Customer Stories*
May 3, 2013  •  by Jane Carter

Spotlight: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

While the battle against cancer is still going at full force, one of the world’s largest voluntary health agencies, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, dedicates themselves to the fight against blood cancer. LLS goes far and beyond to raise funds and use them towards life saving blood cancer research around the world. The organization also provides free information and support services for blood cancer survivors and organizes great events like The Man & Woman of the Year. The Man & Woman of the Year is a fundraising competition in communities across the United States. Their main goal is to raise funds for blood cancer research in honor of local children who are blood cancer survivors. Ticketbud was lucky to meet Blaine Muhl who is a participant to this amazing cause. We asked Blaine about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, her event “That’s the Spirit” and what made her join in the fight against blood cancer.

Team in Training

Ticketbud: Tell us a little more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! What does the organization do to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma awareness and research? Blaine Muhl: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the largest voluntary health organization that strives to fund blood cancer research, patient services and education.  LLS’s continued advancements over the years have greatly increased survival rates for blood cancer sufferers, and in some cases has even quadrupled the survival rate.  LLS volunteers are always tirelessly working to increase funding through organized events like the Light the Night Walk, Team in Training, Man & Woman of the Year Campaign, School & Youth Programs, and many more! TB: How did you get involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society? What is your favorite part about working with the organization? BM: I became involved with LLS after being nominated as a candidate for their Man & Woman of the Year Campaign here in Kansas City.  We have 10 weeks to fundraise, with my goal this year being $50,000.  My favorite part about this whole process has been raising money for such a great cause, and seeing the amount of support that people continually give in a difficult economy has really been amazing!  Participating in such a great cause really allows you to see the positives in society and people. Planning the social events is always a fun experience as well!  The Boy and Girl of the year Eric & Lainie (who just hit her 5 year remission mark this past week-GO LAINIE!) are also involved in meeting with candidates and having some fun with us!  Seeing them and hearing their stories really reminds you about the important things in life and puts things into perspective.  I mean, here are a 3 and an 8 year old fighting for their lives and they still have a smile on their face and hopes for the future.Eric loves his toy trucks and is looking forward to starting preschool!  Lainie is now in gymnastics and plays volleyball and basketball.  These kids really make you appreciate life and not sweat the small things.    That's the SpiritTB: What is the Man & Woman of the year event all about? What is your favorite part of the event? BMThe Man & Woman of the Year event is all about a spirited competition between the nominated candidates all for a great cause.  Everyone is rooting for each other even though it is a competition to see who can raise the most money, because in the end, we all have the same goal…to raise as much funds as possible and bring awareness to LLS’s cause.  I love the concept of the Man & Woman of the Year Campaign, and think it is a brilliant and fun way to fundraise and get others involved to bring awareness to Blood Cancers.  My favorite part of the event is that I get to raise money for a cause that is personal to me.  My God Father’s Wife Sandy, who was like my grandmother growing up, passed away 3 1/2 years ago from Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia.  This event provides me with the chance to get a Research Grant named after Sandy if I raise $50,000.  This has made me even more determined in my fundraising efforts because Sandy was an angel, and I want to do anything I can to help a cause I know she’d want to be apart of if she were still here.  She’s definitely up in Heaven with our favorite treat, melted marshmallows in a cup, cheering me on!   TB: What is it like to organize an event like Leukemia & Lymphoma Society? What tips do you have for organizers out there trying to put together an event to benefit cancer research or cancer relief? BM: Organizing an event definitely has its challenges, but it is truly worth it when the work is done!  You have to be really organized and on top of everything, and think about what events really sell tickets and garner a crowd.  I’ve found that events are the best way to fundraise, as opposed to just asking for donations.  The two events we have put on have both involved silent auction and raffle items taking place at social events; we definitely found it easier for people to donate items than money so this helped amp up our events.  My main advice is to start early!  A lot of venues book up quickly or there are a lot of logistics to deal with in these sorts of events. Having a great team around you is also crucial because it expands your social reach and the connections for getting items or donations, and in fundraising you need a support group who knows all the work that goes into it and understands. Finally, marketing and advertising is key!  Ticketbud honestly was an amazing and easy way to get the word out and made it convenient for people to sign up.  We definitely found that selling tickets and promoting an event was not successful unless it was easy for your target consumer to access it.  Ticketbud really was a game changer in our fundraising efforts, as everything revolves around media these days; being able to link the event invite to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and through emails was huge, which definitely expanded our reach to party patrons.

Run for a cure

TB:  A lot of our readers are event throwers on a much smaller scale. What are some “super secret” tips you’ve discovered that you can share with our organizers about throwing a successful event? BM: Honestly, my “super secret” is to know your target audience when planning an event and have a great group around you to help plan and execute.  First of all, I couldn’t have pulled any of these events off without the help of my team who have their strengths in areas that I don’t.  My Campaign Manager Jordan Jakubov, has been my savior through this process!  My strengths cover organizing how the event should flow and considering displays, items, activities, etc…but I also needed the help of my team, who are also great with some aspects of my strengths but cover my weaknesses.  In fundraising and planning events, you cannot do it alone, but you have to choose the right people to be around you.  We also cater our events to encompass as large of a demographic as possible.  For example, most parents aren’t going to want to come to a beer pong or flip cup tournament.  So, to expand our audience at our first event, we had it start in the early afternoon with family friendly events like raffles and a band; then later on in the night we incorporated the beer pong tournament and bar games.  This way, we got an array of donors and participants.   Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 11.42.01 AMTB: Is ticket cost a big factor when considering ticket sales? What benefits have you found from using a flat rate ticketing company like Ticketbud? BM: Ticket cost is crucial when considering ticket sales for an event.  Today, people want fast, easy and convenient…no one wants to mail checks anymore.  The online payment also eliminates the chaos of people signing up at the event, and the flat rate of Ticketbud doesn’t take away from your goal of raising money.  The whole point of fundraising is to raise money for the cause, not put yourself in the hole with expenses.  This is one of the many reasons why I truly admire the Ticketbud team and how they operate.  I actually ended up accidentally paying a fee, and Ticketbud quickly emailed me with the option of a refund or to donate to my cause…I was speechless.  A company that values customer service and cater to people trying to raise money for a good cause is rare.  I’ve done extensive research on fundraising services and Ticketbud will be used for all of my future events. We would like to thank Blaine Muhl and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for doing such a great job for a great cause! Here at Ticketbud cancer is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. If  you would like to know more information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society click here. If you would like to donate to, That’s the Spirit Event on May 16th click here. For ticket information on That’s the Spirit event you can go to]]]]> ]]>