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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

It's finally over!

Last summer, a friend emailed us and asked if Sarah would like to participate in the Triad Area Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year Campaign.  Our friends daughter recently competed and won.  

I asked Sarah if she was interested and while she was honored to be asked, she was hesitant.  Junior year is pretty hard (and important as it's the last full year of grades colleges will see as you submit your college applications in the fall of senior year), plus she was going to be a captain on swim team, serve as an officer for the school's Catholic Relief Services club, and was also going to be working on her Girl Scout Gold Award.

She weighed the pros and cons and decided to accept the nomination.  In early August of last year we had our first meeting with the local SOY coordinator for LLS and Sarah selected the team she wanted to help her with this venture.

Many, many, many more virtual meetings later and the 7 week campaign officially kicked off on February 18th.  It ended with the  gala this past Saturday night. Sadly, it was virtual as well but to make it more festive, we had appetizers, sparkling cider, and balloons.  The winner was announced at the end of the gala and Sarah came in second place!  She raised over $34,000 and received the Citizenship Mission Award as well!

While we were a little bummed that she didn't win first place, we are so very proud of our girl. She has worked so hard on this campaign.  She held meetings with companies to ask for funds, managed and met regularly with her team as well as with members of LLS, stepped out of her comfort zone and spoke to people she didn't know and learned how to make phone calls (kids today do not know how to do that!), learned the art of writing professional emails and other correspondence, and learned how to handle herself professionally.

The last 8 months haven't been easy.  There was a lot of hard work involved and every now and then, some tears.  But Sarah did not let any of this get to her.  She continued on with a fierce sense of determination. At one point, she realized she was not going to be able to do everything she had planned on this year and decided not to focus on her Girl Scout Gold Award until after the LLS campaign.  But now that the campaign is officially over, she hopes to work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as her community partner for the Gold Award. 

I am so thankful for every single donation she received and for every person who donated. While it's easy to get caught up in the competition, it's important to always remember the ultimate goal of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year Program - to raise money to find a cure to end blood cancer.  And with the help of so many friends and family members, we certainly did that! 

(And a special thanks to my faithful blog readers who donated money to this campaign even though we've never met in person.  💜)


Ernie said...

This is very impressive. Congrats to Sarah. So much hard work. She should be so proud of herself. Many life lessons accompanied this mission. How exciting! Sorry the reception was virtual. Such a shame. Of course you made it special with balloons and cider.

Billie Jo said...

Congratulations to your girl!!!!!
What a wonderful accomplishment, and honor as well.
She is beautiful, Beth.
Clearly inside and out!
Well done, Mom!!!

Mari said...

Good for Sarah! She did great and I know you are proud of her.

Michelle said...

What an amazing job!

Pat Birnie said...

Congratulations to Sarah, what an amazing girl she must be. Well done!

Madeline said...

Congratulations to Sarah! So glad her hard work paid off. She looks so beautiful too.