Inspired by coach Chuck Pagano’s in-season battle with leukemia, the Colts have become committed to raising money for cancer research.
On Friday, the effort to date topped $1.1 million, via more than $650,000 raised at the inaugural “Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala.”
The event, held at the team’s practice facility, included quarterback Andrew Luck throwing passes to anyone who contributed $1,000. Luck threw 24 passes, presumably completing each of them.
“We’ve had a great partnership with [the IU Simon Cancer Center],” Colts co-owner Kalen Irsay told Cathy Kightlinger of the Indianapolis Star. “But [the center] also obviously holds a very special place in our heart because they saved [Pagano’s] life. He got the best treatment there. I don’t think we could have asked for anything more. And his family can attest to it the same way.”
A silent auction included a trip for 10 to a 2013 Colts road game in the Irsay jet, valued at an estimated $75,000.