MURRAY - Jeremy Grogan was named the winner of the American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Calloway County Campaign with a total of $7,756 raised during the month of October. Not only did Grogan top the Calloway County Campaign, he was also named fourth in the state for donations raised. 

The Real Men Wear Pink Calloway County Campaign raised a total of $36,628, with the goal being set at $30,000.

“We surpassed our goal for this year and surpassed what the men raised last year,” said Martha Andrus, chairman of the campaign. “This group of men made it apparent from the beginning of this campaign they intended to raise more than the group did last year and they made that a reality.”

The Real Men Wear Pink Calloway County consisted of Grogan, Josh McKeel, John Kopperud, Mitch Ryan, Robin Brown, Aaron Dail, Jesse Williams, Joseph Kelly, John McConnell and Neal Bradley.

A wrap up celebration dinner was held Thursday night to announce the winner.

The participants gathered donations through Facebook, friends and family, a car wash, rebates at local restaurants, waiting tables for tips, selling pink donuts during Murray State University’s Homecoming Parade, and sponsorships. 

“Aaron Dail took a pie to his face to raise funds,” Andrus said. “Robin Brown held a PInk Christmas Open House at his home for donations and Mitch Ryan wore a pink tutu and pink tights, not once, but twice — during a Spartan competition and the Murray Half Marathon. These guys were just outstanding in their desire to raise funds for this event and we could not be more proud of their efforts.”

Not only is Grogan fourth in the state but Josh McKeel is right behind him, ranking fifth in the commonwealth.

“For these two to place at the state level is phenomenal,” Andrus said. “The other campaigns are in areas much larger than Calloway County. Each of the men were given a goal of raising $2,500 and most of them surpassed that goal.

“This campaign would not have been successful without the support of many local businesses who sponsored the candidates or went above and beyond what was expected at some of the restaurant rebate nights. We want to express our deepest appreciation to the Murray Ledger & Times, Kopperud Realty, Jarvis Vision Center, The Murray Bank, Cypress Springs Restaurant, Sirloin Stockade, Flowers by Whitney’s, West Kentucky Hemp LLC, Ryan Law Office, Allegro Fine Foods and The Burrito Shack. All of these gave at our sponsorship level and that made a big impact on this campaign.” 

The Quarterback Club at Calloway County High School was also a part of this campaign. They sought donations instead of charging a ticket fee to a Calloway County home football game, in addition to sponsoring an online auction. The club disbursed these funds between Josh McKeel, Mitch Ryan and others in the school system who are undergoing cancer treatments.

“This whole community got behind these men and this campaign and they touched a lot of lives with their efforts,” Andrus said. “Many of them expressed how they met so many people affected by cancer and were grateful for the opportunity to raise funds for research and support.”

“I am very proud to live in Murray and Calloway County,” Grogan said. “I have never done anything like this before and at first I was hesitant, but now I am very proud that I became involved. It seems this community always comes together when there is a cause like this.”

Grogan said that because of his work at the funeral home, he mostly experiences the tragic results of cancer. 

“The carwash was the very first fundraiser we held and people were stopping and telling us thank you for what we were doing and making a donation,” he said. “We had people who were just traveling through Murray on their way somewhere else, saw our sign and stopped to tell us how much they appreciated our efforts, how cancer had affected them and gave us a donation. It really made me feel good to be doing something like this and we just kept the momentum going.”

Grogan said when he first learned his goal was $2500, he was a bit concerned.

“I thought its going to take me a long time to make that goal with $10 and $20 donations,” he said. “But as I began to walk around town, talking to businesses, I realized this was important to many and the donations were not hard to come by. 

“I am very glad I participated in this campaign. If it hadn’t been for my wife Bridgette, I am not sure I would have become involved, but once I agreed, I knew I was going to give it my all and she was right there beside me. Also, the guys at the funeral home were so supportive and helped out waiting tables at Sirloin and came to all the restaurant rebates I held.

“I was proud to be part of the 10 men and I am proud to be a part of Murray and Calloway County.” 

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