LEXINGTON, Ky. – Nearly 100 college basketball coaches and national celebrities have joined forces during the global pandemic to assist Coaches vs. Cancer in raising funds to fight cancer. The Coaches vs. Cancer “Member for a Day” Golf Auction, presented by MGM Resorts International, will be a virtual auction that tips off Wednesday, Nov. 18 and concludes on “Black Friday,” Nov. 27.
Auction participants will donate a round of golf at the club of their choice to be played before Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger offered up two rounds – one at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., and one at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Other notable coaches and courses include Iona’s Rick Pitino, who will host a group at Winged Foot, site of last month’s U.S. Open, Illinois’ Brad Underwood at Olympia Fields in Chicago, and North Carolina’s Roy Williams at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. High bidders will bring a threesome to the course and play 18 holes with the coach or celebrity. Lunch and team apparel also will be included in select packages.
“We are excited to collaborate with our longtime partner bdG Sports along with Member for A Day and MGM Resorts International to raise funds through such a one-of-a-kind program,” said Howard Byck, senior vice president at the American Cancer Society. “Despite the pandemic, cancer has not stopped and neither have our extraordinary Coaches as we work together to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.”
Coaches vs. Cancer is a partnership between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society. Annually, various coaches including Kruger stage golf tournaments and other fundraisers for cancer research and related efforts. bdG Sports, which plays host to a Coaches vs. Cancer college basketball event each year in Las Vegas, along with multiple men’s and women’s tournaments in other markets each season, coordinated the auction.
Brooks Downing, CEO of bdG Sports, said, “We have been overwhelmed by the interest from the coaches to participate in such a simplistic model. For those who will bid, they’ll have the chance to play golf with their favorite coach or celebrity. For others, it may be a chance to be a “Member for a Day” at a club they wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to play. I’m certain this will be one of the greatest experiential auctions ever conducted on such a significant scale.”
The auction is powered by Member for a Day, the world’s leading golf charity fundraising platform.
Eric Sedransk, Founder and CEO of Member for a Day, said, “Our focus is to build the most impactful charity golf program that allows participants to bid on memorable rounds of golf all while raising money for charity. Many thanks to bdG Sports and Coaches vs. Cancer for allowing us to tap into their respective networks to build such an impressive auction. We look forward to helping generate significant fundraising revenue through this unique initiative.”
Additional celebrities who have donated rounds include ESPN analyst Jay Bilas (Charlotte Country Club), Bill Raftery (Baltusrol), Clark Kellogg (an undisclosed exclusive club in Columbus, Ohio) and baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. (Grove XXIII). Jeff Walz, the University of Louisville women’s coach, will donate a round of golf at Hurstbourne Country Club, while CBS Sports/ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli has put forth a round of golf with her at Bulls Bay in Charleston, S.C.
MGM Resorts, owner of the exclusive Shadow Creek and sponsor of Coach Kruger’s Las Vegas Golf Classic each May, will sponsor the Member for a Day auction and has donated two foursomes. One foursome will be for the winning bidder playing alongside Kruger while the second group will play with Pat Perez, an MGM Resorts golf ambassador and one of the most popular players on the PGA TOUR.
George Kliavkoff, President of Entertainment & Sports for MGM Resorts International, said, “We take great pride in working closely with Coaches Kruger, Williams and Pitino, Jay Bilas, our other Coaches vs. Cancer partners and the American Cancer Society in the fight to eliminate this deadly disease. The Member for a Day auction will be a special event and another opportunity to raise money to fight cancer.”
For a complete list of auction items, visit https://cvc.memberforaday.co/coachesvscancer.