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About Us

70 Years Fighting Cancer

The Fifth District Eagles Cancer Telethon was established in 1954 with the primary objective of raising funds for cancer-related causes. As the oldest locally-run telethon in the United States, this event has maintained a longstanding tradition of contributing to the fight against cancer. It has forged a close and enduring partnership with KTTC, ensuring the annual broadcast of the Eagles Cancer Telethon.

Over the span of 70 years, the telethon has garnered the dedicated support of more than 12,000 volunteers, making it a remarkable testament to the community's commitment to this noble cause.

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Our Story

The 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon, located in the heart of Rochester, Minnesota, is a non-profit organization that embodies an unwavering commitment to the fight against cancer. Its mission is a year-round endeavor, culminating in a powerful 20-hour live telethon that takes place each January.

What sets this telethon apart is its primary focus: raising substantial funds to support crucial cancer research conducted at three esteemed local institutions. The institutions benefiting from the telethon's efforts are:

  1. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center: A world-renowned center for cutting-edge cancer research, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries and innovative treatments. The telethon's contributions enable the center to push the boundaries of cancer science.

  2. The Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota: Known for its pioneering research in the field of cancer, the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota plays a vital role in advancing our understanding of this complex disease. The telethon's funding bolsters the institute's work and accelerates progress.

  3. The Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota: As one of the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, the Masonic Cancer Center is a hub of multidisciplinary research, translating scientific discoveries into patient care. The telethon's donations provide a critical lifeline for the center's innovative endeavors.

Celebrated as the longest locally run Telethon in the U.S., the success of this event is attributed to the tireless commitment, dedication, and passion of the volunteers, community organizations, and the steadfast support from local TV station KTTC.

The annual telethon is a fundraising powerhouse, consistently raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research. The contributions and support have shown impressive growth over the years, and the organization extends its heartfelt gratitude to all those who continue to make a profound difference in the battle against cancer.

But it's not just about the dollars raised. The telethon represents an extraordinary outpouring of community support, offering hope and inspiration to those navigating their cancer journeys. It serves as a powerful reminder that no one walks this path alone. As the funds for cancer research accumulate, the community, hand in hand, is committed to:

  • SUPPORT those affected by cancer, ensuring they have the resources and care they need.

  • REMEMBER those who have lost their lives to this relentless disease, honoring their memory and the lessons they've left.

  • STRIVE for a future free from the specter of cancer.

The 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon is more than just an annual fundraising event; it's a testament to the strength of a community united in its determination to conquer cancer and provide support to those in need. With every dollar raised and every life touched, it brings us one step closer to a brighter, cancer-free future.

Our Team


Brett Carlson

Executive Director


Denise Haefner

Security Chair


Donna Caflisch

Phone Donations Chair


Erin Henderson

Front Desk Chair


Teresa Chapman

Finances, Marketing & Social Media Chair


Jerry Parker

Pork Service Chair


Julie Hobbs

Registration Chair


Mark Nelson

Event Labor Chair


Matthew Nelson

Event Labor Chair


Gina Carlson

Auction Chair


Jim Backus

Breakfast Service Chair


Bob Nogosek

Runner Chair


Connie Henderson

Hospitality Chair


James Skifter

Talent Chair


Mike Chapman

CEO, Board President, Finances, Social Media & Online Transactions Chair.


Nate Hanson

Stage Greeter Chair


Tricia Katzenberger

Counters & Tech Chair


Shawn Stoppel

Kick Off Dinner Chair


Amy Klepper

Kick Off Dinner Chair


Katie Lenz

Registration Chair

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