The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Inaugural New Orleans Man & Woman Of The Year Campaign Candidates Aim To Cure Cancer

NEW ORLEANS – The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Mississippi/Louisiana Chapter launched New Orleans’ Man & Woman of the Year Campaign in April with the goal of raising money for blood cancer research, access and advocacy. The 10-week campaign involves 18 local candidates, nominated by the event committee to compete for the coveted title of Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY).

         This annual campaign is held in more than 40 cities across the country and raised nearly $40 million in 2016. Every dollar raised counts as one vote and the male and female candidates who raise the most money will win the local titles of Man of the Year and Woman of the Year. Top local fundraisers become eligible to win the national titles. The campaign will conclude with a Grand Finale Gala on June 15, at the National World War II Museum.

         “It’s an incredible experience to be able to raise funds and awareness for such a great cause with friendly competition among a group of candidates who care about our community,” said MWOY candidate Lauren Marshall, “I’m honored to be able to share the enthusiasm I have for this organization with the people of Louisiana.”

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         The Grand Finale Gala will include a cocktail reception and silent auction beginning at 6:00 p.m. Mark Romig will emcee the evening’s events and will announce the final total raised by the 18 candidates, finally crowning the Man and Woman of the Year.

         Attendees can also look forward to entertainment from the 610 Stompers, music by BRW, live painting by Amanda and John Bukaty and hosted by the Amelia Earhawts. Silent auction items including highly anticipated items such as fine jewelry valued at $28,000 and a two-night stay in Sidney Torres’ French Quarter home, will be available both at the Gala and online.

         “We are thrilled to unveil this talented inaugural class of candidates to set a precedent for what we hope will be a record-setting annual event,” says Chris Bellone, New Orleans Man & Woman of the Year event chair. “We are so grateful for the unwavering support of these fine men and women who set out on an amazing journey to raise money for lifesaving cancer research and patient support services.”

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         Money raised benefits LLS's mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families, event organizers said. This year's fundraising is in honor of two patient heroes, the 2017 Boy and Girl of the Year: Quentin Murray and Lucy Boudreaux.

         Four-year-old Lucy Boudreaux is a leukemia survivor and this year’s Girl of the Year. Lucy Boudreaux was diagnosed with Pre-B Standard Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) three weeks before her second birthday. “After two years of treatment, today Lucy is a joyful, kind, and most importantly healthy Kindergartener,” says Lucy’s father Jude Boudreaux. “She is a survivor; strong in both body and character. With the help of LLS, hopefully more families will continue to have happy endings on their journeys, and those journeys themselves can become safer, shorter, and fewer.”

         Fourteen-year-old Quentin Murray, 2017 Boy of the Year, was diagnosed with ALL at the age of four and has beaten cancer twice in his young life. "LLS helped us find out about a ground-breaking bone marrow transplant that Quentin underwent, courtesy of his little sister Jory's umbilical cord stem cells," explains his mother Mary Webb.

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         LLS exists to find cures, ensure access to the best treatment for all blood cancer patients and improve the quality of life for patients and their families, reps said. For more than 67 years, LLS has invested more than $1 billion to advance cancer therapies and save lives. Nearly 40 percent of all cancer drugs approved by the FDA since 2000, were first approved to treat blood cancers, and many of these are now being used to treat other forms of cancers, including solid tumors, reps said.

         In the 1960s, the most common form of childhood leukemia, ALL, had a three percent, five-year survival rate. Today it’s over 90 percent. In 2016 alone, the Mississippi/Louisiana Chapter provided $995,000 to patients in Mississippi and Louisiana to assist with extraordinary costs of blood cancer medication, travel expenses and insurance co-pays, reps said.

         This year’s MWOY candidates include:


• Warren Backer, Jr. – Engel & Volkers

• Bob Bergeron – Crescent Title

• Kaye Courington – Courington, Kiefer & Sommers

• Kaitlin Crabtree Rodgers – Arnaud's Restaurant

• Hartley Crunk – Whitney Bank

• Amy Edmond – Preservation Title

• Dan Forman – The Dependency Pain Treatment Centers

• Blake Haney – Dirty Coast

• Ben Kazenmaier – City Greens

• Tricia King – Gardner Realtors

• McKenzie Lovelace – FSC Interactive

• Travers Mackel – WDSU

• Lauren Marshall – Woodward Design + Build

• Billy Nungesser – Louisiana Lieutenant Governor

• Dito Patron – Ameriprise Financial Services

• Peggy Rodriguez – Everybody LLC

• David Salley – Salley, Hite, Mercer & Resor

• Sidney Torres, IV – IV Capital 


         Click here for more information on LLS’s Man & Woman of the Year tables, sponsorships and tickets, or to donate to one of the candidates

         Click here for more information about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission and services



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