Badgers basketball coach's foundation contributes to SACS
A contingent of 24 Sparta Area Cancer Support (SACS) board members, volunteers and supporters went to the Badgers versus UW-La Crosse exhibition game Friday, Nov. 1 at the Kohl Center in Madison.
While they arrived in anticipation of a fun time, they left with a $15,000 donation from Badger basketball coach Greg Gard's foundation, Garding Against Cancer.
Gard's foundation also gave donations to the La Crosse County Health Department, Mayo Clinic Health Systems and Gundersen Health System.
Each group received the donation at half court during the halftime intermission.
Gard and his wife, Michelle, launched Garding Against Cancer, which raises funds and awareness for cancer research and care in Wisconsin, to honor Greg's father, who died of complications related to cancer in 2015.
Missing from that contingent of SACS people at the game was Darrin Schauf, who was instrumental in securing the donation. Darrin was a past honorary chairman of SACS and succumbed to cancer this past June.
The Garding Against Cancer Foundation gets its money through fundraisers, one of which involved Darrin and FAST Corp., the fiberglass figure manufacturing company in Sparta he ran before his death. FAST made 85, six-foot-tall, fiberglass Bucky Badgers for the University of Wisconsin's Bucky on Parade Project. Madison area artists painted the life-size statues and displayed them around the city in 2018.
Through sponsorships and auctions, the project raised over $1 million with Garding Against Cancer being the major recipient of the funds.
According to Darrin's father, Jim Schauf, after Garding Against Cancer received those funds, Darrin, started hitting up the foundation for donations to SACS.
Before he died, Darrin was told that Garding Against Cancer was having a fundraiser in La Crosse and SACS would get a donation from those proceeds.
On Sept. 12, SACS representatives Karen Edwards and Mike McAlpine, along with Darrin's wife, Sara Schauf, were guests at a Garding Against Cancer fundraising dinner at UW-La Crosse where they learned Darrin's efforts had paid off and SACS would be the recipient of $15,000.
"I looked at Sara and we were so overcome that we were all crying," said Edwards. "It was an extremely emotional event."
Thanks to Darrin, what started as an order for FAST Corp. nearly two years ago, culminated last Friday on center court in the Kohl Center with a $15,000 donation to SACS.
"Now we will be able to help so many more people who are struggling with cancer," said Edwards.