California residents Nancy Whitman and John Romley won the title for the Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area chapter exclusively for their fundraising during the 10-week team competition, with each dollar counting as a vote. They automatically became candidates for the national contest, which was recently won by Robert Hope and Nancy Hamlin, both of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Local competitors raise funds in honor of a designated boy and girl in their respective communities who have survived lymphoma or other blood cancers. The chapter’s Boy & Girl of the Year were 8-year-old Julian Castillo of Salinas, California, and 7-year-old Giselle Contreras of San Jose, California.
“Congratulations to our winners, and to all of our candidates and campaign team members who participated in this year’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign,” Jeff Scanlan, LLS Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area executive director, said in a news release. “These exceptional volunteers are all passionate and determined individuals, and leaders in their communities. Together, we are getting closer to LLS’ goal of a world without blood cancer.”
Specifically, funds raised will be used for research to advance treatments, blood cancer education, patient support, and policies that enhance access to therapies for lymphoma and other blood cancers.
Romley, of Monterey, California, and his Team Fore a Cure raised $104,500 in honor of his grandmother, Nina Rowe, who died this year from lymphoma, and his friend Connor Beeman, a chronic myeloid leukemia patient.
In her effort, Carmel resident Whitman and her Team Elevation honored the memory of her late friend Heather MacRae — a former LLS Woman of the Year — and her mother-in-law, Brig Whitman, both of whom died of cancer. Whitman raised $64,448.
Funds raised by Romley and Whitman, plus those raised by an honorary team and candidates for Man & Woman of the Year and Students of the Year, brought the total for LLS to more than $301,000.
Each year, candidates in each LLS chapter nationwide vie for the local title. Top fundraisers earn the National Man & Woman of the Year title. Go here to find an LLS chapter, to nominate a candidate, or for more information about the campaign, which runs between February and June.
LLS is the world’s largest nonprofit organization targeting blood cancers such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma. In addition to funding research to find treatments and possible cures, it seeks to enhance the quality of life of patients and their families.