Final stretch for Leukemia/Lymphoma Society fundraiser

by Leslie Turk

Each year, a dozen or so dynamic, passionate candidates engage in a spirited 10-week fundraising competition to earn The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Man & Woman of the Year" titles by raising funds for blood cancer research. This year's competition culminates in fine style Friday, May 21, with a Grand Finale Gala at the Cajundome Convention Center.

The candidates are motivated by honoring local children who are battling blood cancers, and this year's honorees were announced at the drive kick-off party in March. Boy of the Year is Caleb LeBlanc, the 8-year-old son of Allison and Blair LeBlanc and a student at Green T. Lindon Elementary. Girl of the Year is 9-year-old Makenzi Rose Meaux, daughter of Julie Bourgeois and Michael Meaux and a third grader at Cankton Elementary. Teen of the Year is Eleanor Serrett, the 16-year-old daughter of Randall and Paula Serrett of Breaux Bridge and a junior at Teurlings High School.

You can read more about these amazing children here or donate to one of this year's candidates, including Chris Catalanotto, Gwen Cook, Jenny Musumeche, Jonathan Little, Joshua Venable, Marla Ratzlaff, Michael Saab, Nancy Van Eaton Broussard, Nathan Leblanc, Sharlene Chiasson, Susan Theall, Theresa LeBleau Broussard and Vera Matt.

Tickets are also available on the Web site for Friday night's event for $25 each. Doors open at 6 p.m.