Penn State’s Coaches vs. Cancer tournament raises money for American Cancer Society

The 17th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament held Friday at the Penn State Golf Courses hit especially close to home for Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers.

Earlier this year, one of Chambers’ players, D.J. Newbill, lost his mother to cancer.

“Cancer impacts all of us at some point,” Chambers said. “This year, we had to bear the loss of D.J.’s mother, but the support for him, our team and those generally impacted by cancer is second to none.”

Coaches vs. Cancer is a national program revolving around basketball coaches who raise awareness about cancer and money for the American Cancer Society.

But Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien was among those in attendance in addition to 11 other collegiate head basketball coaches, and a total of 290 participants from numerous central Pennsylvania companies that donated at least $2,500 to join the tournament.

“It’s just a great event,” said O’Brien, who played golf with Chambers for the first time. “I support Pat on all he does and especially this charity.”

O’Brien added that his mother is a two-time breast cancer survivor.

On Thursday, an auction for the chance to play golf with Chambers and O’Brien was held, going for $5,100. At that event, a total of $15,000 was donated as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser.

Frank Welsh, founding member of Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State and chairman of the Captain Committee, said the program has worked with the American Cancer Society to keep a large chunk of the funds locally.

In its history through Penn State, Welsh said $1.9 million has been raised. On Friday, he guaranteed that the $2 million mark would be surpassed.