EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –The Minnesota Vikings and American Cancer Society have a longstanding community partnership.
On Wednesday, representatives from the ACS recognized the Vikings in "A Crucial Catch Day of Appreciation" and expressed gratitude for the team's Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives, including Minnesota's game against the Chiefs on Oct. 18, 2015.
A Crucial Catch has been a seven-year investment across the NFL and has involved all 32 teams joining to raise more than $8 million for breast cancer education and screening.
"The Crucial Catch campaign is all around breast cancer – raising general awareness as well as increasing screening rates for women who are in the under-served population," said ACS Corporate Relations member Keely Schaust.
Schaust – along with David Benson, Executive Vice President of the Midwest Division for the ACS; and Todd Peterson, Vice President of Corporate and Distinguished Partners, Midwest – honored the Vikings organization for their work with ACS.
Vikings Owners, the Wilf family, presented a $100,000 donation for medical advancement as part of last season's Crucial Catch game against Kansas City. The Vikings offered giveaways and promoted breast cancer awareness on the plaza in addition to their gameday presentation.
"The American Cancer Society has been a huge sponsor affiliate that we've partnered with for years," said Tami Krause, Director of Women's Initiatives and Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders Head Coach. "For me specifically, last year was such a highlight. Starting as the Director of Women's Initiatives, it was great to have such a distinguished organization that we were able to elevate. […] We had so much around that one game to highlight and raise awareness for breast cancer, and it was great for women."
As part of the same campaign, Youth Football Manager E.J. Henderson headed up a "Pink Football Game" at Roseville High School.
"The Vikings/ACS 'Pink Football Game' at Roseville High School had students and staff excited to bring awareness and raise funds for a great cause," Henderson said. "The sight of both teams' fan sections and cheerleaders in all pink really displayed a sense of unity not usually seen in a rivalry game."
On Oct. 15 of this year, the Vikings will once again partner with ACS for a "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk, the first community philanthropic event to be held at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"The American Cancer Society has been a longtime community partner of the Vikings, and we appreciate the commitment and dedication of Dave, Todd and Keely for providing services and education to individuals and families battling this disease," said Lester Bagley, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. "We are excited to support the American Cancer Society's 'Making Strides Against Breast Cancer' walk at U.S. Bank Stadium on Oct. 15."
In addition to the walk, the Vikings will continue to join with ACS throughout the year. One event the team does annually is the ACS A Crucial Catch Luncheon to welcome and honor breast cancer survivors and caregivers.
"The A Crucial Catch Luncheon is one of our most inspiring Community Tuesday events," Madson said. "While the survivors enjoy getting a chance to meet players like Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr, Minnesota-native Marcus Sherels and others, the players are the ones drawing inspiration from the strength of these amazing women."
The Vikings will announce the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Thursday, April 21 from U.S. Bank Stadium.
"That's going to be awesome in terms of relevancy, bringing in more partners and really getting the buzz going about cancer awareness," Peterson said.