DAYTON, Ohio – There was much to celebrate at the Dayton Light The Night awards party Wednesday, Jan. 28 in Kettering. First and foremost: the news that “Honored Hero” Ginger Osenbaugh had finished treatment and was clear of leukemia. It was a night filled with hope for blood cancer patients everywhere, thanks to the $258,809 raised by the Oct. 2, 2014 Dayton walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, including the record-breaking team contribution of $76,372 by Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services (CBC/CTS).
CBC/CTS was again presenting sponsor of the Dayton Light The Night Walk, but with CEO Dr. David Smith serving as 2014 chairman of the executive leadership committee, CBC/CTS took an “all in” approach that included multiple department fundraisers and payroll deduction pledges. “It’s the largest team total we’ve ever had in Dayton and in our chapter,” said Dayton Campaign Manager Karen Carter for the Tri-State Southern Ohio LLS chapter. “It’s such an accomplishment and we thank you!”
“I didn’t know what I was getting into!” said Dr. Smith. “I can tell you how you get it done. You get some very dedicated people to help you. We had so many department fundraisers, and I have one piece of advice: Don’t do a dunk tank! I didn’t even want to get in it once, let alone over and over again!”
Nationally, the 2014 Light The Night campaign raised $60 million to research cures for blood cancers and provide patient support. The Southern Ohio region, with walks in Dayton, Cincinnati and Mason, raised $909,033, closing in on the goal of a million dollars in fundraising.
Ginger Osenbaugh was age 10 and a competitive dancer when diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012. She was critically ill when classmates chanted her name as they walked in her honor at the 2012 Light The Night. Ginger walked with her team the last two years. “Remember the Fallen –Fight the War(ner)” was the top Family and Friends Light The Night team for 2014 with $17,731 raised, while Team Ginger was second with $14,731.
“She had her last does of treatment two weeks ago,” announced Ginger’s mom Carmen. “She just flits around the house, she has so much energy.” “Ginger and Carmen spoke at five or six staff meetings for our employees and set the stage for our success,” said Dr. Smith. “We can’t wait to do it again.” “We enjoyed every one,” said Carmen. “The people at CBC treated us like royalty.”
Precision Manufacturing Company Inc. in Dayton was the top corporate team with $23,722 in fundraising. The team is led by company president Donnie Hill, who will serve as chairman of the executive leadership committee for the Oct. 1, 2015 Dayton Light The Night walk. Hill was diagnosed with a chronic form of lymphoma (CLL/SLL) in 2008 and underwent 18 chemotherapy treatments last year.
“We are winning this war,” he told the team award winners. “Childhood leukemia is seeing an 85 to 90 percent chance of being cured. We can see a day when we don’t have to do chemo. Today is the day. We’re going to win this battle in our lifetime.”
Hill also won the inaugural “executive challenge” for the 2014 Dayton Light The Night walk by personally raising $11,156. His fundraising approach in 2015 will again be to encourage everyone to dig deep when they donate. “Maybe that $100 check you write pushes us over the top,” he said, “and you can say ‘I cured cancer!’ That’s a pretty amazing thing to be able to say.”
2014 Dayton Light The Night team award winners: Overall: Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services – $76,372; Top Corporate Teams: Precision Manufacturing Co. Inc. – $23,722; Kettering Fairmont Career Tech – $5,268; City of Kettering – $5,203; Top 10 Corporate Partner: Naked Lime – $4,399; Top Family & Friends Teams: Remember the Fallen/Fight the War(ner) – $17,949; Team Giner – $14,731; Always Friends – $7,534.