Well The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale was a success and will leave a very lasting impression on me. I wasn’t exactly sure how I stood in terms of fundraising against my “competition”. But in all honesty, I was not too concerned because I knew my team ran a pretty successful campaign and did pretty well with fundraising. If my “pretty successful campaign” came in second or third, then that’s even better because that just compounds the total dollars going to the general good and benefit of the cause and the mission.
So going into last night I pretty much had the mindset that the whole experience was great and the Finale would be a fun time and a chance to party and share the success with family and friends.
What I didn’t realize is just how successful my auction items would turn out, or how many friends and TEAM IN TRAINING family members would come out to support me and the cause. Team RemissionMan rocked. We made noise, we partied, and we enjoyed each other’s company and the evening.
When it came time to announce the 2010 Man & Woman of the Year, I stuck by my feeling of “whatever happens… happens”. All of the candidates did a great job and together we raised significant dollars for the mission.
But to make the night just a little bit sweeter …. Another candidate’s name was called as the 2010 RUNNER UP Man of the Year. A few people screamed, a few others stopped and looked at each other and then …. I was announced as the 2010 Man of the Year. I was pretty shocked and amazed to be perfectly honest. I thought another candidate was the clear leader. But that’s what I get for thinking.
After a flurry of pictures and hugs and laughs, our party shifted from the Union League to the Continental where we met my good friend Alan Morrison for a celebratory nightcap. (By the way, where the heck do the words “nightcap” and “cocktail” come from???) Alan had been very supportive of my campaign both individually and with his Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon.
There are so many people that I need to thank that I am really fearful of forgetting someone. The fact is that every single person who pledged a single dollar had a hand in the success of my campaign. I believe that because I think the campaign was that close. As did every single person who sent an encouraging word or email. The love and support that I received from my family is beyond words. I am so blessed to have who I have in my life.
The support that I received from everyone in our LLS office; regardless of where you work, what you do, or what campaign you are involved with is humbling to the point of wanting to laugh and cry at the same time. Every event that I do with this organization just solidifies how strongly I feel about the quality of the organization, and the integrity of those associated with it; from employees, to board members, to honored patient heroes, and volunteers….and beyond.
I don’t recall everything that I said after accepting the award, but I know the general theme was that we aren’t really done with this fight yet. A “Grand Finale” doesn’t mean the war is over. We can’t really declare true winners until we can completely eradicate blood cancers. I think I also reminded people that none of this was ever about a single Man or Woman and none of it would ever happen without the incredible support behind the campaign. I rambled on for a few minutes but was told that I made sense …..
If I don’t stop now, I will ramble on all day so let me just say this… from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for all that you continue to do in support of me and my efforts.