As the night of the 31st annual Leukemia Ball grows closer, event Co-Chairman Rob Copito said his leadership role has given him an eye-opening perspective on the gravity of the problem.
“As a rather intense businessman, I get caught up in my day-to-day life and stresses,” said Copito, vice chairman of top-level sponsor CBRE, Inc. “Being involved with so many fine people who toil away day after day to raise money to find a cure for this devastating disease is, well, humbling. It puts things into perspective, illuminates what is important and how fragile life is, and it simply makes you a better person.”
The 31st annual Leukemia Ball will be March 10 at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The ball is a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is dedicated to research, advocacy and patient support.
Copito said that support has touched him personally as two individuals he said he holds “in high regard” were touched by the efforts of LLS. If not for the life-saving research funded by LLS, he said, they might not be alive today.
“Since the first Leukemia Ball in 1988, more than $59 million has been raised for LLS,” Copito said. “Over three decades, these funds have made a huge difference and helped fuel many amazing advancements … In 2017, LLS awarded $42 million in 83 new grants to scientists in eight countries, making them the largest nonprofit funder of blood cancer research.”
In the same year, the organization also provided nearly $73 million in copay assistance to 31,000 patients.
Copito said supporting the Leukemia Ball is just one way in which CBRE works toward a goal of responsible corporate citizenship.
“We’re really proud of our employee-led Washington, D.C.-based CBRE Cares initiative that has raised over $140,000 in the last two years allowing us to support a wide variety of very valued local causes,” he said.
Copito is grateful to the supporters who have helped them reach fundraising goals as he works alongside co-chair Dave DiLuigi and with additional support from previous chair Wayne Berson and the executive committee.
“We are optimistic that the final gap will be bridged during the gala itself when generous people step up and do the noble thing,” he said. “It is a humbling feeling to watch this unfold, and the night of the gala will be nothing short of magical.”
The Leukemia Ball begins with a reception and silent auction followed by dinner, dancing, entertainment and a raffle for both a Mercedez-Benz and an AMG driving experience.
The entertainment lineup for the night is twofold.
Grammy-nominated comedian Jeff Foxworthy, a best-selling author and radio host known for such stand-up routines as “You Might Be a Redneck If…” and “Games Rednecks Play,” will provide laughs with a Southern twist.
Phil Vasser, a chart-topping songwriter and artist, will provide musical entertainment. Vasser was the writer behind Alan Jackson’s “Right on the Money,” Collin Raye’s “Little Red Rodeo” and Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years.” The Lynchburg, Virginia, native went on to record his own chart-topping hits, including “Just Another Day in Paradise” and “In a Real Love.”