LLS Man, Woman of Year campaign kicks off
Raising money for cancer research
MARYDEL — The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore kicked off its 2016 Man and Woman of the Year campaign Friday, April 1, at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel.
The day began the 10week campaign in which candidates and their teams raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society blood cancer research, with the titles “Man and Woman of the Year” up for grabs. 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.
The 2015 Eastern Shore campaign raised $244,000, and the 2016 goal is to raise $300,000. Candidates range from those with cancer, people competing in honor of a loved one with cancer and people who just want to help.
The Man and Woman of the Year Eastern Shore campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is in its fourth year.
Joining the 2016 campaign will be Katie Thomason of Parlour 7 Salon in Denton; Amy Demarr of Choptank Transport in Preston and Mary Kay in Easton; Rich Catan of Halton Group America in Chester; Easton firefighter Sveinn Storm of Bartlett Pear Bakery in Easton; Emily Murray of Church Hill and Anne Arundel County Public Schools; Justin Davis of of Grason- ville and B/R Instrument Corporation in Easton; William Nielsen of Stevensville and University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center; Rebecca Kellum of Kent Island Pediatric Dentistry; and Corrine Banks of Ocean City and Balanced 4 Life Fitness/ID LIFE.
Candidates 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.
“I have a son who is a twotime cancer surviver, so this is my heart and soul,” said LLS Eastern Shore Leadership Committee member Katie Wilson. “This is what is going to keep my baby alive.
“I just really thank you all very much for taking the time and energy to put toward this campaign for the next 10 weeks. Thank you all very, very much. And all of us together are going to raise $300,000.”
The organization also honored the 2016 Girl of the Year, Colby Fowle, and Boy of the Year, Tyler Von Hagel, at Friday’s ceremony. Tyler was unable to attend the event as he currently is fighting cancer.
Coklby was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 3 years old, just before Christmas 2012. She was undergoing treatment in 2014 when she was honored as the LSS Eastern Shore 2014 Girl of the Year.
Colby has been in remission for a year and led many of the adults on the dance floor during Friday’s kickoff celebration.
“We are so excited because this child right here is full circle,” said LLS Eastern Shore campaign advisor Jennifer Veil. “This is what it is all about. You cannot tell what this child as been through. We are really thankful to have Colby and her family back and to see Colby doing so well.”
Colby Fowle was joined by her brother, Cooper; mother, Kathrine; and father, Ross.
“I just want to thank everyone for coming out and putting in the effort for the next 10 weeks,” said Ross Fowle. “It means a lot to us. Colby got diagnosed when she was 3 and a half years old. After two and a half years of treatment, she is in remission. She is doing really well.
“You know, 30 or 40 years ago, this would not be possible. It is through organizations like LLS that makes it possible now. We want to continue and make that less impactful on families that have to deal with this. Every dollar you raise for this organization, is very helpful and means a lot to us.”
LLS Eastern Shore 2014 Man of the Year Ricky Kerrigan attended Friday’s event and spoke about how Colby Fowle was his biggest inspiration when he was a candidate.
“I’m so happy to see Colby has been in remission for a year as of this week,” he said. “Candidates, just remember when you are out there, you have goals set, but be flexible. Things are going to happen. Some events may get canceled. Some may not turn out as big, but focus on the positives of each thing you do because every dollar you raise helps someone.”
LLS Eastern Shore 2014 Woman of the Year Kris Shanahan, of Chester, raised $100,000 when she was a candidate. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and went nine years without cancer, until being diagnosed twice since 2015.
“To me, my biggest motivation for participating in this event was just being able to hopefully someday tell my children their mother is cured,” she said. “I admire you guys for joining the campaign. It takes a lot of faith and a lot of courage.”
Ridgely resident Tom Bunce, the 2015 Man of the Year, reminded candidates to have fun during the campaign.
“For all the people in here who are dealing with loss or are dealing with ongoing cancer, just enjoy it for them.,” he said. “You are part of such a great, great organization.
“It is not just the candidates, it is also the team members. The teams really help keep things going. Come gala, everyone will stand on stage and we will all realize we are all one team versus cancer. Enjoy the ride. Trust me, it will be a lot of fun.”
The campaign culminates with a grand finale gala that will be held Saturday, June 11, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort and Spa in Cambridge. Candidates will be raising money until the end of the gala when the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year will be announced.
Tickets for the gala are on sale. The cost per ticket is $175 and $2,000 for a table of 10 with advertising opportunities included.
For more information about the campaign, candidates and their teams, visit www. mwoy. org/ md/ localchapter/mwoyes/ or find the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore on Facebook.
Follow Caroline/ Dorchester Editor Dustin Holt on Twitter @Dustin_ StarDem.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore Girl of the Year Colby Fowle, right, dances with Summer Banks, center, and Cooper Fowle during the LLS 2016 Man and Woman of the Year kickoff on Friday, April 1.
Nine candidates from the Eastern Shore will be completing to raise the most money during the 10-week Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore 2016 Man and Woman of the Year campaign. From left, Sveinn Storm, William Nielsen, Rich Catan, Corrine Banks, Rebecca Kellum, Justin Davis, Katie Thomason, Emily Murray and Amy Demarr.
The Fowle family thanks the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore and the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year candidates for supporting their daughter Colby, left, who has been in remission for a year.
Justin Davis calls his team “Narrows in on a Cure.”