Carla Mulhearn and Jordan Browning will readily attest that DJ Anderson is one of the reasons why the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is making strides to improve the quality of life for patents and their families.
Anderson and other students raised a combined total of $75,000 over a seven-week campaign that culminated with the prestigious Student of the Year Grand Finale Celebration held recently at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln.
Although the Johnston High School student – who applied and has been accepted to institutions such as Salve Regina University in Newport and the University of Rhode Island – didn’t finish first in the ambitious fundraising campaign that determines the LLS Rhode Island Student of the Year, he’s being hailed as a “fundraiser extraordinaire.”
“Please think about this,” Browning, a student campaign assistant manager for LLS, requested. “There aren’t many high school kids who are willing to give up their time to raise money. It’s no easy task, and that’s why we are all thrilled with DJ’s recent success.”
The son of Dennis and Stephanie Anderson, DJ headed Team Panthers for a Cure during the seven-week campaign and raised $16,000, finishing second to Team ConCure, which is headed by Cranston High School West juniors Julianna Soscia and Talia Notarianni. They won Student of the Year honors for their remarkable feat of netting $18,503.78.
“Julianna and Talia made fundraising a family affair,” said Mulhearn, LLS area director in Rhode Island. “These cousins worked tirelessly to make a difference in their community while honoring their loved ones who have been touched by cancer.”
Team ConCure’s victory – the third in as many years at a Cranston public high school, and bolstered by an elated Mayor Allan Fung – means that Soscia and Notarianni will now share a $2,500 college scholarship that goes along with being the winning fundraising team.
Likewise, Team A.J., led by Cranston High School West juniors Arianna Anicelli and Jordan McInerney, were awarded the prestigious Mission Award. It is given to the candidates who best exemplify the mission of LLS and integrate that into their campaign.
Anderson, who will turn 18 in July, also received high praise for six of the 27 silent auction items that raised additional funds for the LLS during the Grand Finale Cocktail and Social Hour.
“What an amazing seven weeks,” Anderson, who has been a youth camp counselor, told the Sun Rise after the event. “I have to thank my family, my friends, my team, my co-workers, my team … the town of Johnston, local businesses and everyone who helped with my campaign.”
Anderson added: “Although I didn’t win and came in second place, I feel like a winner because I was able to raise awareness and a bunch of money for LLS … I could not have done that without all of the support, and for that I will be forever grateful.”