Kelly Fuller, Camillus police officer and life-long resident, has been nominated for Central New York Woman of the Year, a fundraising competition sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Based in White Plains, NY, LLS holds the competition in regions across the nation each year to advance its mission of curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and helping to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families. According to the LLS website, in three years the Man and Woman of the Year competition has raised $379,000.
Each dollar raised is essentially one vote for each nominee; the top earner from each will earn the title of Man and Woman of the Year. Candidates spend nine weeks fundraising, with the Grand Finale Celebration on May 14 marking the end of the competition.
Kim Buck, who has been involved with the society since 2005, knew Fuller was an ideal candidate because she is very well-respected.
"Kelly, being a police officer, I know she's very involved in the community," Buck said. Having been best friends since high school, Buck has seen first-hand how committed Fuller is to helping others.
"Kim knows me well enough to know that I love getting involved in my community and that I love to take on challenges," said Fuller.
She loves challenges so much, in fact, that she set a personal fundraising goal of $10,000, and has so far collected more than $2,500 for the cause.
"I like to set my goals high," Fuller said.
Upon receiving her nomination, Fuller immediately thought to campaign in honor of John "Jack" Drozynski, 15, a sophomore at West Genesee High School where Fuller is assigned full time as the school resource officer.
Jack was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma bone cancer at the age of 13. Fuller refers to Jack as her hero, an inspiration and an incredibly strong young man.
Although it would mean a lot to her to win, Fuller said it would mean more to have made a difference in the lives of some very special individuals.
"To me, that is priceless," she said.
Monetary donations and donations to the silent auction, held at the finale celebration, are accepted from individuals as well as commercial sponsors; more information on how to donate to Fuller's campaign can be found at www.active.com/donate/cnymyoy05/cnyKFuller.
Four other central New York women were nominated this year, including Heidi Ferguson, Brenda Miller, Barb Stivenson, and Georgia VanSlyke.