Light The Night Team Awards 2017.JPG

The top fundraising teams from the 2017 Dayton Light The Night Walk gathered for the annual awards party Jan. 24 at Scene 75 in Dayton and celebrated a break-through year in the battle against blood center.

“Tonight we celebrate your accomplishments and how it made Light The Night an incredible success,” said Tom Carleton, executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Tri-State Southern Ohio office.

The Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services team placed third in corporate fundraising, and the united effort behind the Dayton LTN Walk raised $367,000, an outstanding $100,000 increase over the previous year.

A total of 142 teams circled the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on the night of Oct. 5, 2017, compared to 99 teams in the 2016 Dayton LTN Walk.  There were 1,297 registered walkers and an estimated crowd of 2,500 walkers, volunteers and supporters.

Most significant about the 2017 Dayton LTN Walk success was its contribution to the flood of 18 drug treatments approved by the FDA in the last year, including the break-through CAR T-cell therapy, genetically re-programming T-cells to find and kill cancer cells.

“The CAR T-cell approval ushers in a new era of care,” said Tom Carleton. “It’s helping patients who had no options a year ago. All of you in this room should own that.”

LLS invested $40. 3 million in research nationally, including $1.15 million in local research. Many FDA approved cancer drugs emerge from LLS research leading to drugs originally approved for blood cancer. “It was an amazing year for LLS at the helm of approval of drugs for cancer,” Tom said.

Dayton Area Director Cris Peterson and Campaign Specialist Doug Thrush honored the 2017 team and individual award winners. “We’re not LA, we’re not Washington, D.C. We’re Dayton. We don’t have a lot of big companies,” said Cris. “But we raised $367,000!”

PMCI was again the top corporate fundraising team with $33,174, followed by Kettering Health Network with $30,640 and the CBC/CTS team with $28,785.

Donnie Hill, owner of PMCI and a past Dayton LTN Walk chairman, was the top individual fundraiser in the executive challenge with $12,501. Donnie was diagnosed with a chronic form of lymphoma (CLL/SLL) in 2008 and continues to undergo treatment.

“I ask everybody I know and I ask more than once,” said Donnie. “I shame a lot of people!”

The Warner family’s “Remember the Fallen – Fight the War(ner)” team was the top Friends and Family team with $16,206, followed by “Kwest for a Cure” with $14,194, “Team Ginger” with $10,973, “Rudistrong” with $9,353 and “Always Friends” with $7,054.

Cris announced the 2018 Dayton Light The Night Walk will be Oct. 18, two weeks later than the traditional date.  It will follow the Cincinnati LTN Walk instead of preceding it.   She did not announce the fundraising goal for 2018, but hinted at high expectations.

“We know in our hearts we can hit the $500,000 mark,” she said. “We grew $100,000 this year! It was by you guys. It was by adding teams to Light The Night.”

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