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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Plymouth's Katherine Poindexter is one of 9 Philanthropist-Candidates Working Hard to Find a Cure for Blood Cancers

Golden Valley, Minn. Katherine Poindexter, of Plymouth, is a 2009 Philanthropist-Candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year event, which kicked off on April 1st. Those competing in this annual fundraising competition are uniting with hundreds of men and women across the country to raise money and awareness for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s life-enhancing programs: Research, Patient Services, Education and Advocacy.

This year, the LLS’s Minnesota Chapter candidates will raise money in honor of the 2009 Boy & Girl of the Year, Brenden Conroy and McKinley Chung, both diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The two local children serve as the faces of the organization, while attending Man & Woman of the Year events to inspire and motivate the candidates throughout the campaign.

Poindexter, a Relationship Manager for Smith Barney, is married to Glen Matthews (an economics teacher), and has two kids. She enjoys spending time with her kids, participating in triathlons, gardening, skiing, and helping others. “I like to leave this world a better place than I found it,” she said.

As an active member of many organizations around town, Poindexter is able to give back to her community on a large scale. She is involved in: Jeremiah Program, Free Arts Minnesota, Pillsbury United Communities, Wayzata Community Church, Gleason Lake Elementary School, Wayzata Central Middle School, The Blake School Alumni Board, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, and First Step Initiative. She also graduated from Connecticut College, with a degree in Religious Studies. During her college years, she spent her time playing tennis, softball, volunteering and working in the language lab.

“Ayse. It comes from the Turkish form of Arabic for the name Aisha, which means alive. And Ayse was just that. She was alive and vibrant, just like every eight year old should be. She was one of my best friends. One day, my mom called me in from playing in the backyard. ‘Sit down’, she said. I knew what she was going to tell me. Ayse had gone to Heaven; now I'd have to play with her in my dreams,” as stated on Poindexter’s donation page.

After losing her best friend when she was just 7 years old, in addition to another friend on New Year’s Eve 2008, Poindexter stated, “I am done with cancer and the only way to truly be done is to find a cure. That is why I accepted the nomination.”

When asked about her personal goal for the fundraising competition, Poindexter said, “My initial dollar goal is $25,000. More than that, I want to win. I also want to be a part of the last Man & Woman of the Year campaign that occurs because we raise enough money to find a cure.”

“Man & Woman of the Year is an excellent opportunity for active members in our community to challenge one another in this fundraising competition and help us find a cure,” said Murray Schmidt, the Minnesota Chapter’s Executive Director. "Every dollar raised goes directly towards our mission of improving the lives of blood cancer patients and their families, so it’s really a great cause.”

The ten-week long campaign will culminate at the Grand Finale Gala on Friday, June 12th at The Metropolitan, with the announcement of the top fundraising man and woman, who will be named, Man & Woman of the Year. Until then, the nine candidates will stay busy pulling together their resources as they write letters, solicit corporate sponsorships, host fundraising events, and collect auction items throughout the process. The Man and Women of the Year will be rewarded with their picture on the side of 20 Metro Transit bus advertisements come September.

“I've had enough. I don't want another son to lose his mom, another wife to lose her husband, another parent to lose their child. And I don't want another mother to call her daughter in from playing so she can tell her that, sadly, she can only play with her best friend in her dreams,” said Poindexter.

If you would like to contribute to Katherine Poindexter’s campaign or find out about how you can get involved, visit her donation page at www.mn.llsevent.org/katherine. For general information, visit www.LLS.org/mnmwoy or contact Cathy Swanson Girsch: (763) 852-3014.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®, headquartered in White Plains, NY, with 68 chapters in the United States and Canada, is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Its mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $600 million in research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, LLS made 5.1 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

For more information about blood cancer, visit www.LLS.org or call the Information Resource Center (IRC), a call center staffed by master's level social workers, nurses and health educators who provide information, support and resources to patients and their families and caregivers. IRC information specialists are available at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.


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