April 29, 2012

Rachel Strella

Lindsay Wins LLS Woman of the Year, Breaks Record for Money Raised!

We interviewed Lindsay in February as she was about to kick off her eight-week campaign for the Central PA Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Woman of the Year!

Lindsay after the announcement that she won!

Well guess what? SHE WON!

And, not only did she win, but she also raised the highest amount of money in the history of the campaign – just short of $55,000!

We caught up with this busy gal to gain some insight into her campaign!

You mentioned in your speech that this campaign has changed your life. How so?

When I first began this journey in February, I had a small inkling that this would change my life but I never dreamed of the capacity in which it really would. Every single day of the campaign, I was touched in some way by the work that LLS does for cancer patients and researchers. I received communication from so many people whom I have never met that wanted to share their story and personal experience with cancer, and express gratitude for the work that LLS does.

What were you thinking when they announced that you won?

I had no idea if the amount of money I’d raised was going to be enough to win, but I knew that I had raised enough to be able to name the research grant (an honor for those who raise $50,000 or more), so I already felt like a winner in that regard! I felt so fortunate when my name was called, being surrounded by so many people who had supported me and worked so tirelessly alongside me. It was a moment that I don’t think I will ever forget!

Now the question that I think everyone is wondering…. how did you do it?

Well the big secret is…there is no secret! I was fortunate to have fundraising experience going into this. I’ve been involved with non-profits for many years and I have helped spearhead my family’s efforts in creating the501c3 non-profit corporation in my sister’s memory. I also have watched my grandmother devote her entire life to volunteer work and from a young age realized the importance of giving back. With all that being said – I tried to be strategic in the way that I approached fundraising. I knew it was going to take a village to raise the amount of money I had set forth in my goal. As we planned events, I wanted to reach the entire spectrum of my network – personal friends, family, those I was connected with professionally as well as in my most important job as a mom. By having events that ranged from a private cocktail reception at a country club to a Family Fun Night at a bouncy house, it gave me the opportunity to reach as many generous individuals as possible. The business community was also a huge help, providing the larger donations that created a base for my success.

Lindsay with Ashley (Girl of the Year) and Dustin (Boy of the Year)

The room was full of tears when Ashley, the Girl of the Year, said in her speech that your son Chase was her ‘best friend.’ How does Chase feel about Mom being a hero?

If there was one moment in all of this that brought it all home to me, it was that moment. I’ve said many times that meeting Ashley and Dustin solidified why I wanted to participate in this. My greatest accomplishment in life has been becoming a mom to this most wonderful child, and I wanted to give this my all so that someday he could be proud of what I had done for him and other children. I wouldn’t call myself a hero – I’m just a woman, friend, business associate, human being and most importantly, a mom, that recognizes the gift I’ve been given through the health of my child and family. It would have felt selfish to not give back when I have been given so much. Ashley and Dustin are my heroes and what I have done pales in comparison to the fight they have had to give during their young lives.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?

I don’t know that enough time has really passed yet for me to reflect on what I would have changed – I am so humbled by the enormity of nearly $55,000 being raised in 8 weeks that I feel like I would be cheating every dollar of support, every moment of time given by so many people by saying I would change it. There were definitely moments during this process where I wanted to break down and walk away because I was tired and juggling everything felt so unmanageable. Then I remembered the individuals that go through life fighting for each day and it put a lot into perspective as to what I could manage.

Do you have any advice for future candidates?

Don’t say no to this process! You don’t have to be as intense and crazy as Tania & I were, you just have to make the commitment to do good for a great cause. Trust in your ability to see it through – and know that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!

What’s next?

I’ve definitely pulled the brakes on the craziness for a few weeks to recoup. My house desperately needed some TLC, my son & husband needed some uninterrupted, well-deserved time, and I need a break mentally. I’m now re-charged and ready to forge ahead. I have some great opportunities that have come about for my business and I’m excited to see where that takes me. I’ve also been honored by being asked to participate in the LLS National Delegates Summit in Washington, DC in May. I will join volunteers and LLS staff from across the country in meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill to advocate for important policy issues that will improve upon the level of care available to patients. As for the rest of it…only time will tell. All I know for now, is my life feels richly blessed. Thanks so much for the opportunity to tell my story and for the support Strella Social Media has given to me throughout this!

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3 comments on “Lindsay Wins LLS Woman of the Year, Breaks Record for Money Raised!”

  1. Whoo Hoo!!!! Great Job Lindsay!!! I am so proud to have run as a nominee. It is one of the biggest honors and I am really proud of you. You raised an incredible about of money for a very worthy cause!! You go girl!

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