The 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Greater Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year (MWOY) Campaign is now underway with a record number of community leaders raising money for life-saving research and patient support this year. The annual campaign raised more than $1.25 million in 2018 and has set a fundraising goal of $2 million for 2019. 

Twenty-one candidates from across the Valley and more than 220 team members are in the midst of their campaigns to raise awareness and funds to support the mission of LLS. The ten-week campaign will culminate in the Grand Finale Gala at JW Marriott Camelback Inn on June 1, at which time the man and woman who have raised the most money for cancer research will be crowned the Greater Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year. 

This year’s Greater Phoenix Man & Woman of the Year Candidates include:

Andrew Belichesky

Mallory Buxton

Mark Candelaria

Mark Cunningham

Devin Del Palacio

Karen Gresham

Bambi Lashell

Gibson McKay

Forest Melton

Antonio Moore

Tony Navarrete

Kathy Pidgeon

Genevra Richardson

Samantha Sanz

Leiah Scheibel

Anna Stewart

Eileen Sullivan

Scott Takinen

Russell Thompson

Grace Unger

Steve Hicks (National All-Star)

The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a national philanthropic competition to support blood cancer research. In the last 19 years, 40 percent of all cancer treatments were first approved for blood cancer and in the past two years, LLS funded 34 of the 39 new FDA approved blood cancer therapies.

“I’m honored to be part of such a fantastic organization as a board member and co-chair of the MWOY Campaign and hope that 2019 is the year we cement the Grand Finale Gala as one of the Valley’s marquee charity events,” said M. Preston Clarke, Co-Chair 2019 LLS Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. “Each of us has a connection to someone who has battled this terrible disease and I am glad to be able to do my small part in helping find a cure.” 

MWOY Candidates form powerful fundraising teams and compete in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. The 2019 Boy of the Year is fourth-grader Julien Herrera of Goodyear and the 2019 Girl of the Year is seventh-grader Bella Hicks of Cave Creek.

For more information about the campaign or to purchase tables or tickets to the Grand Finale, visit