LLS cam­paign ap­proach­ing fi­nale

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

— Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore is fast ap­proach­ing the fi­nale of the fifth an­nual Man and Wo­man of the Year cam­paign.

The 10-week cam­paign is an in­ten­sive ef­fort to raise

fund­ing for blood can­cer re­search. This year fea­tures ten men and women who, along with their teams, have held a wide va­ri­ety of fundrais­ing events to sup­port the cause and com­pete for the ti­tle of Man or Wo­man of the Year at the Grand Fi­nale Gala, to be held at the Hy­att Re­gency Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Resort in Cam­bridge on Satur­day, June 10.

Ev­ery dol­lar raised counts as one vote, and the ti­tles are awarded to the man and wo­man with the most votes at the end of 10 weeks. Can­di­dates will still be ac­cept­ing do­na­tions through to the very end of the gala event. Sev­enty-seven per­cent of each dol­lar raised goes di­rectly to re­search.

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.

“We can­not save lives with­out you,” said Mary­land LLS Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Jonathan Wil­son at the kick­off event in March. “Those that have been in­volved with the cam­paign for the last five years, know that we have been very ag­gres­sive at LLS about find­ing a cure. We’re on the cusp of some re­ally breakthrough treat­ments and re­search that is go­ing to save lives to­day.”

This year’s can­di­dates are John Bunce with Team Crushin’ Or­ange; Kasey Deal with Team Or­ange Blos­soms; Kim Leavers with Team Shore 4 A Cure; An­drew Tawes with Team An­drew for Gate­way Subaru; Cap­tain Wil­lie Dykes with Team Wil­lie for Gate­way Subaru; Laura Green­well with Team Craft­ing a Cure; Alyssa Miller with Team Cure­saders; Ryan Snow with Team It’s a Cure Thing; Melissa Coli­gan with Team Missy’s Mojo; and Curt Kersey with Team Lym­pho­ma­ni­acs.

Sev­eral of the can­di­dates rep­re­sent teams that have been in­volved with the cam­paign for mul­ti­ple years. They have cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate in honor of a loved one bat­tling can­cer, due to their own can­cer bat­tle, or sim­ply be­cause they want to con­trib­ute to a great cause.

LLS East­ern Shore is ex­cited to have their first can­di­dates from Wi­comico County in Tawes and Dykes, co-hosts of the weekly tele­vi­sion pro­gram Out­doors Del­marva that airs on WBOC-TV 16.

All can­di­dates have pages on the LLS East­ern Shore web­site, www.mwoy.org/ md/lo­calchap­ter/mwoyes, where the com­mu­nity can make do­na­tions and re­ceive up­dates.

Each year, a Boy and Girl of the Year are in­vited to rep­re­sent the cause through­out the cam­paign.

This year’s Girl of the Year is Mia Frank, a 3-year old girl fight­ing acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia. She was di­ag­nosed late last year and will en­ter what is called the main­te­nance phase af­ter one more can­cer treat­ment.

The Boy of the Year is 6-year-old Wy­att Rus­sum, and he was di­ag­nosed with ALL at four years old in 2015.

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.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

The 2017 Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the East­ern Shore Man and Wo­man of the Year can­di­dates.

PHO­TOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety Man of the Year can­di­date John Bunce with his team Crushin’ Or­ange and Girl of the Year Mia Frank at the 2017 kick­off Thurs­day, March 30.

Cap­tain Wil­lie Dykes, left, and An­drew Tawes, right, with Team An­drew meet 2017 Girl of the Year Mia Frank.

Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety 2017 Girl of the Year Mia Frank, a three-year old girl fight­ing acute lym­phoblas­tic leukemia, gets dressed up at Har­ris Crab House in Gra­sonville for the 2017 kick­off Thurs­day, March 30.

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