Stepping Up For a Good Cause

Kansas head coach Bill Self and his wife Cindy helped create the Assists Foundation to combat childhood obesity. wants to help spread the word, letting you know how you can get involved, too. Bill's Basketball Boogie is coming up June 7! Details, inside...

As a KU head coach Bill Self climbed the coaching ladder he dreamt of national championship success.  In his 15th year as a head coach he reached the pinnacle of the coaching profession earning his first national title at KU.

Off the court Self shares another vision with wife, Cindy, a vision that both hope to see come to fruition through their generous fundraising efforts.

The Self’s created the Assists Foundation back in June of 2006 because Bill and Cindy hoped to help make a difference with children growing up in Lawrence and the Greater Kansas City Area. At the crux of their efforts the Self’s have a plan to help improve communities and create a public wellness campus.

Obesity is a growing concern across America, especially in children where the rates of obesity are alarming. The numbers are staggering all across America and that includes the state of Kansas. As a result, the Self’s are touting their Assists program and are promoting a healthy, active lifestyle for kids. An environment where sitting in front of the TV, playing video games, or plugging away on computers aren’t the only source of activity. To promote a more active way of life for our kids, they hope to help fill the need for facilities, resources, and programming.

Bill Self knows a thing or two about the positive influence athletic activity can have on children at a young age. Assists hopes to give families a place to participate in organized sports, practice wellness, and develop healthy habits. Self envisions creating a campus that would include activities like tennis, skateboarding, volleyball, soccer, and basketball. The Assists Foundation will not be building the fields but will build a wellness center that serves as the center of the campus. Though Assists will not be building all the fields, Self is hoping a city/area will commit to helping build the entire athletic complex.

Though athletic activity is a big part of the vision for the complex Bill and Cindy hope that their wellness center will help with screening children for juvenile diabetes, arthritis, eyesight, and hearing.

After the wellness center is constructed, Assists will continue to help running the facility by providing up to $1 million dollars a year.

Two years after the charity’s inception, Bill and Cindy are about to see their largest fundraising initiative come to fruition. The inaugural Bill’s Basketball Boogie is slated to take place on June 7th at Kansas Speedway. It’s a big party, all for a good cause. Dinner of the Italian or Mexican variety, dancing, and drinks included with the chance to meet current Kansas coaches, players, and alumni. Comfortable shoes are encouraged with entertainment featuring Sawyer Brown, Disco Dick, and the Mirror Balls. Oh and by the way, you can dress in basketball-inspired or vintage disco attire, but either way comfortable shoes are recommended. It’s the chance to rub elbows with the stars, participate in a silent and live auction, and maybe even win a 2008 Toyota Scion. There are a limited number of individual tickets available ($250 each), and there are sponsorship packages available.

The event is expected to raise enough money for the project to begin. Construction site, and budget are yet-to-be-determined but the cost is expected to be announced at the Basketball Boogie.

One week after the Basketball Boogie, Rock Chalk…Run will take place in downtown Lawrence. Adidas is the main sponsor for the very first Rock Chalk…Run where participants can choose between a 5k or 10k run. All proceeds are benefitting Self’s Assists foundation. It will be a first class race starting at 8:00am.

Then of course again in October Assists will again sponsor a very special Late Night weekend for ten people. The lucky group will get to experience college hoops tip-off weekend as an honorary head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. Media day, team pictures, a KU football game, a private party at the Self’s, and a special tour of the new Sprint Center and NABC college basketball experience were all part of last year’s special weekend.

Kansas not only has a national championship-caliber coach, it has a person who cares about the community in Bill Self. While he’s busy keeping Kansas at the top, Self is very serious about taking the time to make sure his organization impacts the community. The new wellness center is the primary focus but the Self’s will also help make sure existing facilities are restored. Charity work is something both Bill and Cindy take very seriously.

The Self’s have been talking about the Basketball Boogie for months; it will be a can’t-miss event for a great cause.

You can help by going to and you can do anything from making a tax-free donation, to signing up for the race, to buying one of the limited individual tickets for the Boogie, or you can just download a free toolbar that helps the organization.

Editor's note:

A few words from Bill Self

Here are key links for KU fans to bookmark Top Stories