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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Sometimes, the fight against cancer IS a laughing matter

Sports can teach you a lot about life, much of it good, almost all of it useful. I can still feel the force of my high school football coach's forearm across the side of my helmet after our team lost pathetically to a close rival. Today, what our coach did — lining the whole team up in a big circle and hitting each of us aside the helmeted head — would be considered abuse. Still, the lesson — about not giving up, about being ashamed not to give my best — has stayed with me, for better and worse.

When you apply the force of a coach's influence to the fight against a disease — say, cancer — then such lessons are particularly useful. The whole concept ibehind such groups as Coaches vs. Cancer is to take the same kind of energy that coaches — Gonzaga University basketball coach Mark Few, for example — display on the court and focus it toward finding a cure for cancer.

One of the main ways Coaches vs. Cancer does this is through fundraising. And this year, as shown in the above photo, Coach Few will oversee the annual Spokane show featuring comic and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Dana Carvey, 8 p.m., Aug. 24 at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.

Yeah, that's a whole other thing that sports teaches you — laughing through the pain.

Click here to buy tickets.