Special to La Prensa
To support its mission to find cures for blood cancer patients and ensure access to treatments, The Leukemia «fe Lymphoma Society (LLS) launched its San Antonio Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) fundraising campaign Thursday with 14 candidates and one All-Star candidate.
This national 10-week campaign encourages community members to step up as candidates to use their own leadership abilities, talents and creativity to conduct their own fundraising campaign to benefit LLS.
"We are excited to kick off the San Antonio Man and Woman of the Year campaign today and look forward to supporting and encouraging our candidates along the way," Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Executive Director Deb Barker said. "This campaign raised $1.2 million last year in support of curing blood cancer and I cannot wait to see the success our 2014 campaign brings."
Candidates compete in honor of the Boy «& Girl of the Year, Jon Anthony Ugarte and Bella Mazuca, who are local blood cancer patient survivors and sources of inspiration throughout the campaign, which runs from March 20 - May 30.
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of San Antonio native and 2013 National Man of the Year Winner Daniel Edelen, the 14 candidates and All-Star candidate will be judged on their success raising money, with each dollar counting as one vote and will compete for the chance to win a national title.
This year's candidates were announced today at an event hosted by campaign sponsor BMW of San Antonio. Woman of the Year candidates include: Barbara Ferris, Mission Pharmacal Co.; Bianca Gauna, Bianca Gauna-Nationwide Insurance; Brittan Griffith, Cancer Survivor; Mandy Pilgrim, First American Title Company; Kyra Smith, Alamo Title Company, and Patricia Zars, Zars & Rogers Realtors. The 2014 Man of the Year Candidates are Sean Burchell, ComSite International, Inc.; Steve Collins, MassMutual South Texas; James Glover, Julian Gold; Morgan Matson, Preferred Counsel; Richard Ojeda, Black Tie Affairs Catering; Rahul Patel, Patel | Gaines; Perry Robinson, Rackspace, and Tom Sessi, Sessi Wine Company.
Beginning with the 2014 MWOY campaign, LLS is launching the All-Star program, which allows the opportunity for select MWOY alumni to represent their local campaign nationally.
Kim Tindall of Kim Tindall «fe Associates was a Woman of the Year candidate in 2011 and serves as the sole All-Star candidate for Texas in 2014.