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Since 2014, Fry Out Cancer has raised more than $113,000 for cancer related charities. This annual event benefits The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital, and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The event gives communities the opportunity to knock out two birds with one stone by funding cancer research while providing turkeys to those in need on Thanksgiving.

Why You Should Fry

Thanksgiving can be a tough holiday. During the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter rates have increased and many have lost their jobs. Fry Out Cancer is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community.

“We’ve had friends and family affected by cancer,” says Matt Freedman, the founder of Fry Out Cancer. “We wanted to do something to honor them and do something on Thanksgiving to really bring forth the idea of giving more so than the thanks.”

Fry Out Cancer Founder Matt Freedman demonstrates how to fry a turkey during the 2019 fundraiser. 

Freedman has had personal experiences dealing with cancer and started Fry Out Cancer back in 2014. Knowing he had a skill in cooking turkeys, he decided to start Fry Out Cancer. Starting with just one fryer, they’ve had to increase the number of fryers needed to be able to keep up with the demand and the continued success of the program.

How it Works

The three main objectives of Fry Out Cancer are to raise money for cancer research, provide turkeys to those in need on Thanksgiving, and increase volunteerism over Thanksgiving.

Those that are donating place their order for a fully prepared fried turkey and select a time to pick it up on Thanksgiving. Donors are also encouraged to sponsor a turkey that will go to a family in need.  

Faculty, staff and students at Columbus State Community College’s Culinary Arts Program prepare turkeys to be donated to area shelters during the 2019 Fry Out Cancer fundraiser. 

Turkeys that will be donated to local shelters will be roasted two days before Thanksgiving at Columbus State Community College’s Mitchell Hall. Volunteers will pick up those turkeys and deliver them to local shelters the day before Thanksgiving.

“We are so proud to partner with Matt Freedman and Fry Out Cancer,” says Brad Wasserstrom, President of Wasserstrom. “In a year like 2021, it is more important than ever to support these worthwhile causes. Whether it be supporting cancer research, or just helping to provide families with Thanksgiving dinner, the Wasserstrom family feels it important to contribute to organizations like Matt’s.”

Wasserstrom is proud to partner with this program again and will provide a lot of the materials we needed to help with food prep, storage and transportation. And as in previous years, we will also have a team of Wasserstrom volunteers.

On Thanksgiving Day, there will be various roles to play such as frying the turkeys, managing teams outside, and cleaning up after the event. Those that are more interested in volunteer service can find out more here. The volunteer count is expected to be somewhere around 50 great individuals this Thanksgiving.

“In 2019, volunteered with Fry Out Cancer for the first time,” says Jennifer Johnson, an employee at Wasserstrom. “I was very impressed with how organized and easy the process went to fry the turkeys. It made for a fun and enjoyable volunteer experience. I met new people and made connections that have led to more volunteer opportunities. I definitely am excited to volunteer for this event for years to come!”

Make a donation today to sponsor a turkey »

Changes For 2021

This year, the goal is the raise $32,000 for the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University. Beginning on October 11th, previous donors can preorder their meals. After which, the general public can purchase a turkey beginning on October 20th.

In the midst of a pandemic, you’d assume that an event like this would be cancelled. COVID-19 has affected more people financially than any modern-day recession has. But with every year of growth, Fry Out Cancer is expecting another year of increased turkey donations.

Starting with just 10 fried turkeys in 2014, there will be 400 turkeys prepared this year: 300 of those will be roasted at Columbus State and donated to shelters across central Ohio for families in need. The other 100 turkeys will be fried on Thanksgiving morning in New Albany. Those will be available for individual donors to reserve to take home for their own meals. More people need help now than prior years.

Volunteers package turkeys in preparation for pickup at the 2019 Fry Out Cancer fundraiser.

In other exciting news, the team is also introducing “Pie Out Cancer” where culinary partners at Columbus State will prep 100 pies – apple or pumpkin – available for donors to reserve for their Thanksgiving meals.

Please consider donating or volunteering this Thanksgiving holiday. To learn more or donate, please check out Fry Out Cancer’s website and the Buckeye Funder site.


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