Kent Island American Legion gives $20K to LLS
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.
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.