The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raised more than $228,000 at its ‘Light the Night’ fundraising bash on Oct. 14. It was the organization’s first in-person event in over a year, and participants gathered at Warner Park to celebrate.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of LLS specifically advocates for blood cancer and fundraises to donate to the organization. LLS-UW raised over $27,000 — higher than any other group or organization.
“We’ve broke records in all of our fundraising and attendance, so I couldn’t be happier with how much we’ve done today. It’s been awesome,” said LLS-UW president Molly Perry.
At Light the Night, groups came together to honor cancer survivors, those who have passed due to cancer and supporters. LLS serves as a resource and fundraising hub for those that have been diagnosed with blood cancer, and provides financial help, mental health support and other resources for anything blood cancer related.
Gabi Berreiro, a sophomore who serves on the executive board of LLS-UW, has been directly affected by the work done by the organization. As a blood cancer survivor herself, she benefitted from many of its resources and had access to a life-saving drug created because of research funded by LLS.
“I love LLS; I try to give as much time to them as possible,” Berreiro said. “It’s an opportunity to give back and help fund research and create treatments that can save other people’s lives, so no one has to go through what I had to go through.”
Donations will primarily go towards research on blood cancer and direct support to patients. 75 cents of every dollar donated goes straight to research. It’s rare for a non-profit to have such a high ratio funding the cause instead of back to the organization.
Hannah Reynolds, a junior and the LLS-UW program development co-chair, raised over $15,000 individually — the highest individual donation of the event.
“Fundraising teaches a lot of skills like networking, public speaking and not being afraid to ask,” said Reynolds. “It really is cool because you are helping other people and are bettering yourself too.”
LLS will host a virtual Light the Night event on Oct. 21 as a follow up to this in-person event.