluff Country Club on Monday, June 24, 2024. Sponsors and participants will enjoy an incredible day of golf while raising funds to help the American Cancer Society save lives.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. This initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of coaches and communities nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. Since 1993, Coaches vs. Cancer programs have raised over $130 million for the American Cancer Society. Over the past fifteen years, Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin has raised more than $9.8 million and remains the largest Coaches vs. Cancer program in the country! ACS is currently funding nearly $4 million in cancer research right here at home at the University of Wisconsin - Madison!
Tell me, what does the American Cancer Society do? We are so glad you asked!
Every day, we ask ourselves: are we improving the lives of cancer patients and their families? Through advocacy, discovery, and patient support work, we can proudly say that yes, we are indeed improving quality of life for the people we serve.
In advocacy, we continue to help advance policies that increase access to affordable health care, fund lifesaving cancer research and prevention programs, and reduce the toll of tobacco use. In fact, this past year, ACS CAN volunteers conducted nearly 450 virtual meetings with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for $51.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health, including $7.6 billion for the National Cancer Institute, to ensure continued progress in cancer research and innovation.
In discovery, we continue to fund promising early investigators. The American Cancer Society currently has more than $395 million in research funding, going toward 689 active grants in more than 100 institutions across the country. New in 2021, we launched our Diversity in Cancer Research program, which is already increasing diversity and inclusion within the cancer research workforce. We funded 32 summer interns at eight institutions around the US to date, sparking innovation and igniting passion for research.
In patient support, we continue to be there for patients and families when they need us most, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through our toll-free patient helpline and cancer.org website. And we reopened our network of Hope Lodge® facilities while providing nearly $7 million in transportation and lodging grants to our health system partners so that together we can help even more people access treatment.
On behalf of our 2024 Board of Ambassadors Chair, Greg Levesque, and the entire Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Board, we thank you for your consideration in supporting this important and life-saving event. Together with our community partners and coaches, we save lives. Now more than ever, we need and appreciate your support in one of the greatest causes of our time.