By The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
They say “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” and “The city so nice they named it twice,” to describe Texas and New York, and two dynamic fundraisers in Texas and New York City proved them right by raising a combined total of almost $800,000 to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.
As the leading fundraisers in the 25th anniversary year of the unique Man & Woman of the Year campaign, Jason Fleischer of the Abacus Group in New York City, and Erin Ragsdale of Allyn Media in Dallas, TX, raised $302,045 and $469,158, respectively, and were among the 900 candidates from across the country to vie for the coveted title of Man or Woman of the Year. The campaign total of $32 million is more than a $1 million increase from last year.
“The Man & Woman of the Year campaign continues to show the power and impact that one person can make. These community leaders use their influence and passion to raise staggering amounts of funds in a 10-week period, and are truly helping LLS to create a world without blood cancers,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and chief executive officer.
The 2015 Men & Women of the Year
Jason Fleischer is a senior director in the Accounting and Financing division of the Abacus Group. Jason has been a longtime supporter of LLS, and before participating in Man & Woman of the Year, was an active coach and participant for Team In Training for the past ten years. Fleischer used creative fundraising techniques, including a large cornhole tournament and a date auction, to raise more than $302,000 for LLS. Fleischer fundraises so passionately for LLS in memory of friends he met through Team In Training.
Erin Ragsdale, the senior vice president of Allyn Media, raised $469,158 during her campaign, the most ever of any Man & Woman of the Year candidate. Erin became involved in LLS four years ago when her nephew Baxter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He is now cancer free but Ragsdale’s involvement with LLS hasn’t decreased. She has served as vice chairman, chairman of the Donor Development Committee of the Board of Trustees and chairman of the North Texas Chapter Board of Trustees. Ragsdale obtained one major donation of $290,000 from her friend and colleague Brint Ryan, whose father is currently undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Ryan’s astounding contribution was the single largest donation of the entire campaign and he has been named Man & Woman of the Year’s National Honorary Chair.
Ragsdale’s keystone event was an art auction called “Art, Auction and a Cure” which raised more than $30,000. She is a Texas A&Malumni, with a bachelors in political science and an emphasis in French and public relations. Professionally, she leads public relations, public affairs and political campaigns for some of North Texas’ most highly publicized issues and elections. Ragsdale is married to her husband Kyle and has two children.
About Man & Woman of the Year
Man & Woman of the Year candidates across the country compete in honor of a local boy and girl who are blood cancer survivors, to raise the most funds for blood cancer research. Every dollar counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of the campaign. The top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles.
Established during the 2014 campaign, LLS initiated the “All Star” program for Man & Woman of the Year alumni to represent their local campaign nationally by using their talents, contacts and creativity to raise funds to help advance the LLS mission. This year the “All Star” winners are Summer Hall, from Davidson, NC, and Gary Cohen, from Hillsdale, NJ. Hall is a longtime LLS volunteer and mother who raised an “All Star” record of $167,000 for a world without blood cancers. Gary Cohen, a TNT alumnus, raised $62,335 to help eradicate blood cancers worldwide.
To learn more about Man & Woman of the Year, visit www.mwoy.org.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society