A cause greater than self

I’m in the midst of devouring the book ‘Game Change’. Written by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, it provides a page-turning, behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 presidential campaign. It’s already spawned a must watch HBO movie of the same name that, I guarantee, will sweep next year’s Emmy Awards competition.


I mention ‘Game Change’ because I was struck by one passage that beautifully captures what I’m about to share with you.

In his desperate, come-from-behind scramble to galvanize a floundering campaign and counter the rock star madness surrounding Barack Obama, John McCain settled on ‘Country First’ as his slogan because, as advisers told anyone and everyone, it reflected the candidate’s belief that no issue was more important than putting America first. It was a cause greater than self.

I feel that way about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year Campaign. That’s why I’ve just agreed to ‘run’ for the honor of being named Man of the Year. The title is bestowed on the person who receives the most votes (read: dollars) and is announced at a gala event in Manhattan on May 17th.

Trust me, I am NOT doing this for ego gratification. Some of you already know that I do quite a bit of fundraising on behalf of breast cancer awareness and autism research. And, lord knows, my blog, Peppercom’s publicity juggernaut, a weekly column in Inc. Magazine and other outlets have done a superb job of feeding my voracious, narcissistic appetite. No, folks, I’m doing this because, quite simply, it’s a cause greater than self.

Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer among children and young adults under the age of 20. The monies raised by Man and Woman of the Year Candidates go directly to aid research, advocacy and, of course, patient care. I’m attaching a link to my website, and ask that you share it with your friends and family especially if you, or someone you know, has been touched by leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

I’d also be eternally grateful if you should decide to donate a dollar, or two, to my efforts. Because this truly transcends the PR story of the day. It’s a cause greater than self.

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