Packer LLS ‘Man of Year,’ Azambuja top ‘Woman’

Through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s unique philanthropic competition, Man & Woman of the Year, “six motivated, passionate and dedicated local professionals raised $346,754 for LLS’s cutting-edge cancer research and patient services,” a LLS press release stated.

Mark Packer of Farragut, owner of Pack Man Productions and former anchor at WVLT-TV 8, raised the most funds among men, earning him the title of “Man of the Year.”

This honor “is a 10-week philanthropic competition among a group of motived and dedicated individuals in the community,” the press release further stated.

Maryann Azambuja of Lenoir City, senior account executive at Choice Home Warranty, raised the most funds among women, earning her the title of “Woman of the Year.”

Male candidates John Mathews and Bart Hodson raised more than $50,000, “which allows a linking to a research portfolio name in honor of a loved one,” the release also stated.

Such efforts help “support LLS’s goal to find cures for blood cancers and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving treatments.”

Candidates are nominated and form fundraising teams and compete in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors.

“Congratulations to Mark and Maryann for raising the most funds and bringing awareness to blood cancer,” Lori Friel, Campaign Development manager, stated.

“Boy of the Year,” Dalton Brown, is 16 and was diagnosed with leukemia.

“Girl of the Year,” Josie Fellers, an incoming sophomore at the University of Memphis, also was diagnosed with leukemia.