Annual fundraiser’s support for Institute’s research now tops $2 million overall

Leaders from the 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon recently topped a philanthropic milestone with their annual, major gift to support cutting-edge research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

Teresa Chapman, Director of the Eagles Cancer Telethon, presented a $255,000 donation to Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute, from funds raised throughout the year for the 60th annual Eagles Cancer Telethon. The past two years of Eagles’ fundraising has resulted in record totals. In 2014, the Eagles Cancer Telethon – based in Rochester but with fundraising from throughout southern Minnesota and beyond – set a new overall fundraising record at just under $1 million, and that mark was surpassed this January, topping $1 million for the 61st annual Eagles Cancer Telethon.

Overall, the Eagles Cancer Telethon now has given $2.1 million to support The Hormel Institute’s cancer research since 1999, when The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota first was included as one of the Telethon’s research beneficiaries.

“The Telethon brings communities together for a common cause, and the results are awesome,” Chapman said. “We recognize that The Hormel Institute is on the leading edge of cancer research, and we are proud to support them in their work and continued fight against cancer.”

To date, the Eagles Cancer Telethon has raised nearly $16 million in 61 years for the fight against cancer, with funds being provided to The Hormel Institute, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. Those three, collaborating organizations make up what’s called the “BioScience Triangle” in Minnesota.

The Hormel Institute has a growing, world-recognized reputation for its groundbreaking, chemopreventive research and discoveries that have broadened the understanding of the mechanisms of cancer.

“All of us are extremely grateful to those who produce and give to the Eagles Cancer Telethon – from those who volunteer their time and talents to put on the event each year to the thousands who give generously to financially support research,” said Dr. Zigang Dong. “This telethon not only provides vital research funds for world-class cancer research in Minnesota but also raises a great level of awareness about the importance of cancer research and cancer prevention.”

Donations from the Eagles Cancer Telethon provide The Hormel Institute with significant financial support for cancer research and assists greatly in the Institute’s efforts to secure other major research grants, including from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Defense. The community based support and collaboration among entities, including Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, strengthens Minnesota’s medical research expertise.

This year, the 36th annual Lyle Area Cancer Auction – a big fundraising group for the Eagles Cancer Telethon – also raised a record level of donations, topping $230,000 and surpassing the $2 million mark for overall fundraising.