[r55] COLUMN: Suits and Sneakers Challenge at the Statehouse

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, January 30, 2015

Suits and Sneakers Challenge at the Statehouse

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2012, over 35,000 Hoosiers were diagnosed with cancer, and of those, 13,000 lost their lives to the disease. Whether it directly affects our families, friends or neighbors, cancer has a profound impact in all of our lives, and in order to fight this terrible disease, we need to stand together and support one another while we wait for a cure.

I recently had the opportunity to stand up against cancer by participating in the “Suits and Sneakers” challenge at the Statehouse. Sponsored by American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, this events helps promote cancer awareness and supports all those affected by this disease. Those who participated were able to leave their dress shoes at home and put on their favorite pair of sneakers in order to promote living a healthy lifestyle. This event is a great opportunity for legislators and staff, on both sides of the aisle, to join together for a common cause – the fight against cancer.

I enjoy participating in the Suits and Sneakers challenge every year, but this event was particularly special, since we were also able to support a fellow colleague and friend, State Representative David Wolkins, who is battling cancer. While male legislators are normally required to wear a tie on the House floor, Rep. Wolkins has been allowed to remove his tie during session in order to feel more comfortable. In his honor, male legislators were able to leave their tie at home for the day and female legislators were asked to creatively incorporate one into their wardrobe. I decided to wear a tie around my neck while other female legislators secured them to their purses or used them as headbands.

In addition to wearing shoes and a tie, we also welcomed a few special guests to the Statehouse for Suits and Sneakers Day. Former legislator, Bill Davis, joined us in the House Chamber to lead an auction in which we donated to watch Governor Pence cut Speaker Bosma’s tie in half. I was honored to donate to an organization that contributes so much towards cancer awareness and proud to say that I won the auction and the Speaker’s tie. All the funds that were raised by the auction were donated to ACS.

We were also honored to have Coach Greg Lansing of the Indiana State University men’s basketball team represent all Indiana college basketball coaches. During his visit, he encouraged House members and staff to continue raising awareness on ways to reduce the risk of cancer and how to follow the ACS’s recommended cancer screening guidelines. Having a healthy lifestyle is vital to reducing your risk of cancer. I encourage you to make sure you are eating right, exercising and following the screening guidelines. All of these preventative steps can make a difference in ensuring the health and well-being of you and your family. 

I hope you will continue to stay informed on ways of reducing your risk of cancer. To find out more information, please visit www.cancer.org. It is important that we continue to work together to help spread the message so that one day we might find a cure and put an end to this life-threatening disease.


 Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties.