UW Band marches for cancer awareness

Band Together to Beat Cancer raises money for cancer research

On the field at Camp Randall the 300 members of the University of Wisconsin Band move and play as one. They wear the same uniform and march for the same reason.

“I think they march for Bucky. They are marching for the university, and they take great pride in being representatives of the university all the time,” the band’s director, Mike Leckrone, said.

On Nov. 15 during halftime of the Badgers game against Nebraska, the band will again march for the university, but they will also march to raise awareness about cancer. This is the second year they will participate in Band Together to Beat Cancer.

In addition to raising awareness about cancer, Band Together to Beat Cancer will help raise money for cancer research at UW Carbone Cancer Center. Annually the center treats 30,000 cancer patients.

“I don’t think any family hasn’t been affected in some way, and it has been very real in our family,” Leckrone said. “It has been very real in our family. My wife, my daughter and my daughter-in-law all have been affected with cancer and are survivors. I myself am a cancer survivor, so I think it is something you hear about a lot of times and it becomes very personal. It is just very personal.”

The personal impact of cancer is highlighted in Band Together to Beat Cancer in the black sashes each band member wears on their uniform. Each sash carries the name of a loved one impacted by cancer.

Last year during the Band Together to Beat Cancer performance, Mike Leckrone wore a sash that carried special meaning.

“On the sash was my daughter, my daughter-in-law and my wife’s name on the back, and that was very emotional,” Leckrone said.

This year individuals wishing to have a loved one’s name placed on a sash worn by the band can do so for a donation of $250. The donations go to UW Carbone Cancer Center.