(June 13, 2014) Local police officer Ricky Kerrigan was selected as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2014 Man of the Year on June 6.
LLS revealed Kerrigan as the Maryland-Eastern Shore chapter’s winner during a Grand Finale Gala at the Tidewater Inn in Easton. Grasonville resident Kris Shanahan was named the 2014 Woman of the Year. In total, the campaign raised more than $248,000.
The annual campaign nominated 10 individuals to raise money in honor of the LLS Boy and Girl of the Year. Cancer survivors Joshua Czorapinski, 8, and Colby Fowle, 4, were selected this year. Kerrigan was nominated by Colby’s parents.
“It was a big relief,” he said of the honor. “I was surprised and happy and excited.
“The atmosphere was one of enjoyment,” Kerrigan continued. “Everyone put in so much work and effort in the last ten weeks, so it was kind of relaxed and everyone was laid back.”
Colby and her parents were in attendance at the gala.
“There was an auction going on at the same time, and they actually bid on a chocolate lab puppy and won that,” Kerrigan said. “So they’re taking home a puppy from the gala. That was pretty great.”
Kerrigan said Colby, who was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in January 2013, is doing well.
“They brought her up on stage and gave her a little stash,” he said. “She was in good spirits and having fun. It was a good time.”
The West Ocean City resident set a goal of raising $50,000 for LLS; he ended up raising more than $52,000 during the 10-week campaign.
“Being that we raised over $50,000 LLS will send us a list of doctors that they approve of doing research for cancer, and I’ll get to pick which doctor the money goes to,” he said.
Kerrigan plans on allocating the money for ALL.
“That’s what Colby had and she was our inspiration,” he said. “I’ll have to take it up with Colby’s parents, because they know more than I do, and see what they recommend. We also get to name the funding, so we’ll probably name the funding ‘Kisses for Colby’ or something.”
A member of the Ocean Pines Police Department, Kerrigan hosted fundraising events at Hooper’s Crab House and Pickles Pub, as well as in Ocean Pines and through a partnership with the Judith M. Sunset Booze Cruise.
As the 2014 winner, Kerrigan will also have the chance to nominate candidates for next year’s Man and Woman of the Year.
“We plan on nominating someone that was on our campaign team or someone that worked close to our campaign,” he said. “I’m not sure if it will be a guy or a girl yet, but I’m going to call one of them out and nominate them and hopefully we’ll keep the title of Man or Woman of the Year right here in Ocean City.”
To nominate a candidate for 2015 Man and Woman of the year, contact Campaign Manager Jennifer Veil at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the LLS and the Man and Woman of the Year campaign visit www.mwoy. org/md/localchapter/mwoyes.