Commitment to Curing Cancer: High School Fundraising Campaign Raises $192,000+ in Seven Weeks For The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) second annual Students of the Year campaign exceeded all expectations, with 21 Candidate Teams, comprised of 36 extraordinary high school students, raising over $192,000 to help find cancer cures. Winners of the seven-week competition were announced at the Grand Finale Gala on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Corinthian Grand Ballroom in San Jose, CA. The gala celebrated the accomplishments of local young philanthropists committed to cancer cures and LLS's supporters.

Team Cut Out Cancer, led by Arnav Verma and Anoushka Dave of University Preparatory Academy, raised over $25,000 and were named the 2018 Students of the Year and received a $1,000 college scholarship. Though the competition has concluded, the team is still eager to raise $50,000 in order to tie their name to an LLS Research Portfolio. The portfolios include a variety of projects that focus on specific blood cancer research, so candidates may choose one that is meaningful to them.

"We're very proud to have raised so much for an important cause in such a short period of time. We still are pushing ourselves to reach our goal of $50,000 because we know every dollar helps blood cancer patients," said Arnav Verma and Anoushka Dave of Team Cut Out Cancer "After we researched stories of those affected and learnt about the life-changing consequences of leukemia and lymphoma, we decided that we would make a change. Our passion for helping LLS' mission to fight against cancer motivated us to put our best into this campaign. We are happy to help LLS in creating a world without blood cancer."

Participants in fundraising campaigns, like Students of the Year, are helping LLS make an impact on the lives of cancer patients, not someday, but today. LLS is leading the charge in exploring new paths to cures and treatments, with almost 300 cutting-edge research projects underway, many in the promising new areas of immunotherapy and personalized medicine. In addition to finding blood cancer cures, many of the treatments LLS has helped fund are now helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases.

Team CUREblood, led by Meghana Chintala, Amy Kumar and Tanvir Sandhu of University Preparatory Academy were named First Runner-Up. Second Runner-Up was Team "Wheel" Find a Cure, led by Emilie Erickson of Scotts Valley High School. Emilie also received the Shooting Star Award for being the first Candidate to raise over $10,000.

"Every young, fearless student who participated in this campaign is an inspiration and a role model to future generations. They embody the idea that anyone can make a difference with hard work and dedication," said Pooja Klebig, Sr. Manager of Special Events of LLS's Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter. "What the candidates were able to achieve in seven weeks is truly amazing, and will have a tremendous impact on the lives of blood cancer patients and their families."

The black-tie gala was hosted by Taylor Amarante, In-Stadium Show Host of the San Jose Earthquakes. Speakers included cancer survivor, Ethan Pope, age 10, who is in remission from Very High Risk Acute Lymphomblastic Leukemia, Sienna Pope, age 8, who was a 100% match to be Ethan's bone marrow donor, and Kate Berardo, Head of Leadership Development at Facebook, who illustrated the importance of the dollars raised for LLS in correspondence to leadership qualities in the workforce.

Corporate Sponsors included Argyle Data, Lexus of Stevens Creeks, Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling, RFI Enterprises, and NetApp. Additional LLS supporters included DJ Nabs, Alan Cash Video, Jessica Williams Photography, Anchor Photography and TapSnap.

LLS Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter recognized and celebrated candidates for their commitment to LLS through "Honor Roll" Awards for Mission, Volunteerism, and Community Involvement. Nicole Gou of St. Francis High School and Zainab Nasir of Lynbrook High School received the Volunteerism Award; Abigail Shamelashvili, Elizabeth White and Jacqueline Beaufore of Homestead High School received the Mission Award; and Christina Vo of Silver Creek High School received the Community Involvement Award. Christina also received the Future Leader Award and a $500 college scholarship for demonstrating strong leadership skills by strategically creating and implementing a successful campaign. Argyle Data was also awarded the 2018 Community Corporate Philanthropy Award.

                     2018 Students of the Year Candidates

                  Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter

                Visit the candidate's fundraising pages here.

             Team Beat It                             Team ProCURE

         Abigal Shamelashvili,
         Homestead High School            Nicole Gou, St. Francis High School

      Elizabeth White, Homestead
              High School                 Zainab Nasir, Lynbrook High School

                 Jacqueline Beaufore, Homestead High School

                                                     Team ProHealth

        Team Cancer conCUREors              Rosheni Kandaswamy, Silver Creek
                                                       High School

                       Alden Gu, Lynbrook High School

                                                     Team reMISSION

           Team Can-cer Vive                Silpa Ajjarapu, Monta Vista High

      Christina Vo, Silver Creek             Meera Bambroo, Monta Vista High
              High School                                School

            Team CUREblood                            Team Thrive

         Amy Kumar, University             Karan Singh Ratra, Moreau Catholic
          Preparatory Academy                          High School

              Meghana Chintala, University Preparatory Academy

       Tanvir Sandhu, University
          Preparatory Academy                  Team Together for the Cure

                                            Amelia Gleixner, Notre Dame High

                              Team CUREnation

       Aditi Rao, Lynbrook High
                 School                             Team Tumorators

     Thishitha Vaikuntam, Lynbrook           Ishani Malipatlolla, Notre Dame
              High School                              High School

                                             Shruthi Shyam, Notre Dame High

                               Team CUREosity

      Amy Zhang, Monta Vista High
                 School                               Team Vikings

     Wenyu Chen, Monta Vista High
                 School                   Vatsal Gupta, Irvington High School

          Team Cut Out Cancer                          Team Vitae

       Anoushka Dave, University
          Preparatory Academy             Aayushi Jani, Lynbrook High School

        Arnav Verma, University
          Preparatory Academy               Lauren Ho, Lynbrook High School

           Team Fight Strong                    Team "Wheel" Find a Cure

       Kanika Khemka, Notre Dame           Emilie Erickson, Scotts Valley High
              High School                                School

                    Sanya Shah, Presentation High School

                                                     The Impacters

             Team Lifeline                 Layla Yassin, Granada High School

      Aarya Gupta, Homestead High
                 School                     Tatum Hayes, Granada High School

            Team Love Boat                           The Purifiers

     Jacob Isaacs, Los Gatos High            Anoop Dhindsa, Notre Dame High
                 School                                  School

      Trevor Ross, Los Gatos High            Harleen Judge, Notre Dame High
                 School                                  School

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.


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SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay Area Chapter

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