KETTERING, Ohio -The heavy lifting in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual "Light The Night" officially got underway Tuesday, June 17 with a corporate fundraising breakfast hosted by Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services (CBC/CTS) CEO Dr. David Smith, Executive Leadership Committee Chairman for the 2014 Dayton Light The Night Walk.
Supporters gathered at the CBC/CTS Center for Tissue, Innovation and Research in Kettering to learn about corporate sponsorship, forming Light The Night teams, and the new "executive challenge" to local leaders to individually raise at least $1,000. The Dayton walk will take place Thursday evening, Oct. 2, 2014 at Kettering's Fraze Pavilion.
Dr. Smith announced the Dayton Walk's 2014 goal of raising $220,000 for the mission of honoring blood cancer survivors and those lost, shining a light on the importance of finding cures, and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
"Community Blood Center has a special connection with LLS because we have provided blood and platelets to leukemia and lymphoma patients who in their treatment they will get one or both of these," said Dr. Smith. "Blood donors are proud to be part of this." CBC will again serve as a presenting sponsor for the Dayton Walk and will again support an employee team.
LLS has adopted the "Someday is today" theme because of amazing breakthroughs in blood cancer research and treatments. But LLS Southern Ohio Executive Director Michelle Steed emphasized the urgency of supporting continued research because one out of three blood cancer patients do not survive beyond five years.
"That's what we're chipping away at," said Smith. "We are 'all in' with LLS."
LLS Dayton Campaign Manager Karen Carter introduced 11-year-old Ginger Osenbaugh, a leukemia survivor who is serving as the "Honored Hero" ambassador for the 2014 Dayton walk. "One of my goals is that other children not have to go through what I went through," she told the gathering, "and that they never get it."
Ginger's mother Carmen Osenbaugh described her as an active, competitive dancer when diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. "She was still in the hospital when a team of her friends from school and dance raised $8,000 in just a few days," she said. "You could hear them chanting 'Gin-ger, Gin-ger.' It affected her and our family to have that support. She didn't feel alone."
Dr. Smith invited anyone seeking to become a team member to join CBC/CTS. "Having a walk team is very important," he said. "It gets people out, working together in a common mission knowing how important this organization is." More information about forming a team is available at http://www.lightthenight.org/.