New Mexico state lawmakers will once again hit the hardwood to help fight cancer.
Members of the state Senate will take on members of the House of Representatives in "Hoops 4 Hope," an annual basketball game that raises awareness and money for cancer treatment and resaerch. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Capital High School in Santa Fe. Tickets are $5 at the door or in advance at the state Capitol, room 125. All proceeds from the event will benefit the University of New Mexico Cancer Center.
“The ‘Hoops 4 Hope’ event is fun for everyone involved, but it is also an important source of support for the UNM Cancer Center,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, UNM Cancer Center director and chief executive officer. “The proceeds help us to deliver the cutting-edge, compassionate care that all New Mexicans deserve.”
Last year alone, more than 10,000 New Mexicans were diagnosed with cancer, according to American Cancer Society estimates. The UNM Cancer Center – the only National Cancer Institute-designated center in the state – is tasked with ensuring that all New Mexicans have access to world-class cancer care and benefit from advances in cancer research, Willman said. The center raises money for research and treatment from national and state grant programs and from private donations. The “Hoops for Hope” basketball game has been an important source of private support for more than 15 years, with last year’s game raising more than $26,000. The event has raised more than $100,000 since 2007.
This year’s fundraiser will feature retired New Mexico State University men's basketball head coach Lou Henson as the House "Aggies" coach. UNM head baseball coach Ray Birmingham will coach the Senate "Lobos" team.
“We are deeply grateful to New Mexico’s legislators for their unwavering commitment to fighting cancer in our state,” Willman said. “‘Hoops 4 Hope’ is just one facet of that commitment.”
Capital High School is located at 4851 Paseo del Sol on Santa Fe's southside. For more information, contact Billy Gupton at 505-480-9316.