Bo Ryan hosts 9th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Gala at Kohl Center - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Bo Ryan hosts 9th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Gala at Kohl Center

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MADISON (WKOW) -- For the ninth consecutive year, Bo Ryan and his wife Kelly hosted their Coaches vs. Cancer Gala at the Kohl Center. Since 2008, Ryan's event has raised $4.1 million to support the American Cancer Society. The Wisconsin Gala's fundraising efforts have made it the most successful program in the country. The event's guest speaker was Notre Dame head basketball coach Mike Brey, whose team happened to knock the Badgers out of the NCAA Tournament in March.

"I called Mike back in September or October and he was so gracious. He said absolutely, he said I'll be there. And how did it turn out, we ended up playing Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, but it's all good. The coaches have really stepped up to raise a lot of money to try and beat this dreaded disease so Mike jumped on board and we're happy to have him here," Bo Ryan said.

"I wonder what my welcome will be later tonight when they introduce me, but anyways it's certainly an honor to be here and this is just a great event," Brey said.

Badgers current head coach Greg Gard was also in attendance and he expected it to be an emotional night. Gard lost his father Glen in October 2015 to a form of brain cancer.

"It obviously takes a whole new twist this year with what we've been through as a family for the past year. Ironically started about a day after last year's event when we first saw signs of my dad's illness. Tonight will be bittersweet," Gard said.

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