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Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser: Interview with Watson Kimel

Watson+Kimel+is+one+of+the+three+juniors+who+orchestrated+the+seven+week+fundraiser+for+the+Leukemia+and+Lymphoma+Society+%28LLS%29.+
Watson Kimel is one of the three juniors who orchestrated the seven week fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Watson Kimel is one of the three juniors who orchestrated the seven week fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Sophie Ralph

Sophie Ralph

Watson Kimel is one of the three juniors who orchestrated the seven week fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

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At the beginning of January, students attended an assembly where students and adults from FOCO Cure gave a presentation about how they had been affected by cancer and what the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) had done to help. This kick-started the 7-week fundraiser for the LLS. The group had a goal to raise $50,000, but by the end of the fundraiser, they had raised approximately $91,000. Three South Forsyth students managed this charitable event: juniors Ross Ashby, Jake Hale, and Watson Kimel. All three students received Community Involvement Awards at the LLS Gala at the beginning of March for their achievement and commitment to this cause.

I love helping people and this [fundraiser] has helped me to help others.”

— Watson Kimel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What inspired you to work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?

“We have these family friends who are very involved in it, so, they are the ones who brought it up to me and gave me the opportunity. When they told me, I started looking into it. As you learn more about the society, you realize how big it is. Even here at South, there’s a student that I know who had leukemia. All around the community, the more people you talk to, the more you realize how many people are affected. We saw what a big deal it was and what we could do to help and we jumped right in.”

 

How much money did you raise in total?

“This was a 7 week campaign and we had a goal of $50,000. By the 4th week, we had already passed our goal. By the end, we had raised about $91,000.”

 

Did you know Ross Ashby and Jake Hale before your work together on this project? How has your relationship with them changed over the course of the past few months?

“Yes; I’ve know Ross since second grade and Jake since sixth grade. We went from just hanging out and messing around to being involved in something a bit more serious and deep.”

 

What methods did you all use for the fundraiser?

“Here at South, we had that assembly that kicked it off, but this was to raise awareness and to let people know what we were doing. Then we held many sponsorship meetings with many local restaurants and stores in the community. We wanted to have huge community involvement. The meetings with these business owners generated most of the money. The rest of the money was mostly from personal donations and personal asks. We sent out thousands of emails because it’s not just about the money, but the awareness.”

 

What do you believe the effect of this fundraiser will be?

“Just from the Atlanta area, we raised about $3,000,000. For $10, people can grow and study a cancer cell for about a week, so with just $10, it helps people in a large way. For about $55,000, it can keep a person in treatment. All of the money raised is going towards helping this cause and people who are suffering from it. Still, the awareness is incredibly important because those who know about it can help. For example, after the assembly, several people approached us asking how they could help.”

 

How has the LLS and this fundraiser affected you?

“This has given me a softer spot for volunteering and helping people. I love doing it; it makes me feel good about myself and it helps me get out there and talk to people in sponsorship meetings and around the community. I love helping people- this has helped me to help others.”

 

Are you planning to work with the LLS more in the future?

“The fundraiser has already ended, but we had a lacrosse game a few days ago and the team works with an organization called ‘Locks for Leukemia’. We did some work with them. Troncalli (a car dealership in Cumming, GA) brought out some Jeeps, Subarus and more for test drives and in addition, concession proceeds went toward the LLS and Locks for Leukemia as well.”

 

 

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Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fundraiser: Interview with Watson Kimel