'Coins to Cure Cancer' selected as winner of the Jimmy Fund® Big Ideas Contest

June 08, 2013

Submitted idea to create new fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund

Sung Park wins Big Ideas contest

Sung Park of Chestnut Hill, Mass. is the grand prize winner of the Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest. Park submitted the 'Coins to Cure Cancer' plan.

The plan outlining the creation of a donation receptacle that collects spare change at airports is the grand prize winner of the Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest. Coins to Cure Cancer, submitted by Sung Park, Chestnut Hill, MA, was one of more than 150 entries submitted this spring. Park was one of five finalists selected to present their ideas before an esteemed panel of national business leaders at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund Auditorium on June 4.

The specially designed and branded Jimmy Fund receptacle fits onto lane dividers at airport security. When travelers have to empty their pockets of change before going through security, they will have an easy opportunity to deposit that change into the canister to support the Jimmy Fund. Park viewed his idea as not only raising money for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund but also serving as an educational and branding platform to reach millions of people.

As the grand prize winner, Park received a seven-night all-inclusive stay and airfare at the Riu Palace in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic courtesy of TNT Vacations Powered by Funjet Vacations; the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game and four game tickets; on-field pre-game warm-up access, photo opportunity and tickets to a New England Patriots game; a VIP card for Legal Sea Foods for first-available seating at any Legal Sea Foods location; and lunch with one of the Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest judges.

Like most non-profit organizations, Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund relies on philanthropic support to help make its mission possible. The sluggish and slumping economy of the past few years, coupled with cuts in federal research funding, has spurred Dana-Farber to look for new approaches to increase fundraising, thus the birth of the Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest.

"Dana-Farber launched the Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest as an innovative way to attract greater philanthropic support, especially from people and organizations we currently do not reach," Susan S. Paresky, senior vice president for Development at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. "While the concept of people pitching ideas to corporate CEOs might make for good television, most people would not expect a tradition-bound, Harvard-affiliated hospital to take this approach. But it is a unique way to approach our needs and have some fun at the same time."

The four finalists were:

  • Charge On for the Jimmy Fund!, a credit card processing company that donates a percentage of revenue to the Jimmy Fund, submitted by Michigan Retailers Association and the Credit Card Group.
  • Jimmy Fund Marrowthon, a rowathon fundraiser, submitted by Geoff Lennon, Boston.
  • The Jump for Jimmy Program, a cheerleading competition, submitted by Maureen Sullivan, Nashua, NH and Tamara Hayes, Shirley, Mass.
  • Make the Difference, making a contribution when you pay a toll in Massachusetts, submitted by George Panagopoulos, Worcester, Mass.

The four finalists received gift cards from HomeGoods, Inc., Legal Sea Foods, Stop & Shop, and Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub; an iPod touch 32GB provided by BJ's Wholesale Club; and four tickets to a Boston Red Sox game and to a New England Patriots game.

"Coins to Cure Cancer has the ability to serve as a double purpose by making travel faster and also raising money for Dana-Farber. It is automatic and recurring donations without having to solicit individual donors," said Park. "The cost structure is minimal and the margins would be extremely high."

The contest's panel of judges included: Joshua Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital Partners; Roger Berkowitz, President & CEO, Legal Sea Foods; Ken Canestrari, President, HomeGoods; Bill Fine, President & General Manager, WCVB-TV / Channel 5; Paul Fireman, Founder of Reebok; John Grady, President, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub;Joseph Kelley, President, New England Division, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company;Daniel Kraft, President, The Kraft Group - International; John Legere, President & CEO, T-Mobile; Larry Lucchino, President & CEO, Boston Red Sox; Stacy Madison, Founder, Stacy’s Pita Chip Company; Robert Reynolds, President & CEO, Putnam Investments; and Laura Sen, President & CEO, BJ’s Wholesale Club.

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