BY ALLAN GOLDSTEIN
There are 12 people vying for the award. The winner will be selected through a competition to raise money for blood cancer patient services, research and advocacy. The successful candidates will have raised the most money during a ten week period that ends on May 17.
Sheridan is no stranger to hard work or the realities of illness and death. In her freshman year at Pearl River High School she lost a good friend Billy Kayser in an automobile accident. “It was life changing and made me appreciate life at a young age,” she said.
She was also senior class president, a student council member, swim team captain and a member of the track team before graduating in 2006.
Sheridan then attended Loyola College in Maryland. There she participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Baltimore’s Spring Break Outreach where students volunteered instead of going on vacation. She graduated in 2010 with a B. A. in Communications and was a member of the Communications Honor Society.
Her first involvements with LLS was when a co-worker competed in distance running to raise funds for the organization and found Sheridan eager to give of her time and efforts.
Sheridan is quite clear about why she took on the project “It is for the people I know who have had cancer. Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death for children and teenagers. I want to try to stop this from happening,” she said.
So far Sheridan has two upcoming fundraisers scheduled in Pearl River.
“Pennies for Patients” is scheduled at Pearl River High School for three weeks starting Monday, April 9 and continuing through Friday, April 27. It features a coin-drive between homerooms to collect the most change. The winning homeroom is rewarded with a breakfast party.
“The Cancer Bash” will be held at the Pearl River Elks Club in Nanuet on April 28 from 7 to 11 p.m. Musical guests will be ”The Noyes” and guitarist Rodney Harrington. Tickets are $60 and include food, drinks and raffles.
Even though she is facing stiff competition, her attitude is extremely upbeat. “Whatever I raise will help cancer patients and their families,” she said. “The challenges they go through everyday are incredible.
Her zeal to help cancer patients is reflected in the slogan of her campaign: “Where There’s A Will There’s A Way.”
You can help Willa and her team fight cancer by making a donation to http://nyc.mwoy.llsevent.org/WhereTheresAWillTheresAWay or mailing a check to:
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Atta: Man & Woman of the Year – Willa Sheridan
475 Park Avenue South-8th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Visit her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mwoywilla.