NEW PALTZ — The men’s basketball contest between SUNY New Paltz and Vassar College at 7 p.m. next Tuesday at Elting Gymnasium will have more at stake than simply a win or loss. 100 percent of the gate and raffle proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society as part of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) “Coaches vs. Cancer” program, which was established in 1993. New Paltz has a special interest in the cause, as junior forward Mario Christian (Bronx, NY) was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in December 1998. Christian, who has continued to play, has undergone periodic chemotherapy treatments. In last night’s 84-81 overtime win at Centenary (NJ) College, he scored eight points and had three blocks, three rebounds and three steals in 15 minutes of action. Hodgkin’s disease is a highly treatable form of cancer that affects the lymph nodes, but may invade the bone marrow and other organs as well. According to the American Cancer Society, 82 percent of those diagnosed with Hodgkin’s will live at least five years after detection, while 63 percent will survive at least 15 years. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, next to heart disease. In 1999, a total of 563,100 people were expected to die from cancer. The American Cancer Society is the largest source of private, not-for-profit cancer research funds in the United States. Only the federal government spends more in the research and treatment of the disease. Admission for Tuesday’s game is $3 for adults and $1 for children under 12. For more information on the American Cancer Society’s efforts, or to make a donation, call 1-800-ACS-2345.