Man & Woman of the Year Quick Facts:
- Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) is philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research among a group of motivated and dedicated individuals in communities across the United States. Candidates form powerful fundraising teams and compete in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors, the Girl & Boy of the Year.
- The man and woman who have raised the most funds during the ten-week campaign are awarded the prestigious title of Man or Woman of the Year in their community. The man and woman who have raised the most across the entire US will be recognized as the National Man & Woman of the year.
- The Washington, DC Man & Woman of the Year campaign is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2021 and will kick off on Thursday, April 1, 2021 and end with a virtual Grand Finale Celebration on June 12, 2021.
- The goal of the 2021 campaign is to raise $3.5 million. The National Capital Area chapter of LLS consistently holds one of the top Man & Woman of the Year campaigns in the country, and since 2000, has hosted 14 national winners.
- Ideal candidates are community and business leaders who are philanthropic, ambitious, socially active, resourceful, goal oriented, and passionate about making a difference in the lives of people suffering from blood cancers.
- Why? Every 3 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer and every 9 minutes someone loses their battle. LLS has a bold mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Impact of COVID-19:
- LLS was at the forefront of supporting blood cancer patients across the county through the creation of the LLS COVID-19 Patient Financial Aid Program. This program provided immediate financial support to blood cancer patients to assist with financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. From April 1 – August 31st, LLS provided 3.9M in assistance to 19,381 patients nationwide.
- Fifteen fearless candidates remained committed to participate in the 2020 DC campaign. Over 10 weeks, May – July, the 15 candidates raised more than $1.8 Million for the LLS mission!
- These candidates were able to pivot their campaigns to fully virtual platforms. Many candidates hosted virtual happy hours, fit crawls, concerts and other third-party events in lieu of being unable to host in-person events.
- The successful 10-weeks campaign was celebrated with a virtual Grand Finale. With more than 250 guests, the DC region was able to celebrate the 2020 Man and Woman of the Year winners, runner-ups, Citizenship Award winners, Team Members, Leadership Team, and all participants, sponsors, donors and supporters.
Meet the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year:
- Our 2020 Man of the Year was Nathan Scalla from Clark Construction who raised $101,682 and our 2020 Woman of the Year was Tina Swallow from Cisco Systems who raised an incredible $467,685 and was named the National Woman of the Year.
- Nathan is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor who created team “Just Beat It” to raise money to help find treatments and therapies like those that helped him. His team spanned coast to coast, and with a grassroots campaign partnered with a strong social media presence, his team was able to double their initial goal.
- Tina ran her campaign in honor of her son, who was a diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago. He beat the odds and now is a healthy young boy, and she created team “Bridge to a Cure” to honor all cancer patients and survivors. Team Bridge to a Cure was compiled of Cisco employees and Swallow’s family and friends who banded together raising just under half a million dollars through corporate sponsorships, personal gifts, company-wide silent auction and even a virtual Olympics.
Looking Ahead to the 2021 Campaign:
- The 2021 DC campaign will kick-off on April 1st and conclude with a virtual Grand Finale on Saturday, June 12th.
- As a health organization serving many immunocompromised patients, LLS prioritizes the health and safety of its volunteers, staff, and patients and families above all. Therefore, the 2021 campaign will be held virtually.
- Candidate Workshop: The candidates spend a day working with past candidates and committee members to take a deep dive into all areas of the campaign, what to expect, and how best to prepare for the 10-week journey.
- Virtual Kickoff Celebration: This celebration officially marks the beginning of the fundraising competition. Guests will be able to meet the candidates, team members, and the 2021 Boy & Girl of the Year.
- Mid-Point Pep Rally: This event is used to keep the candidates energized and reenergize them as they reach the mid-point of the campaign.
- Grand Finale Gala: The announcement of the Man & Woman of the Year winners is a celebration of all the candidates’ efforts as a collective class. Along with the Man & Woman of the Year titles, LLS will name three Citizenship Award winners, candidates who have significantly advanced awareness of blood cancers and the LLS mission in their communities.
How Candidates Fundraise:
- Candidates use their leadership abilities to conduct their own unique fundraising campaign on behalf of LLS. Candidates form teams and use their contacts to creatively raise funds. Every candidate and each of their team members receive their own personalized fundraising webpage to reach out to friends and contacts. LLS staff assist candidates in goal planning and serve as fundraising consultants over the 10-week campaign.
- Each candidate team will receive mentorship and support from the Executive Leadership Committee, led by co-chairs, Christine Thayer, of Thayer Clinical Psychology and Carl De Groote of Cisco Systems.
How to Participate:
- If you are a dynamic individual that is driven to find cures, consider becoming a candidate or joining a candidate’s team. If you know someone who would be a good fit, nominate a candidate! Local LLS staff will contact you to discuss your next step. It is an honor to be nominated to participate in this exciting campaign and past candidates will tell you that it has been a life-changing experience.
- Companies can support candidates by becoming a local sponsor. For information about how your company can make a positive impact in the Washington, D.C. area by participating as a sponsor, please contact Megan.Swahn@lls.org.
- During the campaign, the easiest way to get involved is to make a donation to a candidate who inspires you. All proceeds benefit LLS’s mission. LLS is the world’s largest national voluntary health organization dedicated to curing blood cancers and improving the quality of life of patients. We truly believe that beating cancer is in our blood.
Interested in being a part of the campaign?
Contact Allie Krafft by emailing Alena.Krafft@lls.org to learn more about being a candidate, nominating someone you know or learning more about sponsorship opportunities.