I arrived at the Ritz Carlton for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s(LLS) Man and Woman of the Year Grand Finale Gala and immediately heard Top 40 hits bumping through the hallways. Young, beautiful people floated in and out of a photo booth taking turns with prop mustaches and boas. Everyone was there to support a very important cause while enjoying a fun event that had everyone smiling for the charity that they all were there to support.
Saturday’s Man and Woman of the Year Gala marked the end of a 10-week fundraising campaign where candidates collectively raised a record $1.145 million towards Leukemia and Lymphoma treatment and research. The winners, Leo Tucker and Jeana Foster led 19 candidates who set a new record for the National Capital Chapter.
Leo Tucker, of McLean, Va. was inspired to participate in honor of his niece who has been battling Lymphoma for the past five years. Tucker says the journey to his winning campaign was a meaningful one. “I have been involved with charitable causes my entire life and I must admit I have never worked with such a focused and passionate group of volunteers,” said Tucker.
The Woman of the Year winner, Jeana Foster, of Gainsville, Va. raised money in memory of her late grandmother, Belinda, who lost her battle to leukemia in 1999. She said, “Words cannot express how I felt when my name was announced as the winner. To share that moment with my family and friends and to honor my grandmother’s memory is a moment I will forever cherish.”
Along with the Man and Woman of the Year campaign was the boy and girl of the year, Reed Switzer and Madison Nardi, who enjoyed the evening and continue to serve as an inspiration, were honored for the strength throughout their treatments.
The 2013 Man and Woman of the Year Campaign was presented by Northwest Mutual and Northrop Grumman. CDWG was the Platinum Sponsor of the event, while Competitive Carriers Association, Dante Consulting, MorganFranklin Consulting and Middleburg Wealth Management were Gold Sponsors. Washingtonian Magazine continued their long-standing partnership with the campaign as media sponsor.