Former Wisconsin Coaching Legend Bo Ryan and Wife Kelly make
$500K donation to Fight Cancer to Honor Friend
Coach who led Badgers to the Final Four in 2014 and 2015, Creates Research Fund and Issues Challenge to Wisconsin Community; Fundraising Gala on April 7 in Madison
Former University of Wisconsin University men’s basketball coaching legend Bo Ryan and wife Kelly Ryan have created the ‘Coaches vs. Cancer Bo Ryan – Jay Holliday Families Fund’, with an initial investment of $500,000 to fund cancer research in honor of their long-time friend Jay Holliday, who passed away from cancer earlier this year.
Ryan, who compiled a 747-223 overall coaching record and led the Badgers to back-to-back Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015, was the former college roommate and long-time friend to Holliday, a high school football coaching legend and athletic director in New York who passed away in January 2018 from pancreatic cancer.
“Jay Holliday was an incredible person, a wonderful coach and educator and my best friend for more than 50 years,” said Ryan. “We wanted to do something special to celebrate his life, and do something meaningful in his name to help fund more research, and help the American Cancer Society create more research breakthroughs. While he is no longer with us, we are honoring him and hoping that everyone in the University of Wisconsin community can get involved and help this research grow even bigger so we can fight cancer.”
Bo Ryan and wife Kelly Ryan have created the ‘Coaches vs. Cancer Bo Ryan – Jay Holliday Families Fund’, with an initial investment of $500,000 to fund cancer research. The funds have been directed to the American Cancer Society, through the Coaches vs. Cancer program, which Bo and Kelly Ryan were significantly involved in for over 10 years, raising over $6 million while he was the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he led the Badgers from 2001 to 2015, compiling a 364-130 record along the way.
The Ryans will be attending the 11th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala on April 7 in Madison, and issue a challenge to attendees to help match their donation to increase the research conducted at the Carbone Cancer Center. To make a secure online donation to this fund, please follow the prompts below!
The research will be overseen by the Society, and utilized at the Carbone Cancer Center, University of Madison-Wisconsin.
“We are incredibly grateful to Bo and Kelly Ryan for their decades of support of Coaches vs. Cancer and the Society, and this very generous donation. Every single day we are attacking cancer from every angle, and we will continue investing in critical research to help fight cancer,” said Sharon Byers, Chief Development and Marketing Officer for the American Cancer Society.
For more than a 100 years, The American Cancer Society has been leading the fight to end cancer. With your support, we have helped usher in an era where more people survive cancer than ever before. By translating our research findings into action, we've seen a 20% decline in US cancer death rates since the early 1990s.
The work of the American Cancer society benefits everyone regardless of where the funds are raised. Although all the answers to cancer may not be found in our specific community, our community will help fund those answers and cures and ultimately benefit from them. The American Cancer Society continues to fund innovative, high-impact research to scientists at institutions throughout the country, including right here in Wisconsin. Currently, there is more than $11 million in cancer research grants invested here in the state of Wisconsin, with $7 million at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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