Students Raise Funds to Fight Blood Cancer
Students Raise Funds to Fight Blood Cancer

Carter Strid '19 and Reagan Snyder '20 weren't only the first Episcopal Academy students to participate in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) 2018 Student of the Year campaign – they were also among the top raisers for the noble cause.

In Chapel on Monday, April 9, Carter and Reagan presented a check to the organization for their combined $61,717 in funds raised.

The Student of the Year campaign ran from mid-January through early March. This annual, seven-week student competition raises funds for groundbreaking blood cancer research and life-saving treatment. Since 2015, students across Southeastern Pennsylvania have applied for and competed in this competition, learning leadership skills, expanding personal networks, and raising awareness in the process.

To raise funds during his campaign, Carter relied on the generosity of his family's network, sold Super Bowl tee shirts, and gathered gifts in honor of his uncle, who passed away from Lymphoma when Carter was a child.

"We know a lot of generous people who helped us," said Carter. "If I had to pick a strategy, I'd say just not being afraid to ask people to support. You would be surprised how much they can help."

Reagan expanded on this, stating, "The biggest thing I raised money through was leveraging my connections. I also went to Philly-area cancer centers to ask for donations or to inquire about matching gift programs."

Carter and Reagan joined 14 other Student of the Year candidates or team members from schools across the region including Baldwin, Malvern Prep, Audobon High School, and Springside-Chestnut Hill, among others.

At the March 3 finale gala in Philadelphia, Carter was named the LLS Philadelphia Student of the Year, raising an incredible $39,482 in only seven weeks. Reagan also raised an impressive $22,235. In total, all candidates raised more than $200,000 - making 2018 the fundraiser's most successful year to date.

"The Students of the Year campaign brings in significant revenue for the Chapter," said LLS Southeastern Pennsylvania Executive Director Ellen Rubestein, "Additionally, we are introducing high school students to the concept of philanthropy. Hopefully we are securing our next generation of volunteers."

"This experience gave me a lot of insight into how foundations function," echoed Reagan. "It gave me a lot of corporate-type skills, and it pushed me to ask people for support. Most importantly, I felt good raising money for the cause, especially as I learned more about LLS's link to cancer research in general. The work of LLS extends far beyond just blood cancer – they really make a difference in the lives of all cancer patients."

"Almost everyone knows someone or knows someone who has a relative or close friend that was affected by cancer," said Carter. "I think the road to wiping this out and making the world a better place is very important."

The 2019 LLS Student of the Year campaign begins next January. To learn about participating, please contact EA Assistant Director of Communications, Kate LaBrake, at klabrake@episcopalacademy.org.