RYE BROOK, N.Y., July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What happens when community leaders across the country devote 10 weeks of their time and energy to raise funds to find cures for cancer? Records are broken. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) unique Man & Woman of the Year national campaign winners raised a record-breaking combined total of more than $800,000 for LLS's goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.
Over the course of 10 weeks, 860 dedicated community leaders competed locally to win the prestigious national title of Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) – a campaign that has raised $221 million in its 27-year history to help LLS invest more than $1 billion in blood cancer research. As the leading fundraisers for the 2016 MWOY campaign, Jim Chrisman of Forest City Stapleton Inc., in Denver, CO, and Amanda Bush of Steele Resources, LLC, in Austin, TX, raised $419,399 and $489,417 respectively. The total amount raised for the 2016 campaign was more than $37.5 million, setting a new record and surpassing last year's total by more than $5 million.
"The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a truly unique fundraising campaign that differentiates LLS from other non-profits. By engaging influential community leaders across the country, Man & Woman of the Year taps into the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that has allowed LLS to achieve great success in investing in ground breaking research to advance cancer cures," said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and chief executive officer.
The 2016 Man & Woman of the Year Winners
Jim Chrisman is the Senior Vice President of Forest City in Denver, CO. He has been a longtime supporter of LLS and, before participating in MWOY, was a Board of Trustees Member since 2014. As a blood cancer survivor himself, Chrisman knows firsthand the importance of raising funds for blood cancer research. Just three years ago, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He became the beneficiary of a new treatment protocol, and underwent a successful bone marrow transplant. During Chrisman's MWOY campaign, he secured more than 60 sponsors and ended up raising more than any other Man & Woman of the Year candidate in Rocky Mountain history.
Amanda Bush is a partner at Steele Resources in Austin, TX, in addition to being of counsel at Jackson Walker. Notably, she is married to George P. Bush who is the Texas Land Commissioner and eldest son of former Governor Jeb Bush. The Bush family has a long history and close mission connection with LLS. For the 2016 Man & Woman of the Year campaign, Bush ran in memory of Robin Bush, daughter of former President George and Barbara Bush, who passed away from leukemia in 1953 at just three years old. Bush ran a groundbreaking campaign which included corporate donations, email and phone campaigning and even a Derby party along with other fundraising dinners. She set a new national record for the highest amount raised for a MWOY candidate in campaign history.
The 2016 MWOY runners-up were John Brookbank of Cisco Systems and Christine Thayer of Thayer Clinical Psychology Services – they raised $414,757 and $339,909, respectively.
Established during the 2014 campaign, LLS initiated the "All Star" program for Man & Woman of the Year alumni to represent their local campaign nationally by using their talents, contacts and creativity to raise funds to help advance the LLS mission. This year the "All Star" winners are Tam Driscoll of Portland, OR, and Joseph Vicari of Detroit, MI. Collectively, they raised close to $400,000 and set a new campaign record.
To learn more about Man & Woman of the Year, visit www.mwoy.org.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency
dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society