Husker fan uses March Madness bracket pool to raise money for charity

Lifelong Nebraskan Meg Williams used social media to reach out to people to join her bracket challenge, raising $2000 for the Team Jack Foundation.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Nebraska Cornhuskers did not make the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year, but that didn’t stop one Huskers fan from channeling people’s love of March Madness to make a difference.

Lifelong Nebraskan Meg Williams says the recent passing of Andy Hoffman compelled her to start a March Madness bracket pool to raise money for the Team Jack Foundation, an organization that has raised millions for pediatric brain cancer research.

“It was really just kind of a random idea,” she said.

Williams started reaching out to local business owners to help her spread the word.

“Every single person that I reached out to was more than willing to help donate prizes and their time and kind of helped me get the word out on social media,” Williams said.

Local radio host Bill Hooks, owner of two Slim Chickens restaurants in Lincoln, helped contribute to the prize pool for the winners of the bracket challenge. He says when he was approached by Williams on Twitter, helping out was “a no-brainer.”

“This community embraces these things so immensely,” Hooks said. “They just grab a hold of it.”

With prizes in the fold and the word out on social media, the bracket challenge was off and running. Williams set the price to enter at $10 a bracket. She says 107 people joined, with several entering multiple brackets. Some donated without entering a bracket. In total, $2000 was raised and donated to Team Jack.”

“It’s special,” Hooks said. “I mean, for 2000 bucks to go [to charity], just like that, it’s really cool.”

The donation has been already been submitted to Team Jack. Now all that’s left to do is to let the games unfold and crown winners of the challenge.

Williams says she will announce the winners on social media. Prizes include custom Huskers grill grates, gift cards to Slim Chickens and Muchachos, apparel, and Husker signs. She says she couldn’t have pulled this off without for the support of the community.

“It was honestly the coolest thing that I’ve ever been able to do because of social media,” Williams said. “The number of people that responded and that were supportive. It’s really cool to see. That’s how Nebraskans always are, they rally around each other, support each other and come together.”

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