CLEMSON — Since the day Dabo and Kathleen Swinney became the First Family of Clemson football, they vowed to make a difference.
When Dabo was ushered in for his usual weekly Tuesday press conference in the WestZone Club of Memorial Stadium, he wore a sport coat and a smile.
He was backed by his wife Kathleen, Marcie Radakovich (the wife of Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich), the Tiger mascot and a number of other representatives for a long-awaited announcement.
Buoyed by Swinney’s All In Foundation, Clemson is selling exclusive 2013 Breast Cancer Awareness Tiger Paw pins throughout October, which annually is paraded as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Kathleen Swinney’s sister, Lisa, is battling her second bout with breast cancer. She’s among the masses the Swinneys want to support, through their yearly summer Ladies Clinic and the next 30 days of promotion to stop the disease.
“We’re excited about announcing that, and we appreciate our sponsors and everybody stepping up and supporting us,” Dabo Swinney said. “It’s going to be a fun month. Hopefully we can create some great awareness. It hits home for a lot of people. It’s one of those things across the nation that in the month of October people will talk a lot about.”
Clemson players will wear the pins during Tiger Walk for the Tigers’ two home games this month, and coaches will wear them on the sideline of all four games.
The pins cost $5, and may be purchased through the university’s official online store at ClemsonTigers.com, at Tiger Town Graphics and Barnes & Noble in downtown Clemson, via the school’s Greek system led by the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and on gamedays in Memorial Stadium and Littlejohn Coliseum stores.
Since 2009, the All In Foundation has donated or pledged more than $800,000 to critical education and health issues.
“I hope Clemson Nation will get behind it and support this very great cause,” Dabo Swinney said. “And I hope everybody out there will be All In helping us to fight against breast cancer. That’s our objective.”
A potential top-eight showdown, Florida State at Clemson on Oct. 19, has been dubbed the school’s first-ever Breast Cancer Awareness Game. On Oct. 14, the previous Monday, Kathleen Swinney will take over Dabo’s weekly Tiger call-in radio show to promote that game.
“All of the funds will go directly to support breast cancer research at Clemson and Anderson universities, as well as to the St. Francis Hospital Mobile Mammography Unit which provides screening services throughout the Upstate,” Kathleen Swinney said.
The promotional sponsors are Coca-Cola Consolidated, OOBE and St. Francis Hospital.
“I want to reiterate how fortunate Kat and I are to be at Clemson, to have the platform that we have,” Dabo Swinney said. “It’s been a great thing to see it all come to fruition.
“One of these days, our kids or our kids’ kids will not have to do things like this. Hopefully there will be some positive things created through the awareness.”