Decades of Impact
There are many accolades to describe the importance of the 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon. For starters, it’s the longest locally run telethon in the United States, dating back to 1954.
The Rochester, Minnesota, nonprofit also has the distinction of the longest record of continuous philanthropy for a Philanthropic Partner at Mayo Clinic.
But most importantly, it’s impacted generations of patients with cancer by contributing millions toward research at Mayo Clinic and other local institutions, thanks to the dedication of volunteers, community organizations and KTTC-TV.
“As long as we have the support of KTTC-TV and all the volunteers, we’ll keep doing this,” says Teresa Chapman, Eagles Cancer Telethon executive director.
Each year, about a dozen researchers are selected by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center to receive awards from the Eagles Cancer Telethon research fund. Their projects run the gamut of cancer research — from new discoveries and understanding to the transformation of patient care.
“We are grateful for the confidence the Eagles Cancer Telethon has in Mayo Clinic and deeply honored to be a part of its remarkable community,” says Robert B. Diasio, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and a William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor.
The Eagles Cancer Telethon is a 20-hour event in January on KTTC-TV that showcases more than 100 entertainment acts from southeast Minnesota, northern Iowa and western Wisconsin.
Community groups that have held fundraisers throughout the year present their contributions and share their stories of how cancer has affected them and their families and friends. Contributions during the telethon add to the total. The telethon raised over $1 million in 2019.■