Grant Ganzi Of Wellington Named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Chapter’s Man Of The Year
Every nine minutes, somebody in the U.S. dies of a blood cancer. In today’s uncertain times, cancer patients need support now, more than ever. On Friday, June 26, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter held its Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale. The program raised more than $670,848.
The two winners were Grant Ganzi of Wellington and Teri Klotz of Lake Worth. Ganzi raised $149,063, while Klotz raised $78,367. The money will support LLS’s goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.
During a spirited 16-week fundraising campaign, candidates compete in honor of local Boy of the Year Aiden and Girl of the Year Lily, both blood cancer survivors, to raise the most funds to ensure a world without blood cancers.
Ganzi’s campaign was focused around Aiden and Lily, making sure that other children and their families don’t have to face what they went through. In addition, Ganzi has had other close friends who battled leukemia and wanted to help make a difference.
“I wanted to raise money for this amazing cause and organization because of my friend Brandon Phillips. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 14 and was only given six months to live. He beat the odds and has been in remission for more than 25 years. His story has inspired me to help others,” Ganzi said.
As a Lynn University senior, third-generation polo player and the Polo School’s USPA delegate, Ganzi engaged his polo community, family and friends for support, as well as holding two virtual trivia nights via ChukkerTV to raise money for his campaign.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale was held via Zoom. Ganzi was awarded the title with 16 other candidates and more than 100 guests in virtual attendance.
“We could not be prouder of these 17 individuals, who used every creative resource they had to raise dollars for our mission during a pandemic. Many would have given up, but these candidates were all in to help us in our mission to find cures for cancer,” said Pamela Payne, executive director of LLS’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter.
Candidates and their campaign teams were judged solely on virtual fundraising success this campaign season, each dollar counting as one vote. Their totals will then be considered for the national title. Candidates in each LLS chapter across the country vie for the local title, and the highest fundraisers earn the national title.
Ganzi’s initial goal was to raise $75,000. “I surpassed my goal, and I’m surprised I was able to. There were moments in my campaign where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to reach my goal,” he said. “Thank you to my family, friends, team members, fellow candidates, Aiden, Lily and everyone at LLS. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Through programs like this, LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies. The funds raised through the Man & Woman of the Year campaign are used for research to advance targeted therapies and immunotherapies that are saving thousands of lives; blood cancer information, education and support for patients; and policies that ensure patients have access to blood cancer treatments.
This year, the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast chapter had 16 candidates, one all-star and more than 200 team members competing for the title. The campaign ran from March 5 through June 26.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a global leader in the fight against cancer. Its mission is to 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, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
To learn more about LLS, visit www.lls.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572. Learn more about the Man & Woman of the Year program at www.mwoy.org.