Since its inception in 1977, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial has welcomed a broad range of supporters to Sun Valley with one common goal in mind: to find a cure for leukemia and other cancers.
In the midst of a global pandemic, KTM was presented with new challenges to reach expectations around philanthropic giving while maintaining value. Because of these changes, a newly created KTM Remote Tournament gave players the chance to register and play when and where they were able in 2020 over a two-month time span, with some participants playing three times in their efforts to raise funds.
“We embraced the opportunity to pivot and get creative, which challenged us to stretch outside our comfort zone in 2020,” Executive Director of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Hannah Stauts said. “Our commitment as an organization to support our two beneficiaries is unwavering, and our partners have been steadfast to carry us through a difficult time and to position us for an even stronger future.”
Even without an opportunity to participate in-person due to gathering restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of KTM’s corporate sponsors stayed by the four-day event traditionally held in Sun Valley in mid-August.
“We have always believed in the mission of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial and the long history of raising money for cancer research, and we are proud to be a longtime partner of the event,” U.S. Bank Vice Chair and Chief Financial Officer Terry Dolan said.
The 2020 KTM Remote Tournament drew 156 golfers across 16 states and 31 different golf courses. With continued sponsor support and thanks to the generosity of the Argyros Performing Arts Center for space, staff, equipment and production support, a Virtual Online Auction allowed for more than double the attendance and participation in this aspect of the annual KTM fundraising event.
In all, $950,000 has since been raised for cancer research.
From Aug. 18-21, 2021, participants in the event will have the opportunity to play in the annual golf tournament and to experience much of what the Wood River Valley has to offer with activities such as fly fishing, horseback riding, guided hikes and whitewater rafting. Special events over the course of the four days include an Auction Gala, Cancer in Focus educational lecture and an exclusive Concert for a Cure featuring the Tom Petty tribute band Petty Theft.
To complement the return of this year’s August in-person event and to provide ongoing opportunities for broader engagement and support, the 2021 KTM Remote Tournament again kicked off on Memorial Day, with results and fundraising outcomes to be announced soon.
In addition, a KTM Swing at Cancer sister event was introduced in Minneapolis, Minn., on Friday, June 25, and welcomed 48 participants netting $25,000 for cancer research in its first year.
Considered one of the leading cancer research fundraisers of its kind, the KTM has raised nearly $19 million for cancer research to date. Proceeds from the event go directly to support research and patient care at both St. Luke’s Cancer Institute in Boise and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Both beneficiaries leverage these funds three to five-fold through matching grants, increasing the impact of KTM’s annual contribution to well beyond the million-dollar mark.