Our time with the LLS Man/Woman/Students of the Year Campaign has come to an end, the money has been counted, and the winners have been announced. Last Saturday, May 10th, was the night of the Grand Finale Gala, and it felt like the whole city turned out to celebrate. I heard there were around 700 attendees. The Hyatt was elegantly decorated, and the silent auction items were lined up with care. Everyone got the Red Carpet treatment, even us. Our favorite people, the Man/Woman/Student Candidates were there.
By the time the event began, Emily was already tired and cranky. Waiting a couple hours for the silent auction to end and the dinner doors to open wasn’t what she had in mind. Thankfully we had back-up support to keep her entertained.
Plus, Julianna Hess and Megan Hester McCullough -who played Funny Bunny and Pearl the Squirrel in the local college theater play we attended a few weeks ago, were sweet enough to reenact their roles throughout the evening. Anytime Emily felt tired, she would say, “Oh! Funny Bunny said she would tell me jokes!” and we’d hurry over to their table for some comic relief.
When all was said and done, the candidates raised almost $500,000 for LLS -a record-breaking amount!
Now for the winners! First, the Bobby Dean award was presented to Roland Guillen, for his exemplary effort in raising awareness and the spirit he displayed throughout the campaign.
In the Students category, first runners up were CK Hicks and Brendan MacDonald, and the winners were Lauren Montee and Austin D’Souza. Both of these student candidate pairs raised more than $20,000 each and were awarded scholarships.
In the Woman category, first runner up was Bernice Craeger, and the winner was Dulcy Wilson.
And in the Man category, 2nd runner up was Jim Anderson, 1st runner up was Roland Guillen, and the winner was Alex Stamas. All three of these candidates raised more than $50,000 each and had the privilege of naming a research grant in someone’s honor (Jim named his in memory of his dad and in honor of Emily!).
Now I’m just going to shower you with random photos from throughout the night. Plus, you can go to the following links to see even more photos!
Earlier in the day, the girls and I were treated to hair an makeup at the hotel. We all had fun getting glammed up!
And that’s all I have! We are so honored and grateful to have been a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. God has truly blessed us throughout this journey, and we’re grateful for every person we meet and every opportunity we have to give back. Thank you so very much for supporting us!