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Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

German become Long Island’s official Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after raising a record-breaking $470,000 in 10 weeks.

Asaf German said he grew up with nothing and played stickball in the streets of Brooklyn. This year, the 47-year-old Lloyd Neck resident has become Long Island’s official Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society after raising a record-breaking $470,000 in 10 weeks.

“What he’s been able to accomplish is priceless,” said Meagan Doyle, who serves as campaign director for the  Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in its Melville office.

Each year the society recruits candidates to compete and run a 10-week fundraising campaign. Proceeds go towards finding a cure for blood cancers leukemia, lymphoma myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease. Eight candidates on Long Island competed and collectively raised $863,000 for the organization.

German, who raised more than anyone ever has on Long Island, pulled together a team of 75 people, mostly women, who helped him organize events and solicit donations. In total, more than 5,000 people contributed to German’s team with donations ranging from $5 to $55,000.

“Nobody said no,” German said. “I am a machine and found very special, passionate, amazing, like-minded people to help.”

Two pediatric cancer patients or survivors participate in the society’s Man of the Year campaign as Boy and Girl of the Year honorees.  Jesse Pallas, age 12, of Miller Place and Morgan Sim, age 5, of Port Washington served as inspiration for German and his team.

“When I met Asaf in person for the first time, he shook my hand and said I’m going to win this thing.  Who would have known that just 10 weeks later he would raise $470,000,” said RuRu Sim, Morgan’s mother. “It was almost unbelievable and he turned my skepticism into pure admiration.  Asaf poured his heart and soul into the Man of the Year campaign and he helped us take a huge step closer to finding a cure for cancer.  The cancer community is so blessed to have found such a dedicated and wonderful man!”

Prior to the fundraising campaign, German, a real estate attorney, knew nothing about fundraising or blood cancer diseases.  He’s become passionate about the cause.

“It’s been the second most rewarding experience of my life after having children,” German said.

Nationally, the society raised $52 million through the Man of the Year campaigns. German ranked eighth nationally in total funds raised.

German thanks Mary Jo White, who had previously pulled together a Woman of the Year campaign for the society.  He said she shared fundraising suggestions with him.  He’s become close with White and her husband through the society’s fundraising mission.  So close, he said he spent Christmas with them.

“People keep telling me ‘Do you realize the magnitude of what you just did,’” said German. “I can’t stop here. I’m a machine.”

He’s recruiting now for next year’s ambassador.

German’s two children, with the help of a committee at Accompsett Elementary and Middle Schools, where they’re students, raised $500 for the cause at Ralph’s Italian Ices on Maple Avenue in Smithtown.

“It’s not all about the money,” German said. “It’s about raising awareness and saving people’s lives.”

Kiddie Academy hosts second annual Hop-A-Thon to raise money for the Lukemia and Lymphona Society

On Feb. 17, kids between the ages 5 and 12 turned the music up and busted a move for good reason: they helped to raise $575 for those with leukemia and those working to find a cure.

For the second year in a row, Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care in Wading River sponsored a fun-filled and awareness-driven Hop-a-thon for the Long Island chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and providing treatment access for blood cancer patients.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Campaign Specialist Alexa Landro speaks to kids at Kiddie Academy of Wading River. Photo by Kevin Redding

As part of the organization’s Student Series, which aims to involve young people in the fight against cancer through service learning and character education programs, the event is a dance celebration for kids who, along with their parents, contributed money to the important cause. As leukemia affects more children than any other cancer, the program lets kids help kids while having fun.

But before the academy’s school age kids took to the lobby to hop and bop to songs like Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” they sat down for a brief presentation about what they donated money towards, engaging in true-or-false questionnaires about blood cancers and learning about the “honored heroes” on Long Island — students from local school districts who have beaten cancer.

“Thanks to each and every one of you helping to raise money, kids like these are 100 percent better today and happy and healthy,” Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Campaign Specialist Alexa Landro told the energetic kids. “You’re dancing for them and I can’t thank you enough.”

Kiddie Academy of Wading River students danced during its second annual Hop-A-Thon Feb. 17 to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Socoety. Photo by Kevin Redding

Samantha Wooley, a Kiddie Academy staff member, said the Hop-A-Thon is a reflection of the values of compassion and community contribution the students work on every month.

“In dancing, and just having fun, they’re working as a team and doing this all together,” Wooley said. “It’s broken up into different ages and levels, some of them are more shy while others are outgoing, and we’re just mixing them all together to have one big dance off.”

Kiddie Academy of Wading River reached out to the society last year to participate in the program to support one of its students who had been diagnosed with leukemia, and is currently in remission.

Christina St. Nicholas, the director of Kiddie Academy of Wading River, said in a press statement that the Hop-A-Thon was “exactly in line with our curriculum” and the child care’s “strong emphasis on character education.”

“[It’s] an exciting program that will engage our preschoolers and school-age children to help others in a fun, educational way,” St. Nicholas said. “Joining in this program to fight leukemia is one of the many ways we strive to model the values of community, compassion and cooperation each and every day.”

Kiddie Academy of Wading River staff member Michele Boccia, on left, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Campaign Specialist Alexa Landro, on right, talk to students about the lives they’re helping save. Photo by Kevin Redding

Nearly all 35 students in the school-age department of Kiddie Academy participated, with each classroom collecting bags of loose change. The childcare center also reached out to parents, who had the option to pay through a website or submit a check. Donations ranged from $25 to $75.

Kristin Lievre, a mother of two Kiddie Academy students from Wading River, said it’s important that the kids learn at an early age to give back to the community.

“I think it’s good to see there are ways we can help people through things like this,” she said. “This makes them feel good about what they can do for others.”

Sophia, 10, one of the star dancers of the day, echoed Lievre.

“It feels good because we can raise money for the people who are sick so they can get better,” she said, “and don’t have to deal with the sickness anymore.”