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Jimmy Fund hopes ‘Big Ideas’ contest will pay off in increased money for cancer research

Boston Red Sox chief executive Larry Lucchino met with a cheerleading team during the Jimmy Fund’s Big Ideas Contest on Friday.
Boston Red Sox chief executive Larry Lucchino met with a cheerleading team during the Jimmy Fund’s Big Ideas Contest on Friday.

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As a dozen high-powered chief executives deliberated for almost an hour, a group of contestants waited for the verdict, the anxiety level rising with each passing minute.

It sounds like the prefab drama that reality television feeds on, but this was actually a competition to craft a fund-raising campaign for The Jimmy Fund. Unlike shows such as “Shark Tank” or “Hell’s Kitchen,” there were no tears, fights, or friendships torn apart during the contest, which culminated this week at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Yawkey Center for Cancer Care.

The Jimmy Fund Big Ideas Contest did feature cheerleaders, a professionally produced video, Powerpoint presentations, and a campaign prototype.

“People said I watch too much reality TV,” said Sue Paresky, Jimmy Fund senior vice president for development and contest creator. “It’s really a hoot.”

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