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BowTies & Basketball

A night to remember …

I believe I’ll look back to Jan. 26, 2013, as a testament to the state of BowTie Cause … but more importantly, a testament to the great organizations we partner with. It also made me realize the value of our work for other people and organizations.

Ken Rosenthal and I met at his hotel in Ann Arbor and drove down to The University of Toledo for their annual “Tie One On” event. On the national night of “Coaches vs. Cancer,” it was cool to see all the coaches rockin’ BowTie Cause for a basketball game that had the Toledo Rockets playing against the Bowling Green Falcons.

As our first time attending, we didn’t know what to expect but it definitely exceeded all expectations. The practice court served as the staging area for tying on BowTies, and I must have helped at least 100 people “tie one on,” as did other staff and administrators.

It was obvious that the community embraced the event and there were hundreds of people rockin’ UToledo retro BowTies, including the band, the athletic director and the head coach. The dance team used them as bows in their hair, and the players even had the BowTie image on their warm-up tops! As a former basketball coach, I thought that was very cool.

Prior to the beginning of the game, Ken was asked to give a locker room speech to the team, which he told me he had never done before. At halftime, he addressed the crowd and told the story of our partnership to support The University of Toledo’s efforts in fighting prostate cancer in collaboration with the Dana Cancer Center.

By the end of the game, we had tied a ton a BowTies, met new friends, and even took some photos with the mascots.

Spearheaded by Larry Burns and Lindsay Ackerman, it was awesome to bear witness to a community that cared. A community that came together on the night of a basketball game to use BowTies as a conversation piece, a fundraising piece, and a piece that in essence, “tied” them all together for a common cause.

And… it was a good night for the Rockets, winning convincingly, 75-62. It must have been the BowTies, right?

Williamson, BowTie Cause CEO, is a partner of UT’s “Tie One On” event. Reach him @BowTieCEO.