A Carmel Valley resident undergoing aggressive treatment for multiple myeloma has been named Man of the Year by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s San Diego chapter after his team raised the most money in a 10-week campaign.
Gordon Cooke of Carmel Valley, a senior wealth strategist at Northern Trust, was joined by Katy Temple of Little Italy, who was named Woman of the Year.
They and six other candidates raised about $550,000 to support the society’s goal of finding cures for blood cancers and ensure patients have access to lifesaving treatments.Cooke quickly became familiar with the society after being diagnosed in 2018 with multiple myeloma, officials said.
“Gordon is a fighter and has chosen to live life to the fullest and strive to be all that he can be, including dedicating his time and efforts to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,” said a news release. “Gordon and his team, Gordo’s Groupies, have spent the last 10 weeks on a quest to celebrate life and ensure that that a cure is found.”
Gordo’s Groupies raised $175,000, said a society spokeswoman.
Temple raised $40,000 to honor her late grandmother and a close friend, who both suffered from multiple myeloma, creating Team Keep Fighting. She is a former sports anchor who now manages her own media training company, Katy Temple Coaching.
“They both did intense email and letter writing campaigns,” said the society. “Katy hosted a Booze, Boogie and BBQ auction event at The Loading Dock in little Italy. Gordon did a cocktail party in Carmel Valley, a happy hour event at The Belly Up at Solano Beach and a food and music showcase in Rancho Bernardo.”
Candidates and their campaign teams were judged solely on fundraising success — with each dollar counting as one “vote.” Their totals are then considered for the national title.
Across the country, teams from each chapter vie for the local title, with the highest fundraisers earning the title of National Man & Woman of the Year. National titles will be announced this summer.
San Diego’s campaign, chaired by Jack Kelly, president of Corlea Group, ended June 1 with the Man & Woman of the Year Grand Finale Celebration at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.
“Congratulations to our winners, and to all of our candidates and campaign team members who participated in this year’s Man & Woman of the Year campaign,” said Kathlene Seymour, executive director of LLS San Diego. “These exceptional volunteers are all passionate and determined individuals, and leaders in their communities. Together, we are getting closer to LLS’s goal of a world without blood cancer.”
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