Stansbury to speak at Steak & Burger fundraiser

Photo courtesy of WKU Sports Information Veteran coach Rick Stansbury directs the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers from the sideline. Stansbury will be the featured speaker at the 37th Annual Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club Steak & Burger Dinner fundraiser Aug. 29 at the club's Mike Horn Unit in Owensboro.

Western Kentucky men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury will be the featured speaker at the 37th Annual Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club Steak & Burger Dinner fundraiser, set for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the club's Mike Horn Unit.

The original date of dinner was Aug. 29, but the event was moved up a day so it wouldn't conflict with WKU's football home-opener against Central Arkansas, according to Boys & Girls Club CEO Steve Winkler.

"We always try to bring in a high-caliber speaker and Coach Stansbury is that," Winkler said. "Rick is an accomplished coach, having success for many years in the SEC at Mississippi State, and he has done a great job of coaching and recruiting with Western's program.

"Owensboro has close ties with WKU and this was a natural for us to bring him in -- he's a perfect fit."

Stansbury is getting ready to begin his fourth season at the helm of the Hilltoppers. His record at WKU is 62-42 and he has directed the team to the Conference USA Tournament championship games in each of the past two seasons. His 2017-18 team went 27-11 and reached the NIT semifinals at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Overall, Stansbury has amassed 345 victories and his teams have made 12 trips to the postseason through the years.

Stansbury becomes the fourth individual who has been head coach at Western Kentucky to be the featured speaker, following Ralph Willard (1993), Gene Keady (1996) and Ray Harper (2012).

Also on hand will be former Owensboro High School star and University of Kentucky All-American Cliff Hagan, along with Western Kentucky All-American Bobby Rascoe, who starred at Daviess County High School, and Western Kentucky All-Ohio Valley Conference guard Owen Lawson, a longtime Owensboro resident.

In addition, Winkler said a stuffed animal Wildcat with its paws around a Cliff Hagan-signed basketball will be auctioned off at the dinner.

"It's really the only fundraiser we do where there about 60 kids plus those in the community gathered together," Winkler said. "The kids get to eat steak and those from the community eat burgers.

"This is a very meaningful night for everyone involved and we're really looking forward to it."

Funds raised from the event will be used to provide local educational and recreational programs, as well as professional staff who serve as positive role models. Both elements are designed to build self-esteem and confidence in club members and help them break out of the cycle of poverty, substance abuse, violence and apathy.

Tables are still available for the event. To register or for more information, call the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club at (270) 685-4903.

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