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Dumb or Dumber? Sandy or Danny? The Phantom or Christine?

Dumb or Dumber? Sandy or Danny? The Phantom or Christine?

Matt Couch’s creative fundraising idea is Oscar worthy. Seriously, this is a must-read.


We recently talked to Matt Couch, a two-year Pelotonia rider, about his fundraising efforts the past two years and we must admit he gets an A+ for creativity. A self-proclaimed “movie buff,” Matt wanted to come up with a way to raise funds for cancer research, but also include his friends, family, and coworkers in the “fun”-draising.

Stemming from an idea from a friend, he started recreating old movie scenes for a donation of $50 or more. “Personally, I didn’t really expect this to take off since the ask was at least a $50 donation. But then the first donation came in, then the second, and before I knew it I was getting donations to fully fund my ride.”

So how does he do it?

When someone gives Matt a donation of $50 or more he asks them to submit a movie scene they would like him to recreate. Often people will donate without asking for a movie, but when they do they are pretty entertaining. “I had a group of students come together to donate $50 towards my ride. I learned that one of their goals was to come up with something that would be the most embarrassing photo for me to do. Luckily, they were just kidding and gave me the movie “Honey I Shrunk the Kids.” His kids (and his students) enjoyed seeing it come to life.

Matt Couch

Once he receives the request, that’s when the hard work starts. He works to collect the props needed, the people, and potentially the costumes. His first year all the “costumes” or props he needed to use he was able to find in his home, or in his mom’s closet.  This year through a connection at the Ohio State Theatre Department he was able to rent a few of the costumes needed for his requests. “Who has a leather jacket with fur around the collar in their closet? Not me, but thankfully the OSU Theatre Department was able to hook me up for the request of “Top Gun” from a friend of ours.”

Pretty spot on, right?



Once he has the movie, the props, and the costumes, it’s go-time. He has a friend, his kids, or his wife take the photo and then each photo is posted to social media for the world to see. Here he thanks his donor publicly for selecting the movie, their donation to Pelotonia, and releases the final photo for the world to see. “I’m not a photo editor in any way, but I think part of the charm of these photos is that people can tell that we have done them. We’ve tried our best to recreate them as much as we can with the resources available.”

Thankfully, Matt’s wife, Jen, and his two sons have also been on board with the creative process. “My sons participated in BuckeyeThon at OSU with me, and since they can’t physically ride in Pelotonia yet, this has been a great way to get them involved. They now understand the importance of cancer research and giving back to your community.  It’s also been extremely fun and quite entertaining when trying to put together some of these movies. They’re always willing to help out.”

His favorite photo so far? The scene from Dumb and Dumber that he recreated with his friend who came up with the original idea for the movie photos, Kurt Foriska. “This one is definitely my favorite. We had a friend let us borrow their scooter and helmets so that we could recreate it. It’s really amazing how many people want to help me put these reenactments together, especially when they know it’s for cancer research.”



His most embarrassing? Becoming Kermit the Frog. “Our friends requested a scene out of The Muppet Movie. Originally, I wanted to figure out a way to be in a scene with Kermit, then I lost my mind, got a little arts and craftsy, and decided to try to BE Kermit. I purchased a green body suit, swallowed my dignity, and sat on the log in the woods. This one will probably come back to haunt me, but if it helps raise the money we need to beat cancer, then it is so worth it!”

Clever right?

Matt Couch Kermit the Frog


Matt was completely surprised at how much money he was able to raise with this creative fundraising idea. This year alone he raised $2,248.86 dollars from these photos.  “I’m so grateful that so many of our friends, family, students, and colleagues are willing to share their financial resources to help raise money for a cause that’s near and dear to my heart. I have seen too many family members, friends, and co-workers get diagnosed with cancer. It has to stop.”

We agree, 100%, that cancer has to stop, but these reenactments must continue. I think we can all agree on that.


Which one is your favorite?




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