The 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Greater Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year (MWOY) Campaign has concluded, raising nearly $1.1 million for life-saving research and patient support. A record of twenty-one candidates from across the Valley participated in the ten week campaign to raise awareness and funds to support the mission of LLS, with Forest Melton and Genevra Richardson being crowned Phoenix Man and Woman of the Year at the Grand Finale Gala at JW Marriott Camelback Inn on June 1.
Man of the Year, Forest Melton raised $72,185 during his MWOY campaign. He is a Phoenix native, University of Arizona alum and works as a research specialist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center/Dignity Health.
“Running for Man of the Year was a once in a lifetime experience filled with the highest of highs,” said Melton. “Working together to fight cancer in a way that is this impactful is like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
Woman of the Year, Genevra Richardson set a new fundraising record for the Arizona chapter, generating $246,761 during her 10-week MWOY campaign. She was the co-chair of the first Phoenix MWOY Campaign in 2013 and currently serves on the LLS Arizona Chapter Board of Trustees. Richardson owns public affairs firm, GovGroup, and is a very recent breast cancer survivor. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and two children.
“Being honored as Woman of the Year has been such a rewarding experience. After going through nine months of breast cancer treatment, it was a great way to join together with friends and family to celebrate the end of my own treatment,” said Richardson. “I have been involved with LLS for many years and I never knew I would go from advocate to patient to survivor. I’m forever grateful and honored to give back to an organization that ultimately ended up saving my life.”
Kathy Pidgeon and Antonio Moore were crowned the 2019 MWOY Campaign’s runners up.
MWOY Candidates formed powerful fundraising teams to compete in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors. The 2019 Boy of the Year was fourth-grader Julien Herrera of Goodyear and the 2019 Girl of the Year was seventh-grader Bella Hicks of Cave Creek.
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.
For more information about the campaign or the LLS AZ Chapter, visit mwoy.org/arizona.