AACR’s DIY Fundraising Program Supports Cancer Research

If you or a loved one has ever been affected by cancer, the urge to aid and provide comfort runs deep. Knowing that many people want to support loved ones with cancer, or the broader cancer research community, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has an easy-to-use fundraising program. Whether it’s a lemonade stand, a 5K run/walk or even a virtual video game tournament, the AACR can help you create a successful event, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Through the AACR’s DIY Fundraising program, the AACR will help support your ideas and initiatives, and help you come up with the perfect event to match your goals. With the DIY Fundraising program, anyone can create an event to raise funds in support of lifesaving cancer research, which is what the lacrosse team at Harry D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois, recently did.

In the spring of 2021, a member of the boys’ lacrosse team broke the news to his teammates that his sister had just been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The players rallied around their teammate and wore ribbons for the rest of the season in support of his sister and her battle against leukemia. To the relief of all, she went into remission after her treatments.

lacrosse team
The lacrosse team from Harry D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois, raised more than $1,000 for the AACR, in support of lifesaving cancer research.

But this year, head coach John Bigler wanted to show the kids on his team that they can do even more than show solidarity for their teammate and his family. “One of the things we strive to instill in our players is for them to be part of something bigger than themselves,” said Bigler. “Over the years, we’ve done volunteer work and other things in the community, but we never had an annual event before.”

Bigler recognized that cancer research was ultimately the critical factor that helped put his player’s sister into remission. While researching ways to get more involved, Bigler learned that May is National Cancer Research Month. He reached out to the AACR to see how his team could create an event to honor his player and his family and engage the wider community at the same time.

Bigler and his team created “Shoot the Cure,” a goal-a-thon that gave players multiple ways to raise funds by scoring goals. The team tallied every goal scored during the month of May at the team’s three home games. They also did a five-shot challenge following one game. Players were encouraged to collect pledges for every goal scored, or flat donations. For the final home game, the team also held a raffle, with the proceeds going to the AACR in support of lifesaving cancer research.

“We are literally shooting goals for a cure,” said Bigler. “This is an idea our players really loved, and we think it’s going to be a great way for us to spread cancer awareness messaging and give back to the community. We raised more than $1,000 in its first year, and hope to grow the event more in the coming years.”

If you’re interested in raising money for lifesaving cancer research through the AACR’s peer-to-peer fundraising program, the AACR will assist you as you plan and create your event. The program allows you to raise funds through your existing social networks, making the process highly efficient and effective. It also helps you engage and thank donors, and helps track your progress as you work toward your fundraising goal. 

There are other ways you can get involved, too. Simply go to www.aacr.org/getinvolved to learn more.