HITS to Host 2nd Annual Fundraiser for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during HITS-on-the-Hudson II

© ESI Photography. Margie Engle won the 2010 $25,000 HITS Grand Prix to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Engle was congratulated by HITS' Lisa Engel and Tony Hitchcock as well as survivor Zack Swart and family, Karen von Bachella, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Volunteers Melissa Signor and friends.

SAUGERTIES, NY (May 26, 2011) — HITS, Inc., is pleased to once again join forces with the Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to host a second annual fundraiser to support their mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, while improving the quality of life for patients and their families.

On Friday, June 3 the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, will be a charitable class to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Similar to last year’s event, HITS will help to raise money by engaging with exhibitors and spectators to pledge a donation for every clear jump the horse and rider combination of their choice completes in Friday’s feature class. Donations raised during the class will go directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which will provide funding for much-needed research and patient services. The top three riders who earn the most in donations will receive a prize.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. Since the first funding in 1954, LLS has awarded more than $680 million in research funding. Last year, HITS exhibitors helped raise over $3,200 during its one-day fundraiser.

An organization that has helped millions, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has also helped several families local to Ulster County, the home of HITS, Inc. and its HITS-on-the-Hudson Show Series. Just recently LLS gave a $10,000 grant to an Ulster County resident suffering from a blood cancer to help cover medical expenses.

“We are glad to once again help raise awareness and funds for an organization that is helping families right here in Ulster County,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President and CEO. “We were really pleased with the support and participation we had for last year’s event and hope that this year we can raise even more money for this important cause.”

Ralph Finno of Lake Katrine, New York is one of those local individuals benefiting from the important services offered by LLS. Finno was recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and along with the support of his family, is rallying against this life-threatening disease. Melissa Signor of Kingston, New York is a volunteer for LLS and is participating in her sixth TEAM in Training endurance event, the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, California that raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society each year. “This is a wonderful organization that touches the lives of people, very special people like my honored hero, Ralph Finno. I’ve been volunteering for the past ten years and I continue to be a volunteer fundraiser because there is still work to be done. Blood cancer continues to be the number one disease killing our children, and it strikes 10 times as many adults as it does children. Three hundred people a day are diagnosed with a blood cancer. These individuals and their families face the issues of life and death on a daily basis,” said Signor.

She would understand; Melissa has known Ralph Finno for more than 20 years. In fact, he is the paternal grandfather of her two grandchildren Alyssa and JoJo. Melissa trains and fundraises every day knowing that her efforts are making a difference that will hopefully help ‘Grandpa Ralph’ receive the treatment he needs to beat this disease. And make a difference she has. Signor, with the help of HITS and hundreds of other individuals, has personally raised more than $16,000 for the cause since 2001.

“The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society relies on volunteers like Melissa, and on the generosity of organizations like HITS, to help us work towards our mission of finding cures,” said Robyn Haberman, Team in Training Campaign Director of the Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “We are grateful to them, and to all the riders participating to make this a success!”

For more information about Signor’s honored heroes or to make a contribution, please visit: http://pages.teamintraining.org/uny/nikesf11/msignorscu.

Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, will take place at 2 pm at the HITS-on-the-Hudson show grounds in Saugerties, New York. In addition to being a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Friday’s class will also be the third of 14 Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix qualifiers offered this season at HITS Saugerties. For more information about the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, or to make a pledge for a particular rider, please contact Haley Hart at 845.246.8833 or via email Haley@HitsShows.com.

About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Home Office is based in White Plains, NY. To learn more about us, use our Chapter Finder to find the LLS chapter in your area, or contact us via email or phone at (800) 955-4572. For general inquiries, the National Office mailing address is: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 310, White Plains, NY 10605.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s TEAM in Training (TNT) helps participants fight blood cancers while training them to cross the finish line of a major marathon, half marathon, triathlon or 100-mile century cycling event.

The Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter offers a variety of events and programs that make the TNT experience a memorable one. Our program provides experienced Coaches to help participants reach their fitness goals, and Mentors who provide encouragement and advice. When TNT participants meet their fundraising goal, the Society arranges airfare and lodging to the events. Participants train in honor of a local honored patient or survivor for motivation and inspiration along the way.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

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