Students Raise over $50K for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Student of the Year” campaign ran for seven weeks from Jan. 31 until March 16. During this timeframe, 11 high school teams from Delaware competed to raise the most money to battle blood cancers. This year, a team of 11 high schoolers from Tower Hill set its fundraising goal at $35,000 and its stretch goal at $50,000.Umar Aulia '20andJoe Zakielarz '20were nominated to lead Tower Hill’s team, named “We Severely Dislike Cancer,” and led the team to raise a total of $52,838 and to place third in the entire campaign. The duo ran their fundraiser in honor of Aulia’s mother, who passed away from acute myeloid leukemia in 2017. Because the team hit the $50,000 milestone, they have been given the opportunity to place their team name on a blood cancer research portfolio and have chosen a portfolio for acute myeloid leukemia. Their fundraising efforts included personal asks to team members’ friends and families; pitching CSC, Scott Honda and Wawa for corporate sponsorships; and hosting community events. The team hosted the first annual “Karaoke for a Cure” event at Tower Hill on Friday, March 8. Although the main purpose of the campaign was to benefit those affected by blood cancers, the high schoolers also benefited by gaining invaluable experience in the professional world and acquiring skills for use in college and beyond. Tower Hill’s fundraising team members included Joe Pinto '19, Bennett Fort '19, Ben du Pont '20, Isabel Shepherd '20, Katy Craft '20, Reece Ratliff '21, Claire Dignazio '21, William Zakielarz '22 and Tucker Poff '22. Two team members had extraordinary contributions to the team: Shepherd and du Pont both individually raised over $18,000. In addition, du Pont opened the door for meetings with Wawa and CSC for corporate sponsorships.