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Family announces memorial service for Lasalle Leffall, Jr., MD

The oncologist and professor was the first African American president of ACS  

The family of LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., MD, FACS, announced that a memorial services to honor and celebrate the life of the esteemed surgeon will take place on Tuesday, June 25,  at 10 a.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20016. 

Parking at the Cathedral is limited. Shuttle bus service will be provided from the Howard University main campus beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Dr.  Leffall, former president and Honorary Life Member of the American Cancer Society, died on May 25 at the age of 89. As the first African American national president of ACS in 1978-79, Dr. Leffall focused attention on the increasing cancer incidence and mortality rates among black men and women.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in his honor, to benefit medical students in need that matriculate at the Howard University College of Medicine.

Dr. Leffall was was named an Honorary Life Member in 1987, and  received the American Cancer Society's Outstanding Young Man of the Year Award in 1965 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1984. A resolution honoring Dr. Leffall and his work will be presented to the American Cancer Society Board of Directors at its August meeting.

In an email to ACS and ACS CAN staff and top volunteer leadership, CEO Gary Reedy called Dr. Leffall, with whom he had the honor and privilege of both knowing and working with, "a kind and caring man, and one of the most eloquent public speakers I have known. "I remember fondly when LaSalle told me that the goal for living is to die young at the oldest possible age," Gary said. "His challenge to the American Cancer Society – that we do more to address cancer disparities – continues to inspire our health equity efforts today."

The long-time professor and oncologist at the Howard University School of Medicine was also the first African American president of other national organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of Surgical Chairmen, and the American College of Surgeons. He lectured at more than 200 medical institutions across the country, taught more than 6,000 medical students, and trained more than 300 surgical residents.

For 25 years he chaired Howard's Department of Surgery, and in 1992  he was named the Charles R. Drew Professor, occupying the first endowed chair in the history of that department.

Dr. Leffall began volunteering for ACS during the civil rights era of the 1960s. It was during this time that he called upon our organization to "meet the challenge of cancer among black Americans" by focusing on disparities between black and white Americans in cancer prevalence, treatment, and mortality. During his tenure as president, he introduced a program to address the cancer burden among black Americans, focusing on incidence and mortality.  

Read his full obituary here. Also worth reading is a remembrance of Dr. Leffall published by Howard University. 


  • Nominate an outstanding volunteer for the Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award

    ​Nominations are now being accepted for the Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award. This award is named in memory of Margot S. Freudenberg, pictured here, who founded the first Hope Lodge facility in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1970 after her own family was touched by cancer.

    All nominations are due by Friday, June 21, but Hope Lodge directors and regional directors will need time to review all submissions before sharing with the Task Force.

    The Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award is presented annually to an outstanding individual volunteer and an exceptional volunteer group in recognition of their contributions to the Hope Lodge program. An appointed Task Force comprised by volunteers and staff from all Regions, winners from last year, as well as a member of the Freudenberg family will select the award winner based on the defined award criteria.  

    The following award criteria ensure the nominee has shown remarkable achievement, performance, and dedication to the Hope Lodge program:

    • Adheres to the Hope Lodge program's mission and values, particularly dedicated to elevating the patient experience and Hope Lodge environment.
    • Demonstrates dedication to the Hope Lodge served, such as number of hours invested, days volunteered, and increased number of patients and caregivers served by program.
    • Contributes to the growth of the American Cancer Society and the Hope Lodge program. This includes the implementation of a program, recruitment of other volunteers, and/or outreach to reach diverse and underserved populations.
    • Performance above and beyond being a Hope Lodge volunteer and contribution to the mission goals such as involvement in other American Cancer Society programs, volunteer work outside of the Society, and participation in other events (Relay For Life, Legislative Advocacy, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Discovery Shops, etc.).
    • Minimum two years of active volunteer service or 200 volunteer hours with the American Cancer Society.

    How do you nominate a volunteer?

    If you know an outstanding volunteer, you are encouraged to nominate a volunteer and/or volunteer group for this award by completing a nomination form. Once completed, Hope Lodge Directors will be collecting all nomination forms by Friday, June 14. Previous nominees who were not selected may be resubmitted, with additional hours added. Also, pictures of volunteers "caught in the act" of volunteering are highly encouraged.

    After collecting all nomination forms, Hope Lodge Directors will submit a maximum of two nominations (one for individual volunteer and one for volunteer group) per Hope Lodge facility for consideration. Hope Lodge Regional Directors will ensure up to four nominations (up to two individual volunteers and two volunteer groups), per region are submitted. The finalists for each Region must be sent to Lora Strauss, regional director, Hope Lodge Operations by Friday, June 21.

    For more information about the Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award, nomination process, or nomination form, please contact Lora Strauss, regional director, Hope Lodge Operations. 


  • Last day to submit Volunteer Staff Partnership Award nominations

    All nominations are due by 3 p.m. ET TODAY, Friday, May 31

    For more details about the award, review the Volunteer Staff Partnership Award overview

    The Volunteer Staff Partnership Award recognizes a volunteer and staff team that models a successful partnership to positively impact the mission of the American Cancer Society. Nominations can be individuals or group nominations. Partnerships between volunteers and staff set us apart from other organizations. In these relationships, each partner has a different, but equally important role. These volunteer and staff teams may operate side-by-side in the community, collaborate on projects virtually, or work together across the globe.

    Nomination Requirements

    The volunteer staff partnership must have successfully impacted the mission of the American Cancer Society in at least two of the following ways: 

    • Increased community engagement
    • Grown revenue
    • Impacted mission outcome
    • Enhanced stewardship
    • Increased partnerships 
    • Created new opportunities

    Ideally, the volunteer and staff were innovative in their strategy and actionable steps can clearly be identified. Also, volunteers and staff should have worked together a minimum of one year.

    One partnership will be chosen from each Region and Global Headquarters for a total of seven winners.

    To submit a nomination, complete the Volunteer Staff Partnership nomination form. Please note the name, credentials, and title submitted with the application will be used on all collateral materials including the certificate.  

    A completed application with appropriate electronic signatures and the nominee’s photo must be submitted for each nominee to Caira Turner by 3 p.m. ET on Friday, May 31. If you have any questions, please contact acsvolunteercare@cancer.org.


  • 13th annual gala in Chicago tops $2M

    More than $600,000 was raised for a new ACS program - ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer

    The American Cancer Society's 2019 Discovery Ball, one of Chicago's premier galas, raised more than $2.1 million this year. An after-party in the elegant Grand Ballroom in the Chicago Hilton featured a performance by the award-winning Canadian rock band, Barenaked Ladies.

    The 13th annual gala, Where Hope Grows, featured UL as presenting sponsor and boasted nearly 800 guests and volunteers on Saturday, April 27.

    Two individuals and two organizations were recognized for their support of American Cancer Society, and were introduced by our CEO Gary Reedy:

    • Cheryle Jackson, SVP, Global Business Development of AAR, and co-chair of the inaugural American Cancer Society ResearcHERs campaign, was recognized with the Survivorship Award in recognition of her courage, grit and grace navigating breast cancer and using her trials as an opportunity to mentor others and make a difference in their fight against cancer.
    • Longtime volunteer, Tyler Prince, is EVP for Salesforce and was recognized with the Leadership Award. From serving on our Illinois Area Board, as a vice chair of the Discovery Ball, as a Taste of Hope committee member and most courageously for sharing his story of surviving colon cancer. He has made a significant impact in the work ACS does as an organization.
    • North Chicago-headquartered global biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, was recognized as the Lifetime Workplace Giving honoree in recognition of their lifetime giving history of more than $4.6 million to ACS. In 2018, AbbVie's annual Employee Giving Campaign raised more than $800,000 for American Cancer Society.
    • The Boeing company was recognized for their record-breaking success of Discovery Ball 2017, raising an astounding $6 million for the Society's mission, and for their innovative approach to employee engagement. This is the second time they have received the Corporate Partnership Award.

    Survivor speaker Joe Koenig, president of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology shared his personal and inspiring story of tongue cancer and led guests to a paddle raise of more than $600,000 for a new ACS program, ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer. A video spotlighted doctors and researchers involved in the program and included Drs. Funmi Olopade, Michelle Le Beau, Huiping Liu. and Kathy Goss, and student researchers Aysha Ahmad and Hannah Lin. The goal of ResearcHERS, rolled out this spring in North Central, South, and West Regions, is to raise more than $1 million by women to fund women-led research at ACS. The program is expected to be rolled out to all Regions next year.

    Contributing to the evening's fundraising success was a spirited live auction which included a private dinner and party at TAO Chicago, a Chicago sports fan package including Bears, Bulls, and Cubs tickets, a night at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, a trip to and a chance to sing on stage with featured performers Barenaked Ladies, and more.

    Since 2007, the Discovery Ball has raised more than $36 million!

  • Dance Against Cancer founders ring Nasdaq bell

    This year's Dance Against Cancer raised more than $472,000, bringing its cumulative total to $1.97M

    On April 25, the American Cancer Society’s Dance Against Cancer co-founders Erin Fogarty and Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and Northeast Region EVP Kris Kim were invited to ring the opening bell for Nasdaq! They were joined on-air by more than a dozen members of the ACS family, both staff and volunteers. 

    The ceremony was livestreamed in full on Facebook and YouTube, and in part on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and FOX Business News. Photos of the ceremony along with the ACS logo were projected onto the NASDAQ MarketSite Tower overlooking Times Square.

    Over 70 dancers performed at this year’s Dance Against Cancer on Monday, April 22, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, including Misty Copeland, Maria Kowroski, Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, and event co-founder Daniel Ulbricht. Genres of dance included ballet, tap, hip hop, breakdancing, and more. The 9th annual event raised over $472,000 – bringing Dance Against Cancer’s cumulative fundraising total to $1.97 million. 

    A huge thank you to volunteers Lauren Josey, Erin Fogarty, and Daniel Ulbricht, and senior development manager Robin Flay for making this opportunity possible.

    Last year, Dance Against Cancer volunteers, ACS staff, and Hope Lodge guests got to ring the closing bell. Market open and close ceremonies take place weekdays at the Nasdaq MarketSite Studio in Times Square and around the globe.

    PHOTO: Pictured in the smaller photo, from left, are Kris Kim, Daniel Ulbricht, and Erin Fogarty. 

  • National Campus Leadership Team welcomes new members

    While meeting in Kansas City, they delivered lots of supplies to our Hope Lodge

    The National Campus Leadership Team (NCLT) is made up of nine student volunteers and a national Relay For Life staff partner who work to provide nationwide strategy and direction to the collegiate and high school fundraising programs, primarily through Relay For Life. The team provides support, develops resources for students and staff, and facilitates the creation of a national network of students, faculty, and staff who are committed to our mission.

    The NCLT recently held their transition meeting in Kansas City and welcomed a new team of cancer-fighters, each excited to work with campus Relayers around the country. While there, they toured our Hope Lodge and donated supplies. 

    This year’s team has big plans to support campus Relay in new ways. To follow their progress, find them on all social media channels by searching the hashtag @campusrelay. 

    The team members are: MP McLaurin, co-chair, University of South Carolina; Matthew Burgess, co-chair, University of Michigan; Clare Price, volunteer support and development, University of British Columbia; Nathan Farnor, advocacy, East Tennessee State University; Maggie Buswick, youth, UMass Amherst; Jenna Capuzzo, fundraising/innovation, Northeastern University; Isabel Bayer, RFL development, The Ohio State University; KC Ward, mission integration, University of South Carolina; and Cameron Graber, website, University of Iowa.  The staff partner is Mel Rogers.

    Specials thanks to Eva Rodriquez, Tristen Caudle, Megha Mathur, Caroline Biondo, and Derek McCurdy (all of whom are pictured, as well) who served two years on the team. Their leadership was instrumental in campus Relay For Life helping us make our 2018 goal. 

    Learn more about the 2019-20 NCLT at campus.relayforlife.org and @CampusRelay.


  • Nominations for St. George National and Volunteer Staff Partnership awards due by May 16

    The mission of the American Cancer Society cannot be sustained without the hard work of our volunteers. We take great pleasure in recognizing the efforts of our volunteers at all levels of the organization.  

    Do you have outstanding volunteers that go above and beyond? Are you looking for a way to recognize them? We hope your answer is yes!  

    Nominations are now being accepted for the St. George National Award and the Volunteer Staff Partnership Award.

    Each award has specific requirements and honors a different type of volunteer, so take a few minutes to review the details of each award to determine the best fit for recognizing your volunteer

    ST. GEORGE NATIONAL AWARD

    The St. George National Award program is managed by the Volunteer Engagement team and nominees are selected by the St. George National Award Task Force. Each Region including Puerto Rico submits its nominations approved for recommendation by its Regional Advisory Cabinet. Once submitted, the St. George National Award Workgroup carefully reviews each nominee's application against the specified award requirements and selects the awardees.

    Each Region is asked to submit up to two nominees to the St. George National Award Workgroup for consideration.

    Nomination Requirements: A volunteer must meet the following requirements to be nominated for the St. George National Award:

    • Serves the Society as a leader in community mission delivery or revenue generating programs in more than one area of focus (e.g., Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Gala, Research, Advocacy) for a minimum of four continuous years;
    • Makes a significant impact on and contributes to the furtherance of the Society's strategic goals and mission-driven programs with demonstrated leadership progression;
    • Represents the Society in a manner that advances the Society's cause and expands its community presence; and
    • Demonstrates a continuing commitment to the Society through a willingness to serve.

    For more information, please contact acsvolunteercare@cancer.org or reach out to your local Regional Executive Vice President.

    VOLUNTEER STAFF PARTNERSHIP AWARD

    The Volunteer Staff Partnership Award recognizes a volunteer and staff team that models a successful partnership to positively impact the mission of the American Cancer Society. Partnerships between volunteers and staff set us apart from other organizations. In these relationships, each partner has a different, but equally important role. These volunteer and staff teams may operate side-by-side in the community, collaborate on projects virtually, or work together across the globe.

    Nomination Requirements

    The volunteer staff partnership must have successfully impacted the mission of the American Cancer Society in at least two of the following ways:

    • Increased community engagement
    • Grown revenue
    • Impact to mission outcome
    • Enhance stewardship
    • Increase partnerships
    • Create new opportunities

    Ideally, the volunteer and staff were innovative in their strategy and actionable steps can clearly be identified. Also, volunteers and staff should have worked together a minimum of one year.

    One partnership will be chosen from each Region and Global Headquarters for a total of seven winners.

    To submit a nomination, complete the Volunteer Staff Partnership nomination form. Please note the name, credentials, and title submitted with the application will be used on all collateral materials including the certificate.

    A completed application with appropriate electronic signatures and the nominee's photo must be submitted for each nominee to Caira Turner by 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 16. If you have any questions, please contact acsvolunteercare@cancer.org.


  • New cancer awareness campaign with Simone I. Smith and LL Cool J launches

    On Monday,  April 15, we launched a multimedia campaign called "Beat Cancer Like A Boss."  It is the brainchild of cancer survivor and longtime ACS Ambassador Simone I. Smith, and her husband, rapper LL Cool J. A variety of notable celebrities are volunteering their time, including singer Mary J. Blige, Offset, Jordin Sparks, and Jhené Aiko. 

    Check out our TV ad!

    The campaign got a fabulous boost from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who retweeted LL Cool J's tweet about Beat Cancer Like A Boss. She has more than 77 million followers on Twitter!

    LL Cool J tweeted:  #BeatCancerLikeABoss!!! Ask yourself and those around you: Are you a BOSS? What makes a BOSS? Join @simoneismith, Simone Smith Jewelry and @AmericanCancer to raise awareness and spread the message!! Go to http://Cancer.org/boss  to learn more! Let’s make this dream a reality!! 

    Ellen retweeted it and included a link to beatcancerlikeaboss.com

    Launched during National Minority Health Month, the campaign seeks to build awareness and empower communities to join us in the fight to conquer cancer. Although the gap in the cancer mortality rate between African Americans and Caucasians has narrowed in recent decades, African Americans still bear a disproportionate amount of the cancer burden.

    Promotion includes TV, radio, social media, and digital ads, as well as influencer content to help build awareness and engagement throughout April and beyond. Simone and LL Cool J made a special appearance on local Los Angeles TV show Good Day LA on Friday, April 12, to discuss Simone’s battle with cancer and build excitement around the launch of Beat Cancer Like A Boss.

    The campaign was inspired by Simone’s fight with chondrosarcoma, a rare bone cancer she was diagnosed with in 2004, and encourages millions to face their biggest battles like a boss. Read more about her personal story.

    What can you do? 

    First, visit cancer.org/boss. Here you can learn more about the campaign, watch the TV spot, and check out some celebrity “Bossisms.” Then, and most importantly, you will find a link to create your own “Bossism” by clicking on beatcancerlikeaboss.com.  

    We encourage everyone to create their own boss meme to post on Facebook and Instagram with the #BeatCancerLikeABoss hash tag. Then, ask your social network to do the same! 

    Between now and May 12, look for our ads on these networks: BET, OWN, and Bravo, and on these shows -- The RealThe TalkWendy Williams, and ET. Ads also will appear on Hulu and You Tube, and air on select radio stations in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.


  • Congrats to the winner of our #Fit2BeCancerFree Challenge!

    On Wednesday, CEOs across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico collectively took 1,563,110 steps -- all logged on new Fitbit Versa smartwatches that were mailed to them -- and covered 718 miles in the American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer Fit2BeCancerFree Challenge.

    The winner is Wendy Perry, managing director of Merck Puerto Rico, who logged an impressive 138,755 steps. She has been on the Top 5 Fit2BeCancerFree Leaderboard for each of the past two years. As winner, she will get to have dinner with our CEO Gary Reedy, who also participated in the challenge.

    For an impressive social campaign that helped raise awareness about staying active to lower the risk of cancer, in a way that was fun, authentic, and inspirational, Rich Liekweg, CEO of BJC Healthcare and  its president, Trish Lollo, took the title of “Most Socially Active.” Honorable mentions went to Steve O’Loughlin and LHM, Jim Kavanaugh and World Wide Technology, and Janette Marx and Airswift for the personal stories, images, and real-time engagement throughout the workday step challenge.

    The title of “Most Employee Encouragement” went to Warner Baxter, CEO of Ameren Corporation in St Louis. Warner began his day on a treadmill in the main circle drive of the company, making Fit2BeCancerFree a launch day for a month-long employee wellness campaign called “Get Up & Go."

    “Thank you everyone who participated in this fun and meaningful opportunity to inspire active lifestyles in the workplace, raising awareness about the importance of cancer prevention,” said Gary.  “Once again participants raised the bar – walking to work, engaging others, and supporting a workplace culture of health and helping lead the fight against cancer.  They have our deep appreciation.”

    Participants were mailed a new Fitbit Versa smartwatch, with directions for setting up the Movespring app and syncing it to the live leaderboard at cancer.org/ceochallenge

    Check out #Fit2BeCancerFree on Twitter to see how executives across the country participated in the April 10 event.

    This year's challenge will raise approximately $200,000, including the $2,500 registration fee from each of the 44 participants, and an employee donation campaign.


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