Wolkins, lawmakers raise funds for American Cancer Society
By Joseph Slacian
INDIANAPOLIS -- State Representative Dave Wolkins, fellow legislators and staff wore sneakers at the Statehouse 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 were diagnosed with cancer, and of those, 13,000 lost their lives to the disease.
The Suits and Sneakers challenge is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to help raise cancer awareness and support those affected by it.
“I am very grateful to not only work in the Indiana Legislature, but to have a strong support system here,” Wolkins said.
Wolkins is currently fighting cancer. During the Jan. 31 Third House Session at the Wabash County Chamber of Commerce he talked about his battle with the disease.
“Everything has gone well,” he told the 30 people gathered at the event. “I do have to go to Naperville, Ill., on Feb. 15 for six weeks.
“Apparently they keep telling me I’m going to have a complete recovery.”
Wolkins has been allowed to remove his tie during sessions to become 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 don’t like wearing neckties,” he told the Wabash crowd. “I have to wear one on the House floor, but as soon as I get off, I have clip-ons and zipper ties. They come off.”
He said he was overwhelmed by the support he received from his colleagues.
“That was the most emotional day I’ve ever had in the General Assembly,” he said. “When I said it was an emotional day, they must have put some estrogen or hormones or something in me, because I bawled all morning. 
“I couldn’t help it. I was just that overwhelmed.”
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. 
Posted on 2015 Feb 10