Kent Is­land Amer­i­can Le­gion gives $20K to LLS

Record Observer - - News - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

KENT IS­LAND — When the na­tion took a mo­ment to honor fallen sol­diers this Me­mo­rial Day week­end, Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 con­tin­ued its fight for the com­mu­nity by an­nounc­ing it had do­nated $20,000 to the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore.

LLS of the Eastern Shore is in its fi­nal week of the 10week 2016 Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign. Ten can­di­dates and their teams each 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.

Last year’s 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.

Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 heard about the cam­paign and wanted to make a gen­eral do­na­tion.

“The mis­sion of the Amer­i­can Le­gion is we take care of our veter­ans, we take care of chil­dren and we take care of our com­mu­nity,” said Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 Com­man­der Nikki Ran­dolph. “What LLS strives to do re­ally falls un­der the pil­lars of the Amer­i­can Le­gion.

“In the past sev­eral years, we’ve lost sev­eral of our beloved mem­bers to blood can­cers,” she said. “Ev­ery year, we see where we can do the most help­ful thing for the com­mu­nity. So we choose dif­fer­ent char­i­ties — usu­ally one ma­jor charity, and plus all of the rest of the or­ga­ni­za­tions and char­i­ties we sup­port each year that sur­round our com­mu­nity.”

Ran­dolph said she could not think of a bet­ter pro­gram to sup­port be­cause can­cer can strike any­one.

“Any money that goes to LLS or any can­cer re­search is a day closer to find­ing a cure,” she said. “By sup­port­ing LLS, I feel like we are ful­fill­ing our pil­lars of the Amer­i­can Le­gion be­cause we want to find a cure as well be­cause I’m tired of go­ing to funer­als of peo­ple dy­ing too early be­cause of can­cer.”

The Man and Woman of the Year — Eastern Shore cam­paign for the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety — is in its fourth year.

Com­pet­ing in this year’s cam­paign are 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 B/R In­stru­ment Cor­po­ra­tion in Eas­ton; Wil­liam Nielsen of Stevensville and Univer­sity of Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter; Re­becca Kel­lum of Kent Is­land Pe­di­atric Den­tistr y; 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.

The cam­paign cul­mi­nates with a grand fi­nale gala 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 are an­nounced.

Nielsen, a U.S. Army vet­eran, is a mem­ber of Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278. In De­cem­ber 2013, he was di­ag­nosed with Chronic Lym­pho­cytic Leukemia.

“I’m ex­tremely grate­ful and pleased that the Amer­i­can Le­gion would make this do­na­tion to the Leukemia and Lym­phoma So­ci­ety of the Eastern Shore,” he said. “The Amer­i­can Le­gion does a lot for lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“For me, these are veter­ans still fight­ing for the com­mu­nity,” Nielsen added. “When they were in uni­form, they did it through com­bat. Now, they are fight­ing for the com­mu­nity by sup­port­ing lo­cal causes and or­ga­ni­za­tions. It is re­ward­ing and hum­bling to see or­ga­ni­za­tions like the VFW and Amer­i­can Le­gion out there mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

Nielsen said he joined the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year cam­paign to honor his fa­ther, Martin Bernard Nielsen, a Viet­nam vet­eran who served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years and died from can­cer at 49.

“Leukemia is the num­ber one killer of kids,” he said. “Our com­mu­nity is af­fected by it. Blood can­cer re­search also helps re­search for other forms of can­cer. This reaches out fur­ther than leukemia and lym­phoma. This reaches out to find a cure for all can­cers.”

Ran­dolph said Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278 puts about $200,000 a year back into the com­mu­nity through do­na­tions and ser­vices. She said other causes and events the le­gion sup­ports in­cludes youth fish­ing derby, an­i­mal res­cues, Spe­cial Olympics, Casey Cares, Mary­land De­part­ment of Af­fairs, Queen­stown Emer­gency Room, schol­ar­ships at Salisbury Univer­sity and Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, youth sports, Wounded War­riors, lo­cal fire de­part­ments, schools, food drives, Perry Point veter­ans, Charlotte Hall veter­ans, Com­pass Hospice, Wreaths Across Amer­ica, Re­lay for Life and Boys and Girls Scouts.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 278, visit www.kial­post278. home­stead.com or call 410643-2728.

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.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

Gath­ered at Kent Is­land Amer­i­can Le­gion, Post 278, in Stevensville, mem­bers re­mem­bered those who have died in ser­vice to our na­tion, Mon­day, May 30, Me­mo­rial Day.

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