As Jon Sadler kicks off his campaign for 2019 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man of the Year in March, his reason for the undertaking is simple — cancer affects nearly everyone in some way, and he wants to be a meaningful voice in the fight against it.
“I don’t think it’s naive to say every single person has been touched in some way by cancer,” says Sadler, who owns Tasteful Times gourmet wine and food shop in Fishers. “With the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society we are battling blood cancers, but everyone has a story in regards to cancer so we’re trying to do our part in fighting these ugly diseases. I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, and we’d love to see a day where she doesn’t have to worry about cancer taking one of her parents or grandparents.”
Last November, Sadler was nominated to run an LLS Man of the Year campaign by a few former candidates he’d helped in previous years, including fellow Indy residents Jason Llewellyn and Jill Petruzzi, and began a rigorous planning process for the 10-week philanthropic competition, which runs from March 7 to May 18. The competition is held each year in cities and towns across the U.S., and the candidates with the most funds raised for blood cancer research at the end of the 10-week contest get crowned Man and Woman of the Year in their particular community.
Both of Sadler’s grandfathers, John Sadler and James Harding, and his wife Maggie’s grandmother Catherine Houston, died from cancer, and he says those tragic losses were important factors in his decision to partake in the event this year.
“I have those personal-level reasons for doing this, and then the experiences I’ve had helping other candidates was the other piece of it,” explains Sadler, a Pennsylvania native who attended junior high and high school in Terre Haute and studied business management at IU-Bloomington before developing the Tasteful Times concept with his father Ian 10 years ago. “We decided that since we know how to throw fun parties and we’ve raised a good amount of money for these campaigns on behalf of others, maybe we can put together a 10-week campaign and do some good.”
Sadler plans to hold a few fundraising functions during the 10-week campaign including an event at Body Evolution Crossfit on Olio Road on March 15 and a larger gala event on May 11 at an as-yet-undetermined location.
Those interested in making a donation during the 10-week competition can do so on Sadler’s Man of the Year web page (see URL below), at one of his upcoming events and at the Tasteful Times store on Olio Road. All donations are tax-deductible and help support LLS research, patient services, advocacy, public and professional education and community service.
“We’re also going to be hosting an event up at Britton Falls senior community for people who live there,” Sadler adds. “That event will be held to try and spread the word and some awareness over there.”
The LLS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1949 to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
While Sadler is doing his best to run a successful and victorious campaign, he stresses that there will be no losers in the competition — except, hopefully, cancer itself.
“The goal is to feel a sense of accomplishment that we put together a great campaign and to look back and say we did some serious good,” he says. “We’re all fighting the same fight. I’m hoping to also gain some life-long friends from this. Ultimately, we all win because we are doing a lot of good in the community and raising funds and awareness for leukemia and lymphoma. It’s something that my wife and I really believe in, and were thrilled to be able to participate in this.”
Visit pages.mwoy.org/in/indy19/jsadler for additional information on Jon Sadler’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year campaign, details on upcoming fundraising events and to purchase event tickets, sponsoring info and a direct donation page.