Local Student Raises Nearly $90,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
According to lls.org, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the champion of the fight to cure blood cancers. The organization is the largest nonprofit dedicated to this research and since 1949 they have invested nearly $1.3 billion in cutting-edge research.
Each year, the organization spearheads the Student of the Year event. This is a philanthropic competition in which participants are encouraged to foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing and project management in the name of raising funds for the society research and donation endeavors.
Joey Beahrs is a sixth-grader at Noblesville West Middle School. He is 12 years old. Jack, 16, is his older brother. He is a sophomore at Noblesville High School. The brothers were born and raised in Noblesville. Jennifer is their mother.
Joey Beahrs was diagnosed with Leukemia in the spring of 2019. He is now in remission and 100% cancer-free.
“We were contacted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for Joey to be one of their Honor Heroes,” Jennifer says. “Throughout talking to us, they found out that we had an older son. They asked if Jack would be interested in participating in the Student of the Year competition. It just progressed from there.”
Jack signed on eagerly and dove into the seven-week program wholeheartedly.
“It started in January and ended mid-March,” Jennifer says. “They have a pretty good structured program that they guide you through. It’s a lot of calling on businesses and sponsorships and things like that to raise money. It’s a lot of cold calling. He had a team of 10 supporting him. He probably had about eight to 10 businesses and a lot of individual donations he received.”
Ultimately, Jack’s team raised almost $90,000. He came in third in the competition. The winner ended up bringing in more than $120,000.
But, Jack didn’t come away empty-handed.
“There was a mission award based on community involvement,” Jennifer says. “In our opinion, he won the most important part because it’s based on work ethic. It’s more than just asking for money and knowing the right people.”
Jennifer also said that the whole process was rather arduous.
“There were times when I didn’t really feel like doing anything,” Jack says. “I had to do this on top of school and all sorts of extracurriculars and stuff like that. It had its highs and lows. At the end, though, it was really humbling to look at how many people wanted to help out and how much I was able to help as well.”
Jennifer describes her son as very well-rounded in both academics as well as activities.
“History is my favorite subject,” Jack says. “I also play tennis with the school. Right now, I’m doing a bit of rec soccer, and I do a bit of basketball just for fun. But I study a lot for school.”
Now, the hardest thing the Beahrs family is enduring is the occasional worry about a relapse for Joey.
“It’s very rare that what he has relapses, but there’s always a percentage,” Jennifer says.
For the most part, though, the whole Beahrs family is just thankful that Joey is now out of the woods and fully recovered. He’s healthy.
“I was very relieved,” Jack says. “It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Words almost can’t describe it.”