Shore LLS wel­comes Wi­comico can­di­dates for 2017 cam­paign

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

SAL­IS­BURY — The Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore is pleased this year to wel­come the first Wi­comico County can­di­dates into the fifth an­nual Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign.

Can­di­dates Andrew Tawes and Cap­tain Wil­lie Dykes are co-hosts of the weekly tele­vi­sion pro­gram Out­doors Del­marva that airs on WBOC-TV 16.

Tawes and Dykes will each rep­re­sent their own team un­der the um­brella of Gate­way Subaru’s spon­sor­ship. The part­ner­ship was born out of Gate­way Subaru’s spon­sor­ship of Out­doors Del­marva, and all par­ties in­volved are ex­cited to work to­gether on this cam­paign.

The 2017 cam­paign be­gan March 31 and con­cludes Sat­ur­day, June 10, at the fi­nale gala at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Re­sort in Cam­bridge.

Ten can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Tawes and Dykes will be col­lect­ing money for the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore. The can­di­dates, who collect the most money by the end of the June 10 gala, will be be crowned Man and Woman of the Year.

The 2016 cam­paign was a record-break­ing year for the LLS of the Eastern Shore, rais­ing $476,859 — a record for any Mary­land chap­ter and nearly dou­ble what was raised on the Eastern Shore in the 2015 cam­paign — for the LLS mis­sion to find a cure for blood can­cers. Seventy-seven per­cent of each dol­lar raised goes into fund­ing re­search, which works out to a con­tri­bu­tion of just over $367,000 for re­search alone.

Astrid Bravo, mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor at Gate­way Subaru, is man­ag­ing Team Andrew.

“It was men­tioned that LLS had no foothold in Wi­comico County, so we got to­gether think­ing of what we could do to help,” Bravo said. “We were sur­prised. We de­cided to go ahead and start that cam­paign. We reached out to LLS, and it hap­pened to be the right time with Man and Woman of the Year.

“We asked Andrew and Cap­tain Wil­lie to be the faces, be­cause they have the big­gest fol­low­ing, so what bet­ter way to get the word out, us­ing the spokesper­sons of the Eastern Shore. They’re the faces, but we’re all work­ing to­gether to cre­ate the events and raise money; and not just rais­ing money, but also rais­ing aware­ness in Wi­comico County, which is one of the main things that we de­cided was our goal.”

While the teams hope to do a lot with the cam­paign this year, they are also work­ing to cre­ate mo­men­tum that will carry the cam­paign on the Lower Shore for years to come.

Tawes said that part of the rea­son he wanted to par­tic­i­pate with the cam­paign is be­cause he is a fa­ther to three sons.

“If I’m not mis­taken, leukemia is the most com­mon form of can­cer in kids,” Tawes said. “Luck­ily, they’re all happy and healthy right now, but the thought is al­ways there that you never know. If some­thing should hap­pen, then it’s al­ways good to know that there’s a re­source avail­able for kids and fam­i­lies, the peo­ple that have to go through this.”

Tawes also ap­pre­ci­ates that the re­search funded by LLS has ben­e­fit­ted those fight­ing other forms of can­cer, not only blood can­cers.

When asked why he wanted to par­tic­i­pate, Dykes said he knows many fam­i­lies on the Shore have lost chil­dren to leukemia. He re­called the story of a par­tic­u­lar child from the area who died many years ago from a form of leukemia that is now treat­able be­cause of the re­search funded through LLS and other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“If the re­search keeps on, it may save any­one from hav­ing to go through that,” Dykes said. “It (the cam­paign) was not some­thing I was look­ing around for, but when it came up, I said it’s per­fect. I’m ready.”

Dykes and Tawes said they are ex­cited to cam­paign and do what they can to fur­ther the ef­forts of the LLS here on the Eastern Shore, and they have a bit of an ad­van­tage when it comes to the well-es­tab­lished plat­form from which they have to work.

“We have a mod­est, but present au­di­ence that we can reach, and we’re rec­og­niz­able, and this is what that’s for,” Dykes said.

“It’s ex­cit­ing, and a lit­tle fright­en­ing, be­cause I don’t re­ally know what to ex­pect. This is all new to us, and we’re look­ing for­ward to do­ing what we can,” Tawes added. “Other than just hav­ing fun and do­ing out­doors stuff, we get to hope­fully reach out to a lot of peo­ple, and get peo­ple aware of what they can do.”

With four years of cam­paigns al­ready un­der their belts, the or­ga­niz­ers of the Man and Woman of the Year work as a well-oiled ma­chine through­out the ten crazy weeks of cam­paign­ing. As new­com­ers, Tawes and Dykes are ea­ger to see how it all pans out at the fi­nale gala in June.

“The or­ga­ni­za­tion is pumped,” said Tawes. “They’re re­ally in­volved, and I’m ex­cited to see what the end re­sult will be. From what they’ve said about how it started out, it’s a great cause and they re­ally stand be­hind it and be­lieve in it. I’m cu­ri­ous to see how it turns out.”

The Gate­way Subaru teams will host a yard sale fundraiser at the deal­er­ship on Sat­ur­day, April 29 with food, fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties, raf­fles, and lots of in­ter­est­ing ven­dors, to ben­e­fit Team Andrew and Team Wil­lie for the LLS Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign.

They are hop­ing the dy­namic of their friendly team ri­valr y will help to boost do­na­tions and aware­ness of the cam­paign and all the good things that the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore does for the com­mu­nity.

Can­di­dates from all ten teams have pages on the LLS Eastern Shore web­site, www.mwoy.org/ md/lo­calchap­ter/mwoyes, and the com­mu­nity can make do­na­tions and re­ceive up­dates for up­com­ing events.

The 2016 cam­paign was a record-break­ing year for the LLS of the Eastern Shore, rais­ing $476,859 — a record for any Mary­land chap­ter and nearly dou­ble what was raised on the Eastern Shore in the 2015 cam­paign — for the LLS mis­sion to find a cure for blood can­cers. Seventy-seven per­cent of each dol­lar raised goes into fund­ing re­search, which works out to a con­tri­bu­tion of just over $367,000 for re­search alone.

Emily Mur­ray of Team Crushin’ Or­ange was named 2016 Woman of the Year with $135,882 raised. Rich Catan of Team Missy’s Mojo was named 2016 Man of the Year with $74,109.77 raised.

The fi­nale gala will be held Sat­ur­day, June 10 at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Re­sort in Cam­bridge.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Gate­way Subaru in Delmar is spon­sor­ing 2017 Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore Man of the Year can­di­dates and Out­doors Del­marva co-hosts Cap­tain Wil­lie Dykes, left, and Andrew Tawes, right. They are joined at the March 30 LLS Cam­paign kick­off in Grasonville by Astrid Bravo, mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor at Gate­way Subaru.

PHOTOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety Man of the Year can­di­dates Cap­tain Wil­lie Dykes, left, with Team Wil­lie for Gate­way Subaru and Andrew Tawes, right, with Team Andrew for Gate­way Subaru meet 2017 Girl of the Year Mia Frank, a three-year old girl fight­ing acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia.

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