The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) announced that the Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) national campaign winners have raised a record-breaking combined total of over $800,000 to support LLS’ goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to life-changing treatments.
Over 10 weeks, 860 dedicated community supporters competed in their area to win the national title of Man & Woman of the Year. The national campaign has raised more than $221 million in its 27 years of existence to help LLS invest over $1 billion in blood cancer research.
Amanda Bush of Steele Resources in Austin, Texas, and Jim Chrisman of Forest City Stapleton in Denver, Colorado, were the leading fundraisers of 2016, with $489,417 and $419,399 raised, respectively.
Bush is the wife of Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and a partner at Steele Resources. For the 2016 campaign, Bush ran in memory of Robin Bush, the daughter of former President George Bush and first lady Barbara Bush. Robin was just 3 years old when she died of leukemia in 1953.
Amanda Bush ran an aggressive campaign, including corporate donations, email, and phone campaigning, and even organized a Derby party, along with fundraising dinner events. She set a new record for the highest amount raised for a MWOY candidate in the history of the campaign.
Chrisman is Forest City’s senior vice president and long-time supporter of LLS. Before participating in the MWOY campaign, Chrisman was a member of the LLS Board of Trustees Member since 2014. He was diagnosed with an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) three years ago.
As a blood cancer survivor he understands how crucial it is to raise funds for research. During his campaign, Chrisman secured more than 60 sponsors and ended up raising more than any other MWOY candidate in Rocky Mountain history.
“The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a truly unique fundraising campaign that differentiates LLS from other nonprofits. 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 groundbreaking research to advance cancer cures,” LLS President and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., said in a press release.
The 2016 MWOY runners-up were Christine Thayer of Thayer Clinical Psychology Services, and John Brookbank, of Cisco Systems. They raised $339,909 and $414,757, respectively.
This year’s All Star winners, a program the LLS initiated for MWOY alumni to represent their local campaign nationally by using their networks and talent to advance the organization’s mission, are Tam Driscoll, of Portland, Oregon, and Joseph Vicari, of Detroit, Michigan. They raised nearly $400,000 combined.
The total amount raised for the 2016 MWOY campaign surpassed $37.5 million, which set a new record by raising more than $5 million over last year’s campaign.