Clockwise from top left, Eric Dewey, Erika Salinas, Khloe Padilla and Kash Saldana at the LLS event Friday. Photo by Ashley Webster
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
Morale is high for the Central California Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as it set an all-time record for its 2019 Man & Woman of the Year campaign over the weekend.
This year, the local LLS was able to raise $1,128,307 over the course of ten weeks in its effort to battle blood cancers. Friday night, LLS announced Eric Dewey and Erika Salinas as the top fundraisers and the Man and Woman of the Year. In total, Dewey was able to raise $295,000, while Salinas raised $148,000. Their runners-up — Mario DeFrancesco and Lauren Rigg — were also able to bring in $238,000 and $111,000 respectively.
Nicala Allen, who headed the effort, attributed the success to picking the right people to be ambassadors for the fundraiser. Also, Debbie Truhett, chapter president, gave credit to the young blood cancer survivors and Boy and Girl of the Year Kash Saldana and Khloe Padilla for being an inspiration behind the donors to fight leukemia and lymphoma in children.
“They were all really passionate to give back and this year. It was a collective effort and all of our candidates truly came together and it was one team-one goal,” Allen said. “And they were just eager to help move our mission forward.”
Last year, Allen and Truhett said LLS was able to raise $1.4 million from its “of the Year Events.” This year, the organization has raised $1.8 million and still has another event to go.