When Mike McCaffrey, Athletic Director at the University of Saint Francis, heard the words, “It’s Unique. It’s Exciting. And it’s Making a Difference!” he knew where he wanted to serve his community and give back to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Despite Mike’s demanding schedule in dividing time between Saint Francis, his family, and volunteering for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, he was compelled to join The Man and Woman of the Year Campaign after speaking with Adam Arnold and Jennifer Krauskopf, Campaign Manager for the Man & Woman of the Year. Mike’s campaign efforts over the past three months have been dedicated toward raising funds for families in dire need of financial support.
Already striving to partake in strengthening the Fort Wayne Community through his works with the athletes at Saint Francis and other volunteer positions, Mike saw a positive impact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Campaign would employ on his life. “At the end, I want to get a better appreciation for being involved in something like this. The Man and Woman Campaign is a different world in asking for money compared to my work as the Athletic Director,” explained Mike. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society functions vastly different than most cancer organizations considering that there is no money for marketing. Involved in a world where fundraising and advertising are essential daily functions in order to keep an organization running, Mike understood the crucial need to be proactive in campaigning.
“Being a new father and seeing these kids being affected by this disease hits home to me, and I knew at the preview party with Evangelin reiterated why I was campaigning,” commented Mike. Imagining his own children struggling to fight Leukemia is a terrifying thought. These kids did not ask for this disease, and Mike felt bringing awareness to the community is what keeps him focused on fighting in the Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. Mike has had the support of his wife, Angie McCaffrey, Don Schenkel, and John Rowe. Without these individuals, Mike said he would not be where he is at today in the campaign. When thoughts of giving up or quitting fogged Mike’s mind, his wife was there to remind him what he was fighting for. Each night, Mike looks at the picture of Evangelin on his night stand to give him the courage and strength to campaign for this advantageous cause.
Focusing on soliciting sponsorships from distinguished companies has been the key success for Mike’s campaign. He has hosted an evening skate at Canlan Ice Rink on behalf of Evangelin, Girl of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and has an upcoming even on April 17th as one last push to support families in similar financial situations as Evangelin. “Bowl for Evangelin” will begin at 6pm at Pro Bowl West featuring a silent auction, food and drink specials, and INC Now Sports Director, Tommy Schoegler! “I am more of a bowling guy, and this fundraiser is about kids, so the bowling seemed fitting,” said Mike.
The relationships Mike has built from his position at Saint Francis and through the Man and Woman Campaign have been empowering and meaningful. Like many supportive individuals vigorously campaigning for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Mike McCaffrey’s appreciation to make a positive impact on the community and cultivate awareness of this disease has been a life changing decisions he is thankful to receive.