Organizers of the fifth annual Chuckstrong Tailgate Friday evening in Indianapolis say the event raised more than $1 million for cancer research. The funding will support work at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

The event marked the second straight year the gala raised more than $1 million. The money came from corporate sponsorships, live and silent auctions as well as $100,000 from the family of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and $100,000 from Colts coach Chuck Pagano and his wife Tina.

Since 2012, the Chuckstrong initiative has raised nearly $5 million for cancer research at Indiana University. The IU Simon Cancer Center uses the funds to support projects aiming to turn laboratory discoveries into improved patient treatment options. The center is one of only 69 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the nation.

"We might think we're a long ways away," said Pagano, who was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia nearly five years ago. "I don't think we are."