Whether it’s the friendly competition, a show of support for a loved one, or the drive to make a meaningful impact, our Real Men Wear Pink (RMWP) candidates each have a unique reason why they are working to fight back against breast cancer. In 2018, more than 3,600 men across the country signed on as RMWP candidates.
Collectively, the candidates on the Nationwide Top 10 Leaderboard raised over $544,000 to help the American Cancer Society attack breast cancer from every angle. Donations are being accepted through the end of the year.
An extended version of this article will be shared with our 2018 RMWP candidates and alumni in the December issue of the nationwide RMWP eNewsletter.
Here are this year's Top 10 fundraisers:
1. Jeffrey Sheehan, Real Men Wear Pink of Oakland County, Michigan - $91,205.50
Jeffrey Sheehan’s involvement in the fight against cancer is personal after losing a close friend to breast cancer in 2016. After raising over $91,000, he emerged as the nation’s top Real Man through his network of family, friends, and colleagues. Jeffrey currently serves as the president of the Johnstone Supply Eastern Michigan Group and chairman of the Board for the Johnstone Cooperative. He shared his passion for our mission with his supporters. (Read a longer story about Jeffrey on My Society Source.)
2. Grant Navarre, Real Men Wear Pink of Southwest Louisiana - $75,350.21
In addition to many people close to him battling breast cancer, Grant Navarre lost his father to cancer a few years ago. Grant, an owner and sales manager with Billy Navarre Auto, has participated in four consecutive RMWP campaigns! This year, not only did he more than double his fundraising total from last year by hosting a slow-pitch softball tournament, a pink party, and a golf tournament, but he also served as the honorary chair of the Southwest Louisiana campaign.
3. Farzad Sani, Real Men Wear Pink of Capital Region - $54,383.15
Dr. Farzad Sani, a pediatric dentist in the Capital Region of New York, has seen his family deeply touched by various forms of cancer, from his parents to his grandmothers. He got creative in his fundraisers and really leveraged his work at Pediatric Dental Group of New York to bring awareness to his campaign and raise funds! Dr. Sani raised over $14,000 by running a challenge for the first few weeks of October, donating $8 for every teeth cleaning procedure he performed to honor the 1 in 8 women who will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
4. Greg Miller, Real Men Wear Pink of Atlanta - $50,987.96
Greg Miller, executive vice president and chief information officer at Genuine Parts Company, knows the importance of raising awareness and funds in the fight against breast cancer. He raised awareness for his mother, who is a 25+ year survivor of the disease, for his nieces and daughters-in-law with their family histories, and for the hope that his new granddaughter would never need to worry about being diagnosed. He made the biggest impact to his fundraising campaign by sending letters to his contacts and vendors, but perhaps the most fun was had at a truck pull held at Genuine Parts.
5. Dave Mirgon, Real Men Wear Pink of Columbus - $50,043.19
Dave Mirgon was inspired to get involved with RMWP by his friends, David and Shannon Schmidt. Sadly, Shannon lost her courageous battle with breast cancer just two days after Dave accepted his nomination as a Real Man. Dave knew that he could show his support for Shannon’s husband and their two sons through their shared love of basketball. So, a youth basketball tournament was planned and resulted in 1,000 “Real Young Men” from 3rd - 7th grades participating and raising $2,400! Raising a dollar amount that ends in 43 is significant because it was Shannon’s high school jersey number.
6. Dennis Hower, Real Men Wear Pink of Lehigh Valley - $47,121.83
Dennis Hower, President of Teamster Local 773, was an inspiration to many of his constituents this RMWP season. In his promotional video, he talks about how ACS was there for him and his family before losing his father to cancer. Dennis’s creativity and drive came to the forefront in several key areas including offering to dye his beard pink after reaching his original goal of $10,000. At Bling Your Bra night, he put together a bra and basket that was auctioned off for more than $3,700. After reaching $40,000, he is getting a pink ribbon tattoo with the initials of 10 people put forth by his 10 biggest donors to honor those who fought cancer.
7. Tom Flookes, Real Men Wear Pink of Seattle - $44,754.22
Tom Flookes is currently an associate partner for IBM's Global Business Services Division. He is also an avid supporter of ACS through his involvement in RMWP, chairing Seattle’s Hope Gala for three years, and his position as the co-chair of the American Cancer Society Washington and Alaska Board of Advisors. Tom is a busy guy, but he didn’t let that stop him from dying his hair pink this campaign season! He also held special food and wine tastings, dinners, and teamed up with Kendra Scott Jewelry to create a fun night to reveal his hair and give back to the cause with every purchase.
8. John Mike, Real Men Wear Pink of Knoxville - $44,467.68
John Mike, president at Perceptics in the Knoxville area, has had numerous friends and family members affected by cancer in some way. His fundraisers included a lunch at his office, a silent auction, and even fundraising and spreading the word about his campaign at professional trade shows. John’s fundraising efforts were tripled through the generosity of his company and foundation! Not only did John’s work with RMWP significantly impact the fight against breast cancer, but he saw rewards in his workplace community—morale boosted and employees bonded over a common goal.
9. Daniel Weickenand, Real Men Wear Pink of Memphis - $43,598.74
Daniel Weickenand, CEO of Orion Federal Credit Union, has a personal connection to this cause. “I have chosen to participate because my mother passed away at the age of 60 from a cancer that I understand is very curable today,” says Daniel. “Unfortunately, I know several individuals who have been impacted by breast cancer, including my family, so anything I can do to assist with this great cause is an honor.” Daniel achieved success in his campaign by sending out emails to friends and colleagues, and by requesting donations in each of his credit union branches during the month of October.
10. Brian Leslie, Real Men Wear Pink of Gainesville - $42,227.67
Brian Leslie signed on as a Real Man in support of his wife Kerri, a breast cancer survivor who is passionate about spreading awareness. Brian and Kerri are influential members of the Gainesville community, who are truly dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. Together, Brian and Kerri hosted events such as a Pink LSU tailgate at a Florida Gator home football game, a Sip and Shop event with a local boutique that was very generous to the campaign, and a local restaurant giveback where proceeds for the evening supported Brian.