Junior partners with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to lead fundraising campaign


Colton Carmichael

Junior Lawrence Saltis helps fundraise in support of Leukemia and Lymphoma patients.

Colton Carmichael , Reporter

A Revere High School junior partnered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to lead a fundraising campaign that raises money for blood cancer patients and their families.

Lawrence Saltis is the Team Leader for Serving Others and Saving Lives. His group of local high school students aims to raise the most money for treatment for blood cancer. Saltis and his team are competing in the Students of the Year Campaign, a competition between fundraising teams in Northeast Ohio. Although Saltis wishes to win, he urges that winning is not the main focus for his team.

“I tell [our team members] that in our fundraising journey, it is not for the competition. We are doing it for other people who have blood cancer and ending the pandemic of it. I truly get excited about what we are doing,” Saltis said.

Everyone on Saltis’ team is preparing to have a big year. The initial goal is to raise over forty-five thousand dollars. Saltis’ campaign adviser, Emily Kouldelka, is very excited about the energy Saltis brings to the team. She has worked with many campaigns and believes Saltis can create a very strong, successful campaign.

“Saltis is passionate and driven. He is super enthusiastic about everything he does. He is always pushing forward and living out our mission in his everyday life,” Kouldekla said.

Saltis was influential during his time as a team member last year. He was a part of junior Oliver Miller’s campaign, which raised a total of $100,000. Miller’s campaign sent multiple letters to friends and family, as well as contacting businesses. Miller was planning on taking a step back, but Miller’s experience with his family brought him back to Saltis’ campaign this year.

“I came back [to the campaign] this year because my uncle and my dad’s friend both got lymphoma. My dad’s friend passed last week, so that was my main reason coming in and pushing [the campaign] again,” Miller said.

Saltis was preparing to follow Miller’s footsteps and lead his own campaign. Before the campaign, his family did not have a history with cancer; however, they received news about his uncle days before the campaign.

“This year, when I was nominated to be a team leader, my family hit a concrete wall when my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It really drags a family down when family members are diagnosed with [any kind of cancer]. [My uncle] drives me to help people who are dealing with cancer,” Saltis said.

Saltis hopes his efforts this year will help others in the community. Every dollar his campaign raises will be funneled back into the Northeast Ohio community. Koudelka is helping Saltis form a successful campaign despite the pandemic still going on.

“COVID has thrown a wild ball into every aspect of life, and fundraising is no different. The biggest takeaway is that cancer didn’t stop. Just because COVID is here, we can not stop because our patients need us now more than ever,” Kouldelka said.

Saltis believes he is ready for the challenge ahead of him. While facing obstacles like Covid-19, he and his team are putting full effort into this year’s campaign. He ended the interview with a message to those who are considering donating.

“If you are interested in donating, email me. Every donation counts, no matter how much. My team and I really appreciate it, especially the patients, survivors, and families,” Saltis said.

To donate, please email Saltis at [email protected]