For the last 10 weeks I have been involved in an incredible campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to raise funds and awareness around blood cancers that impact nearly 1,000,000 Americans. Admittedly, I was not comfortable with a campaign entitled Man & Woman of the Year because I wanted the focus to be away from me and more on the cause. As I thought more about Pepco’s commitment to hundreds of organizations in the region such as the United Way, American Heart Association, March for Babies, Greater Washington Urban League, United Communities Against Poverty and Interfaith Works, partnering with LLS was consistent with the values of our company. So the goal was $100,000 and now let’s see how we are going to get there.
Until week seven, I really did not have a direct connection to LLS. Five close friends of mine were diagnosed with cancer over the last 18 months but none were blood cancers. When week seven arrived, everything changed for me. I met “Amazing Amanda” at a graduation ceremony for Mentors Inc. During a causal conversation I learned she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. At 26 years old, with her 9 year old son that cannot live with her at the moment, I was deeply touched and inspired by her strength and positive outlook.
With three days to go, over 100 businesses, professional organizations and individuals have contributed to my campaign. Many thanks to Pepco and my co-workers that I am honored to work with every day for their support. As well, sincere thanks to Board members on the numerous organizations Pepco supports that includes the DC Chamber, Md Chamber, Mentors Inc, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Leadership Prince George’s, Greater Prince George’s County Roundtable and Strathmore Foundation just to name a few examples of the diverse support I received. The business community played their part as well with Pepco, EES, Asplundh Tree Service, Manekin Construction, Grant Capital Management, NAI Michael Companies, Reed Smith, SA)-Techinc, Dynamic Concepts, SMECO, Doctor’s Hospital, GS Proctor & Associates, Prince George’s Suite and Old Line Bank showing how businesses are willing to step-in and support the community. Finally, my family and friends have supported this effort every step of the way.
As the finals days approach, e-mail, phone calls, unique auction items and raffles represent our final effort to reach and exceed $100,000! Every day this week, I have received a note from a friend, co-worker or someone I don’t know thanking me and Pepco for being involved in the Man & Woman of the Year campaign. They had all lost a loved one to a blood cancer. This week was especially inspirational for me when I learned one of my closet friends lost his father last week to leukemia. So for my five friends, Carl and Amazing Amanda, I have dedicated this campaign to you. J
To support my campaign and LLS, go to:
Remember the deadline for contributions is 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 11.
President, Pepco Region