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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Names Its San Diego Man and Woman of the Year

Plus, Viejas Casino & Resort donates face masks to Alpine schools, and cannabis company March & Ash hosts a food drive

By Sarah Sapeda

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has named fundraising powerhouses Sonny Talamantes and Monica Hayes its 2020 San Diego Man and Woman of the Year. Despite the challenges that come with fundraising during a pandemic, Talamantes and Hayes raised an impressive $205,386 and $150,000, respectively, during the 10-week philanthropic competition to fight blood cancer.

Hayes led “Team Sweet Caroline,” inspired by her friend Caroline Martin, who lost her battle with metastatic breast cancer during the 10-week campaign. Talamantes leveraged his corporate relationships to secure sponsorships while updating his network on his own lymphoma journey.

The funds raised for the Man and Woman of the Year competition go toward research to advance therapies involving immunotherapy, genomics, and personalized medicine; free blood cancer information, education, and support; and advocacy efforts.

Viejas Casino & Resort has donated 100,000 face masks to the Alpine Union School District. Viejas has a long-standing tradition of community and is proud to help protect kids. “It’s important to the Viejas Tribal membership and also to the Viejas Casino & Resort team that we understand and appreciate the importance of safety in the COVID-19 environment that we’re in,” said Viejas Tribal Vice Chairman Victor Woods.

Alpine Union School District Superintendent Dr. Rich Newman said the impact this gift will have is huge: “This is a year’s worth of supply for our students, staff, and our family members that are in need.”

Local cannabis dispensary March and Ash recently hosted a food drive to support families impacted by COVID-19. March and Ash locations in Mission Valley, Vista, and Imperial County collected nonperishables to benefit the San Diego Food Bank and Imperial Valley Food Bank from July 27 through August 16. Their grand total was 4,156 pounds of food.

Left: Caroline Martin and Woman of the Year Monica Hayes; Right: Cindy Crist and Man of the Year Sonny Talamantes

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