Wisconsin Residents Start Hoops Based Charity

Five Wisconsin residents start Brackets for Hope, a non-profit that harnesses the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to raise funds for cancer research.

Madison, WI, February 18, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Every March, the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament draws in millions of viewers across the country. The tournament is also big business. CNBC sports business bureau conservatively estimates that 2.5 billion dollars exchanges hands in legal and illegal bets. Is there a way to capitalize on this tournament fever; direct it in a positive way? Madison area resident Tory Hutchison thinks so. Two years ago he overdosed on hot wings and had an idea. What if you combined the energy and excitement generated by the NCAA tournament with everyone’s passion for curing cancer? Brackets for Hope was born.

Tory called four of his friends and pitched his idea. “We can take a traditional bracket challenge and add a special twist. We can find businesses willing to donate prizes and use these prizes to set up a competition. Participants can choose to donate money and join the Brackets for Hope NCAA Tournament Challenge. 100% of the net profit will be donated to fund cancer research.” Andy Schmidt (Milwaukee), Korryn Vail (Phillips), Amanda Donahue (Madison), and Erik Torgeson (Minocqua) saw the potential this had and signed on. Torgeson states “I instantly saw how viable this was. Like most great ideas, it starts with something simple.”

They began planning the structure, and working on raising startup capital. In late 2011, Brackets for Hope received Non-Profit 501 (c) (3) status and the game was on! Friends, family, and colleagues got behind the fledgling charity. Hutchison states “I was blown away by the response the idea had, everyone we told about Brackets for Hope wanted to be a part of it.” Brackets generated over $5000 in initial donations to fund the Brackets for Hope launch. Bracketsforhope.org was created and ads were booked for the 2012 CBS NCAA Tournament Selection Show in Madison and Milwaukee. Based on the grassroots support and buzz generated, Brackets for Hope has a bright future!

Brackets For Hope
Erik Torgeson