High school teams raise $265,083 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lakeridge High School students Henrik Hunt and Celeste Williams raised more than $50,000 and their Cancer Crushers team was named first runner-up this week in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Students of the Year Campaign.
Emily Fogg and Abby Manley of West Linn High School were named Students of the Year; their team, Be the Change, raised more than $60,000. Together, 10 teams comprised of 17 high school students raised $265,083 to help find blood cancer cures.
"We're very proud to have raised so much for an important cause in such a short period of time. We really pushed ourselves to reach our goal because we knew every dollar helps blood cancer patients," Fogg said. "Our motivation stemmed from our friend Liz Lofurno, who was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma and who is now in remission thanks to LLS's advances in cancer research. We are happy to help LLS in creating a world without blood cancer."
LLS spokesperson Julie Davidson said participants in fundraising campaigns like Students of the Year help LLS make an immediate impact on the lives of cancer patients. LLS is leading the charge in exploring new paths to cures and treatments, she said, with almost 300 cutting-edge research projects underway.
In addition to finding blood cancer cures, many of the treatments LLS has helped fund are now helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases, Davidson said.
Both Cancer Crushers and Be the Change received Top Fundraiser Recognition awards at Sunday's Student of the Year gala. The award connects recipients to one of LLS's research portfolios, which include a variety of projects that focus on specific blood cancer research, so candidates can choose one that is meaningful to them.
"These students are an inspiration. They embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication," said Stephanie Carlson, executive director of LLS's Oregon, Southwest Washington, Idaho and Montana (OSWIM) Chapter. "What the candidates were able to achieve in seven weeks is truly amazing and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families."
Up next is the organization's Man and Woman of the Year campaign, which kicked off March 4 and gives participants 10 weeks to raise as much money as they can for LLS. Lake Oswego real estate agent Sunny Freeman is one of 14 candidates in the competition, which will culminate in a Grand Finale celebration on May 12.
Each dollar the candidates raise will count as one vote, with the winner earning bragging rights and the title of Man or Woman of the Year. Last year, seven local candidates — including Lake Oswego bake shop owner Kyra Bussanich — raised more than $400,000 in 10 weeks; nationally, the contest generated more than $46 million.
For more information, visit www.mwoy.org/oswim.