'Brackets for the Cure' scores donations for breast cancer resea - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

'Brackets for the Cure' scores donations for breast cancer research

The foundation will raffle off prizes during the tournament's first round. (Source: WOIO) The foundation will raffle off prizes during the tournament's first round. (Source: WOIO)

Some people in northeast Ohio are using their March Madness picks to raise money for breast cancer research.

Like many people, Gina Chicotel is making the finishing touches on her tournament bracket. 

"There's really no scientific reason behind why I choose what I choose, it's all just based on how I feel for the most part, but it's a crap shoot," said Chicotel, who works for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeast Ohio

Despite the odds, one thing is guaranteed about Chicotel's bracket: it will make a difference in the fight to end breast cancer. She's participating in "Brackets for the Cure," which is a fundraising event sponsored by the Susan G. Komen foundation. 

"Knowing it has a purpose behind it, makes it more meaningful as a person," explained Chicotel.

Sean Shacklett, executive director of Susan G. Komen in northeast Ohio, said this is the second year for the event.  

"It's for a good cause and people really get energized around it," said Shacklett. 

Last year, Susan G. Komen raised $5,000. This year they hope to double that amount. 

To enter "Brackets for the Cure," participants need to visit the foundation's website and submit their brackets with at least a $20 donation. 

"Top place gets $1,000, the second place gets $500, and third place gets $250," said Shacklett. 

"Brackets for the Cure" kicks off with a tournament watch party Thursday at Great Lakes Brewery Beer Cellar at 5 p.m. While watching the first round of the tournament, the foundation will also raffle off prizes. 

"We've got signed memorabilia by the Browns, a pair of gloves signed by Josh Cribbs," said Shacklett. 

But Shacklett says despite all the fun surrounding March Madness, the most important thing is the cause. 

"The money that's raised, 75 percent of that money goes toward the local communities. We make grants to local organizations throughout the 22 counties of northeast Ohio that we serve, and those organizations help provide money to the most at-risk populations," said Shacklett.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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