TRAVERSE CITY — Team Haske United.
That's the theme for a July 27th fundraiser at Charlevoix High School to benefit Keith Haske, the former Charlevoix and current St. Francis basketball coach, who is battling throat cancer.
Haske, and his wife Barb, are in Houston, where he's been undergoing treatment for the last month at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Those who played and coached for Haske are invited to participate in the basketball fundraiser, set for 1 p.m. the Sunday after the city's popular Venetian Festival.
In addition to the game, there will be a silent auction and bake sale. Team Haske United bracelets and T-shirts will be available, too.
"We're all uniting for one man," event coordinator Liz Shaw said. "Keith's been such a positive influence on so many people in northern Michigan. There's been a tremendous outpouring of support from people who want to give back, who want to help in any way."
A Keith Haske benefit account has also been established at Charlevoix State Bank for those who wish to contribute. All proceeds will help with medical bills and expenses, Shaw said.
The 56-year-old Haske, who has taken four teams to the state finals in his combined 17 years at Charlevoix and St. Francis, was diagnosed in May, Shaw said. He opted to go to MD Anderson, Shaw added, because it is considered one of the leading treatment centers for throat cancer.
"It's one of the few hospitals in the United States that does proton (therapy) treatment," Shaw said.
The diagnosis came as a surprise to those who know Haske, a non-smoker.
"It was as much a shock to Keith as it was for everybody else," Tom Hardy, St. Francis athletic director, said.