Southern Indiana legislators participate in Suits and Sneakers at the Statehouse

Posted by: Courtney Scott  | Friday, January 30, 2015

STATEHOUSE –Members of the General Assembly, including local lawmakers and staff wore sneakers at the Statehouse on Thursday 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.

“I am honored to stand with my fellow legislators to support the American Cancer Society as part of the Suits and Sneaker challenge,” said State Representative Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville). “Cancer impacts every Hoosier in one way or another, making the fight against cancer personal for everyone.”

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.

“I will never forget the day my wife was diagnosed with cancer,” said Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler). “This issue hits close to home for me, and with the legislative session in full swing, I think it is extremely symbolic and also important that we take a moment to stand with our fellow Hoosiers who are currently fighting this disease. These are our friends, neighbors and loved ones, and today, our message to them is that we too are standing up to cancer, one tie at a time.”

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.

“Cancer affects everyone in some way, shape or form, and it has affected my life personally when a few of my close friends were diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Rep. Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon). “It’s important for all those who are enduring the battle with their loved ones to know that we are supporting them and that they are never alone.”

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