By Matt Wiley | June 8
Congratulations to Stacie Lenners, the Suncoast Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2013 “Woman of the Year!”
Each year, to help raise funds for research, the many chapters of the LLS across the U.S. and Canada hold a 10-week contest to see who can raise the most money, crowning the victors during a ritzy grand finale.
On May 18, during the contest’s grand finale at the downtown Tampa Hilton, in front of a crowd of 600 people, Lenners was crowned “Woman of the Year,” after raising nearly $38,000 for LLS.
“I was shocked,” Lenners says. “Up until the announcement, it was anyone’s game. Fund-raising is still going on at the gala.”
Lenners, a residential mortgage loan processor at NorthStar Bank, located in the Sykes building in downtown Tampa, was one of eight women and three men who together raised more than $253,000 during the contest, which began on March 7. Lenners husband Greg, the general manager of the Shops at Wiregrass mall, was crowned LLS “Man of the Year” in 2011.
At the May 22 Wesley Chapel Rotary meeting, Greg, who also is the Rotary Club’s president, joked, “Yes, Stacie and I have been told we’re now LLS Royalty.”
Lenners explains that she got involved with LLS with Greg about three years ago.
“My mother, Marilyn, is in remission from lymphoma, so it’s personal to me.”
To help raise funds, Lenners hosted several events including several “Movies on the Lawn,” “Concerts on the Circle” and a car show at the Shops at Wiregrass mall, as well as a golf tournament. Lenners says that some of her friends even made teams and raised funds for her; the team that raised the most was given a mall gift card.
During the grand finale gala, companies also donated gift packages for auction. Whichever attendee won each item could decide to which candidate to donate the funds. Some of the items included in the live and silent auctions included a stay at Wesley Chapel’s Saddlebrook Resort & Spa, Busch Gardens tickets, a $500 Shops at Wiregrass gift card and a New York Yankees prize package (including tickets to a game) valued at $5,000.
“This was a great experience,” Lenners reflects. “Anyone looking for a charity to help, LLS is a great one. You meet great people and it’s very rewarding. The money raised stays local, as well.”
With more than 750,000 people affected by the two blood-borne cancers annually, funding for research to find a cure for the many types of blood cancer is extremely important.
For more information about the Suncoast chapter of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please visit LLS.org and search “Suncoast Chapter.”