If you believe television ads, great ideas can start anywhere — a dorm room, a garage, during a bus ride. We'd respectfully add, "in a backyard while tossing beanbags." That's where the idea for the Cabin Fever Bean Bag Tournament came from, at least, and the event has raised $100,000 over the last four years for the Eagles Cancer Telethon. Brad Douglas, of Mayo's Integrated Stress Lab, explains that a group of friends had "always wanted to do something to give back to the community," and beanbag competitions were a favorite past time. So they thought, why not combine the two?
While searching for the ideal cause to donate to, the circle of friends didn't need to search far. One of them, Heidi Gage, of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, is a cancer survivor, and many others in the group have been affected by cancer in one way or another. So the group suggested the money raised go to cancer research.
The first year, the event garnered 50 teams and raised $5,000. The following year, it was up to 64 beanbag teams and $13,000 raised. In 2012, 80 teams raised $29,000 for cancer research. Teresa Chapman, director of the Eagles Cancer Telethon told the group, "The passion and dedication of your volunteers and organizers is amazing and excites everyone that you come in contact with. Keep up the good work because 'together we can make a difference.'"