Supporters Packing Esko Gym for Coaches vs. Cancer Event

February 17, 2017 08:17 AM

The Eskomos are taking on the Duluth East Greyhounds at home next week, but the players are fighting for much more than a win. The Northern Lights Coaches vs. Cancer event is raising money for the American Cancer Society. 

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Todd Rengo and Steve Kidd are co-chairs for the Northern Lights Give an Assist nonprofit. Rengo is also the President of the Esko Hoops Club and an advisor with Thriven Financial. He founded Northern Lights with Kidd, a Superior basketball coach who works at Screen Graphics. They've been organizing events for a few years now.

"Coaches vs. Cancer is an American Cancer Society program that's run nationwide, typically in January and February with basketball teams," Rengo explained on GMN Friday. "At Esko, the last few years we've done small events there, and this year actually Steve and I got together and said, 'Why not make it bigger?'"

Rengo and Kidd have coordinated events across the Northland, including in Park Falls, Floodwood, Duluth, Cloquet and beyond.

"When we've pitched this to schools to run, there's always a person in that community who is really driven to make something bigger," Rengo said. "So one of the biggest impacts is that we bring communities together."

Esko will host the one of the largest Coaches vs. Cancer events on Tuesday, with the support of generous businesses and community partners. They'll have a silent auction, raffles, and even a chance to win an XBox by throwing a $5 hacky sack toward a target on the court. 

Another centerpiece in the event is the Wall of Hope, where attendees purchase a card for a dollar or other preferred amount to show support for someone special.

"Just about everyone has been touched by cancer in their lives, whether it's a friend, relative, spouse," Kidd said. "They are able to put a name of someone in memory of, or someone that's been touched by cancer, and really it's inspiring. You look at these Wall of Hope cards throughout the gym, and it's very, very impactful."

Esko's Coaches vs. Cancer event is on Tuesday, February 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Esko High School.  

Click here to follow the event on Facebook.


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