Morris: Local legislators join Suits and Sneakers at the Statehouse

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Friday, January 30, 2015

STATEHOUSE – Members of the General Assembly, including local lawmakers and staff, wore sneakers at the Statehouse yesterday in support of the “Suits and Sneakers” challenge to raise awareness of the fight against cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2012, 35,000 Hoosiers heard the words “you have cancer,” and of those, 13,000 lost their lives to the disease. The Suits and Sneakers challenge is an annual event sponsored by the ACS and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to help raise cancer awareness and support those affected by it.

“Unfortunately, cancer has impacted all of our lives in some way,” said State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne). “With so many affected by this disease, I was honored to participate in Suits and Sneakers to raise awareness and support organizations like the American Cancer Society that are working so hard to find a cure.”

State Representative David Wolkins (R-Warsaw), who is currently fighting cancer, has been allowed to remove his tie during session in order to be more comfortable, which male legislators are normally required to wear. In order to show support for their fellow legislator, the Speaker encouraged staff and legislators to remove their ties, while female legislators were encouraged to creatively incorporate a tie into their wardrobes. Legislators and staff also donated to the ACS.

“Rep. Wolkins and I have been friends for many years. We sit one seat apart on the House floor,” said State Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington). “One tie at a time, we expressed our support, not only for our colleague, but for everyone fighting against cancer.”

“As a relatively new legislator, Rep. Wolkins has been one of my role models in the General Assembly,” said State Rep. Casey Cox (R-Fort Wayne). “His desk is right behind mine on the House floor, and I have always looked up to him. I was proud to join my colleagues by removing our ties in honor of our dear friend and fellow legislator.”

As a part of the Suits and Sneakers Day, Coach Greg Lansing of the Indiana State University men’s basketball team represented all Indiana college basketball coaches during his visit to the Statehouse. He encouraged House members and staff to continue to raise awareness on ways to reduce the risk of cancer and follow the ACS’s recommended cancer screening guidelines.

“Participating in the Suits and Sneakers challenge is a great way to raise awareness about how to reduce their risk of cancer and stay healthy,” said State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne). “My family, like many Hoosier families, has been personally impacted by cancer, and I appreciate the opportunity to show my support for those going through a similar situation.”

Visit for more information on how you can help spread the message and fight back against cancer.