Lead 19 Candidates to Record-Breaking Million Dollar Year
Alexandria, VA - Eric Allen, of Silver Spring, MD and Becca Willcox of McLean, VA, were named the National Capital Area Chapter's 2011 Man & Woman of the Year at Saturday?s Grand Finale Gala at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC. The 20th Anniversary campaign featured 19 candidates who collectively raised $1,010,000 - the most ever raised in the history of this campaign across all of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) chapters.
Leukemia survivor Eric Allen led all candidates with a staggering $173,500 raised for the mission of LLS: to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin?s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The General Electric executive set a new local record for the most ever raised by a candidate in this campaign. First runner-up Jerry Truman, of Bethesda, MD raised $139,000; while second runner-up Thomas Graham, of Upper Marlboro, MD, brought in $134,000 during the 10-week endeavor.
Becca Willcox was named Woman of the Year, having raised $105,000 throughout the campaign in honor of the Boy & Girl of the Year: Ryan Darby and Molly Farrell. Ryan, seven years old and Molly, five years old, are blood cancer survivors and provided inspiration for the candidates throughout their journey. Burke, VA native Alexa Romano brought in $53,400 and was named first runner-up, while two-time leukemia survivor Julie Matthews of Fairfax Station, VA, was the second-runner up, having raised $39,000.
"One million dollars is an amazing accomplishment achieved by these 19 men and women dedicated to making a difference in the lives of blood cancer patients," said Gabrielle Urquhart, Executive Director of the National Capital Area Chapter. "We are so thankful to this dynamic group for their hard work and passion for the LLS mission. The funds raised through this campaign will go a long way towards finding a cure for blood cancer."
Candidates were eligible for the Citizenship Awards, created to acknowledge the candidates who have significantly advanced the efforts to cure blood cancers by making exemplary contributions. Julie Matthews received the Mission Award, for keeping the mission of LLS at the forefront of her campaign, while Becca Willcox was recognized for her ability to engage the local community in her efforts with the Community Outreach Award. Jennifer Leary was the recipient of the Volunteerism Award, for her strong commitment to community service.
Additionally, all candidates who raised $50,000 or more will receive a research grant named in their honor. Those candidates are Eric Allen, Tom Graham, Kevin Pearson, Alexa Romano,Jerry Truman and Becca Willcox.
Maroon PR's Chartese Burnett - 2008 Woman of the Year, and IBM's Hap Peden - 2009 Man of the Year, served as event co-chairs and had the honor of announcing the candidate totals and record-breaking accomplishments. They were joined on-stage by the evening?s emcees Brian Egan, Man of the Year alum, and Alison Starling, WJLA anchor.
Accenture received an award recognizing their eleven years as presenting sponsor of the Man & Woman of the Year campaign. The campaign was also supported by Diamond Sponsor PEPCO; Platinum Sponsors Lighthouse Insurance Services and Small Business Advisors; Gold Sponsors Carl & Pinkie Mayfield, David Yurman, GE Healthcare Financial Services and the Young Hearts; and Silver Sponsors Chateau O'Brien, Friends of Alexa, Manekin Construction LLC, and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Additional campaign sponsors include Washingtonian, the campaign's media sponsor, and Adeler Jewelers, sponsor of the Jewel in the Box program.
The 2011 Man and Woman of the Year Candidates are: