‘Flush Out Cancer’ in Winnebago

WINNEBAGO – If you live in Winnebago, you might wake up to a purple toilet in your front yard.

The Winnebago Women of Today are raising money for Faribault County’s Relay for Life by having people pay to send the attention-getting commode to someone’s front lawn. The event is set for Friday and Saturday at the county fairgrounds in Blue Earth,

Why is the pot purple?

“Purple is the color the survivors of cancer wear at Relay,” explained Heidi Schutt, who is in charge of the team’s fundraising efforts. “Plus, nobody has a purple toilet, so they notice it.”

It also fits the team’s theme of “Flush Out Cancer.”

Schutt got the idea after seeing similar fundraisers, and she knew she could find help to pull it off.

“My husband’s a plumber; he puts in toilets all the time,” she said, referring to Winnebago Mayor Jeremiah Schutt.

Schutt painted the toilet and added the pink flamingoes, but she said the display has been expanding.

“I think something gets added every place it goes,” Schutt said.

It’s not a complicated process to set in motion: All you need is $25 and a phone call.

“Usually people get in touch with the Women of Today and say ‘I want to put it in so-and-so’s yard,'” Schutt said. “We have a super-secret spreadsheet so we know, but no one else knows.”

When the directions come in, a team of stealthy toilet re-locators drop the purple porcelain off on the lawn of the next unsuspecting victims.

“Nobody’s upset. Everybody’s been a good sport,” Schutt reported.

“If people want it out of their yard immediately, it’s a $15 donation,” Schutt said. If the donation isn’t made, the toilet stays. “We leave it there so it gets some attention.”

Even if the $15 isn’t paid, the toilet moves on in a couple of days to the next place on the list.

But just because it’s visited once doesn’t mean it can’t come back.

“Some folks are giving us $15 insurance so it doesn’t end up in their yard,” Schutt said.

“It’s been all over town so far,” she said. “We haven’t had any repeats yet. There’s been talk, but those people heard and paid us insurance.”