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Find Fun in a Serious Cause—and Help CFC Win $50K

Reinventing the Outdoors contest: Help Cancer for College by volunteering at golf tournament fundraisers or buying Will Ferrell sunscreen.

UPDATED! Launched on Monday April 4, GOOD and the 2011 Ford Explorer will be devoting six weeks to the Reinventing the Outdoors Contest, which showcases amazing organizations like this one that are redefining the way we live, work, and play outside. Check in every day for a new story about the people, celebrities, and programs behind each organization. Help your favorite group win the $50,000 grand prize by voting for them starting Monday, May 16 through Friday, May 20.

Since there are only two full time employees of Cancer for College (CFC), the nonprofit organization depends on its committed team of volunteers for everything, whether its packing boxes of Will Ferrell-branded sunscreen in its Southern California warehouse, loading up auction items, or setting up at the annual golf events. Additional volunteers are always appreciated and welcome. As a bonus, since Will Ferrell “comes to anything he can, if he’s not in the middle of filming,” says Craig Pollard, founder of CFC, there’s a good chance that you might spot Ferrell up close if you put in the time to help in person.

Aside from volunteering, donations are the lifeblood of the organization since the money goes towards college scholarships for cancer survivors and amputees. With donation levels starting at $75 for the comedy night or $500 for the golfing events, it’s a great way to have fun while also supporting a great cause. And at the awards ceremonies following each event, donors can see the scholarship winners—both past and present. As Pollard says, “It’s not just a check going to an invisible charity, you get to see first hand where your money is going by meeting and talking to all the kids you’re helping.”

Can’t afford the event fees or live too far from the event destinations? There are a number of affordable items available online from which proceeds also greatly help the organization. Ferrell has lent his name and face to bottles of $13 sunscreen and more than 22,000 bottles touting skin cancer prevention have been sold—practically covering the organization’s entire operating costs. All other money goes directly to the students, including donations from Will Ferrell bobbleheads, cowbells, and other items sold on CFC’s website, and Pollard promises some more fun Ferrell items in the works for the coming year.

It all makes it easy to support a great organization that has an underlying thread of total seriousness despite the sense of humor. “We laugh and share tears, but ultimately, we all understand that it’s life threatening,” says Pollard. “We’ve lost six scholarship winners to cancer. Every day I think about how precious life is, and I’m reminded of what’s really important.”

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