The individuals who volunteer for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - assisting with fundraising efforts, running family support groups, serving on a local board or in other capacities - play a key role in helping blood cancer patients and their families. To mark National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2011, LLS's National Capital Area Chapter today publicly honored its volunteers for their hard work and dedication.
"Many of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's programs rely on the amazingly dedicated volunteers who donate their time or fundraise on behalf of the organization," said Gabrielle Urquhart, Executive Director, National Capital Area Chapter. "Their work is so important to the patients and families we serve, and we are grateful for their energy, compassion and enthusiasm. National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to publicly share our thanks and appreciation for their outstanding work."
There are many wonderful volunteers who assist the National Capital Area Chapter with their campaigns throughout the year. Today, the chapter would like to recognize three of these volunteers - Kathy Haywood, George Umberger and Jacque Carter. Each of these individuals has dedicated countless hours towards both fundraising and helping others reach their greatest potential.
Kathy Haywood first became involved with LLS in 1988, through her work with UFCW Local Unions, Disrict Councils and Regional Offices. She was introduced to the Light The Night Walks in the year 2000 and nominated to be team captain for the UFCW Team, as she already worked with LLS on a regular basis. That first year, UFCW team consisted of five people who raised $1,510. Kathy helped to more than double the participants and team total the second year, and in 2010 - the tenth year UFCW participated in the walk, the team reached their goal of $20,000, including a generous gift from the UFCW Charity Foundation.
"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to help raise funds on behalf of LLS while working at the UFCW," said Haywood, a Woodbridge, VA resident. "Every year presents new challenges and experiences to reach higher goals, and to know we are helping to save lives."
The Leukemia Cup Regatta has grown exponentially over the years George Umberger has been involved and in 2011 he has helped to launch a new initiative to expand the reach of the event - the Sail For A Cure campaign. Prospective sailors will hit the waterways and be taught the art of sailing at two of Washington's local sailing schools, while they fundraise for the LLS mission. A nine-year member of the Leukemia Cup Committee, George's team "The Five Skippers" has raised more than $160,000 over 10 years of competition. Each year they sail in honor and in memory of those friends and family who have been affected by blood cancers. In addition to raising money, the Fairfax, VA resident and his team set out each year to recruit new sailors and inspire other crews to join the fight against blood cancer.
Team In Training head walk coach Jacque Carter has helped hundreds of people reach their goals and cross the finish line in an endurance event. Jacque's participants have raised nearly $1 million for the LLS mission with her help and support over seven years and 10 seasons. Jacque began coaching in 2004, after participating in a TNT event in memory of her former brother-in-law, who lost his battle with lymphoma in 1983. Touched by those she met, many who would become lifelong friends, Jacque has been a part of the team ever since, and gives her all each season to help her participants reach their fullest potential - even shaving her head in 2009 to help the team achieve their fundraising goals - raising $5,000 towards the team total that year. Currently coaching the Spring team, the Columbia Heights resident is already commmitted to lead the team for Fall events as well - the highlight of which is the Nike Women's Marathon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
National Volunteer Week, a 37-year tradition, recognizes and celebrates the efforts of volunteers. Nonprofits, businesses, schools, hospitals, volunteer centers, government agencies and faith-baised organizations use National Volunteer Week to highlight their own volunteers and support thousands of service projects in their communities.
Volunteer for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Nearly 958,000 Americans are battling blood cancers, every four minutes, a new patient in the United States is diagnosed. Volunteering at LLS is a great way for members of the community to put their talents and energy to work to help these patients and families. For more information, contact Alyssa Ackerman at (703) 399-2936 or by email at Alyssa.Ackerman@lls.org.