The Cash, Sweat & Tears Awards honor the commitment and passion of North America’s most extraordinary fundraising volunteers – your most dedicated and accomplished fundraisers who shine a light on your mission and inspire their friends, family and colleagues to support your organization.
Each year, the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum invites peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns to nominate one inspiring participant for the Cash Sweat & Tears Award. Every nominee is recognized with a Cash, Sweat & Tears Certificate of Merit, and the winner is honored at our annual conference. The organization nominating the Cash, Sweat & Tears Award winner receives a cash donation.
Nominations for the 2022 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award are due December 8, 2021.
2021 Winner: Michael Harris
Michael Harris, a first-time peer-to-peer fundraiser who last year raised more than $33,000 for Children’s Cancer Research Fund, has been selected for the 2021 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award, an award given to North America’s most inspiring fundraising volunteer.
Harris, a recent colon cancer survivor, embarked on a 489-mile bike journey through Texas as part of Great Cycle Challenge USA, a virtual fundraiser in which riders across the country fundraise to support childhood cancer research.
We received a long list of outstanding volunteers who were nominated for the 2021 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2021 Honor Roll:
Ann Asselin, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Avery Christiansen, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Michelle Skinner, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Rick Schroeder, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Sarah Bucciero, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Travis Ilitch, ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
George Brower, Alzheimer’s Association
Michael Borowski, Alzheimer’s Association
Wes Milligan, Alzheimer’s Association
Bob Kruchten, American Brain Tumor Association
Andrew Irvin, American Lung Association
Chris Ballington, American Lung Association
Debra Smith, American Lung Association
Dr. Jannifer Harper, American Lung Association
Eddie Fisher, American Lung Association
Raymer Maguire, American Lung Association
Tom Gibbs, American Lung Association
Violet Nikolici Lowrey, American Lung Association
Mike Wells, Atlanta Community Food Bank
Laura Milliken, Autism Speaks
Carl Guardino, Best Buddies
Jeff Whitford, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass
Mwanarabu Otswang, CES Canada
Sarah Nabongo, CES Canada
Steven Hao, CES Canada
Wetende Busuku Musili, CES Canada
Jimmy Choi, Charity Miles
Jeff Mulder, Children’s Cancer Research Fund
Philip Sanford, Colon Cancer Coalition
Anne Davis, Cure SMA
Cathy Barsotti-Dooling, Cure SMA
Danielle Galan, Cure SMA
Kim Sykora, Cure SMA
Silvia Murphy, Cure SMA
Joyce Reed, CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
Jillian Dudar, Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Mike Farwell, Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Shaun & Katarina Nechvatal, Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Holly Maitland-McKenna, Four Diamonds
Skye Williams, IJM Canada
Crista Bode, JDRF Greater New England Chapter
Charles Brown, Kids Help Phone
Angie King, Komen Coastal Georgia
Michael & Janis Echenberg, Lung Cancer Research Foundation
Alex Frenzel, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Ashley Landay, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Helen Hu, NAMI Santa Clara County
Tracy Owen, NAMI Santa Clara County
Christina Panay, National Kidney Foundation
Christine Rubin, National Kidney Foundation
Bruce Reid, National MS Society
Kevin Whiffin, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Samantha Caesar, Organization for Autism Research
Tracey Early, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Dov Karlin, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Dan Timm, Pedal the Cause
Randalynn Vasel, Pedal the Cause
Ashley Garcia-Everett, PKD Foundation
Kristin Caputo, PKD Foundation
Cindy Leder, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Courtney Gray, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Jennifer Garigen, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
John Kingrey, MD, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Matt and Jayna Wall, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Nicole Phillips, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Sarah K. “Sally” Maddox, Ed.D., Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Sheri & Rich Guider, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
The Cann Family, Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Inc.
Erica La, Second Harvest
Katrina Scott, Shatterproof
Lezli Kuntze, SickKids
Lynne Stiefler, St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Beth Northman, Susan G. Komen
Christina Pujdak, Susan G. Komen
Cindy Herrmann, Susan G. Komen
Dan Sinclair, Susan G. Komen
Kriste Ruhland, Susan G. Komen
Melanie Sinclair, Susan G. Komen
Pat Loller, Susan G. Komen
Kyle Vannoni, Susan G. Komen Central Indiana
Julia Hughes, Susan G. Komen Hawaii
Megan Pliscofsky, The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Rowland Family, The Michael J. Fox Foundation
Andrea Douglas, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Stu Mills, Ulman Foundation
Jack Hughes, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) more than half a century ago, has been a tireless rider in 10 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes events. At the age of 92, he planned to embark on yet another fundraising ride in Death Valley in October. He has raised over $400,000 to date for JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research.
For Hughes, support for JDRF began late in his life. He participated in his first ride in 2011. Since then, his participation has become a family affair. Hughes’ son, daughter, grandson, and granddaughter all ride with him. At the 2019 Death Valley Ride, his great granddaughter Estelle was at the finish line cheering him on.
Jacki Splittorf-Sullins is founder and organizer of the Baxter Trails CureSearch Hike — an annual fundraiser in South Carolina that has so far raised nearly $150,000 for the cancer nonprofit CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and has spawned a number of similar hikes across the country that raise money for the charity. She also founded Harlan’s Heroes, a nonprofit that provides support to parents of children who are battling cancer — and has been a leading advocate for families after losing her son, Harlan, to the disease.
Chris McPhee is the type of supporter nonprofits dream about.
The 42-year-old paramedic has personally raised $30,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation through the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. But the ride’s organizers say his work leading the Paramedics for the Cure ride team — an effort that has raised nearly $700,000 for the organization — is both inspiring and extraordinary. Read Chris McPhee’s story
We received a long list of outstanding volunteers who were nominated for the 2018 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2018 Honor Roll:
Teri Griege was given just five years to live when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2009. Not only has she courageously battled her cancer, she has competed in endurance events around the world and has helped raise nearly $750,000 for the cancer charity Pedal the Cause. Read more about Teri’s extraordinary accomplishments.
Teri Griege was one of a long list of outstanding volunteers who were nominated for the 2017 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2017 Honor Roll:
Alexys Fleming, a 23-year-old expert make-up artist living with type 1 diabetes, who taps into family, friends and a network of millions of YouTube followers to raise money for the American Diabetes Association, has been named the winner of the 2016 Cash, Sweat and Tears Award. Read more about Alexys’ extraordinary achievements
Alexys Fleming was one of a long list of outstanding volunteers who were nominated for the 2016 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2016 Honor Roll:
The 2015 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award honored Anthony Carbajal — the creator of a poignant Ice Bucket Challenge Video that has raised $3.8-million for The ALS Therapy Development Institute. Read more about Anthony’s extraordinary achievements
Anthony Carbajal was one of a long list of outstanding volunteers who were nominated for the 2015 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2015 Honor Roll:
The 2014 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award winner, Dave Van der Linden, has been a dedicated Walk MS participant since 2000. Motivated to do something following his mother’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS), Van der Linden took part in his first Walk MS event in 2000. Over the course of the last 13 years, Van der Linden has raised nearly $700,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and recently completed his first road race, the ING New York City Marathon.
Born in Belgium, Van der Linden moved to the United States nearly 20 years ago. His mother was diagnosed with MS in 1985 at the age of 41, but struggled with symptoms long before the diagnosis. The disease accelerated quite a bit and she became wheelchair bound full time in 1998. She passed away in 2013.
Van der Linden became really involved with The Society because of his mother’s struggles, saying that “… even though my proceeds wouldn’t benefit her directly, I wanted to support the cause globally for people who are in the same shape or worse than she was here in New York.”
Outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2014 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2014 Honor Roll:
Julie Weiss was devastated by the loss of her father in 2010 to pancreatic cancer. Determined to honor her father and combat the disease that took his life, she set herself an audacious goal: Run 52 marathons in 52 weeks to raise money and awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Starting with the Rome Marathon in 2012, Julie traveled the United States and Canada running a marathon every weekend. Between 26.2 mile efforts, she solicited donations and generated publicity for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network – all while holding a full time job. In addition to memorializing her beloved father, Julie used each marathon to honor people afflicted with pancreatic cancer. To date, her fundraising exceeds $143,000.
Jenny Isaacson, vice president of community engagement for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, nominated Julie for the Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. “Julie is truly an inspiration to all those involved in the fight against pancreatic cancer,” she wrote. “Her dedication and passion in honor of her father and all those touched by this devastating disease is remarkable.”
Learn more about Julie’s amazing journey by visiting her blog www.marathongoddess.com
To see more about Julie’s achievement, watch this video from the Cash, Sweat & Tears Award dinner.
Outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2013 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2013 Honor Roll:
From August 25 to October 25, 2011, Sam Fox stretched his physical and mental endurance to the max by running and hiking 2,400 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Coast Trail in honor of his mother Lucy, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000.
In the process, Sam raised over $170,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research through his Run While You Can foundation. Along the way, Sam, a Yale University graduate, built an online community of passionate supporters and was the subject of a documentary film.
As Miranda Lanzillotti of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research put it in her nomination submission, “Sam is an inspiration and unique individual who put his mind and body forward for the social good to make a difference.”
You can learn more about Sam’s achievements including a video that ran on the NBC Nightly News by visiting www.runwhileyoucan.org
Outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2012 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2012 Honor Roll:
Just a few years ago, John Killian knew virtually nothing about Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Then his infant son Sam was diagnosed with the disease and John becamse one of the most active members of the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, an organization of which he is now chairman of the board.
Especially dear to John has been Run For Our Sons, PPMD’s endurance fundraising program. John was not an avid runner when Sam was diagnosed, but upon learning about Run For Our Sons, he immediately began to train and has participated in dozens of marathons to raise funds.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, John is the greatest single fundraiser in the Run For Our Sons program. And now the rest of his family is participating too. His two older kids are finally old enough to participate in the half marathons at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, where they have been watching from the sidelines for years.
On Father’s Day of 2010, John was critically injured in a fatal car crash on his way to train for the ING New York City marathon – his personal favorite of all the marathons. He continues to heal from this horrific accident that crushed most of the bones in one of his legs. Just weeks after the accident though, John flew to California to cheer on PPMD’s Disney Marathon team. He later flew to NYC to cheer on the Run For Our Sons team there. He is determined to get back in his running shoes to support PPMD.
Outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2011 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2011 Honor Roll:
Whether she is lying in a hospital bed or crossing a finish line, 22-year-old Jennifer Bechard doesn’t let hydrocephalus stop her from acting on her passion: supporting the Hydrocephalus Association’s series of fundraising walks.
Her exemplary commitment earned Bechard the 2010 Cash, Sweat and Tears Award, an honor presented each year by the Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council to an inspiring volunteer who goes above and beyond in “thon fundraising.”
“You would never know by her attitude and determination that (Bechard) has hydrocephalus, a chronic neurological condition consisting of an abnormal accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain,” HA Regional Program Manager Sarah Oxford wrote in her nomination.
Bechard, a Northville, MI resident, has led three Hyrocephalus WALKs in her home state, leads a support group there and voluntarily designs WALK websites for chapters across the country, often from her hospital bed. (Over the years, Bechard has undergone more than 80 brain surgeries.)
“The ranks of “thon” fundraisers are rich with stories of people who dig deep within themselves to support critical causes,” said Run Walk Ride Fundraising Council President David Hessekiel. “Jennifer Bechard’s dedication of time, energy and spirit inspires us all.”
“Through my hospital stays and surgeries, the walk has been one of the positive factors that kept me motivated,” said Bechard. “A cloud of people in white t-shirts crossing the finish line is just one of the images I replay in my head every time I am headed back to surgery. Even in the midst of the most trying times with hydrocephalus, I have a reason to be thankful, because I am helping to end the difficulties and struggles that come with this condition.”
Sixty outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2010 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2010 Honor Roll:
Barbara Jo Kirshbaum was nominated for this award by Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Program Director Eloise Caggiano. In her testimonial, Caggiano explained:
“Barbara Jo Kirshbaum has been walking for breast cancer since 1998. And since 2002, she has participated in every Avon Walk for Breast Cancer nationwide each year. This past year she reached two amazing milestones, she completed her 100th walk for breast cancer and not only reached – but exceeded! — her astonishing fund-raising goal of $1 million dollars! That’s one woman – one cause – more than one million dollars!
“Barbara Jo is a true inspiration. She has a warm smile and a friendly hug for everyone at the Avon Walks and her tireless efforts prove that anything is possible! She has walked more than 5,000 miles for the breast cancer cause, and at a spry 70 years old, Barbara Jo has already signed on for all nine Avon Walks in 2009! She keeps going and going – there’s no telling what she’ll achieve next year!”
Asked about her accomplishments, Barbara Jo said she had many more miles to walk and dollars to raise:
“Many people have asked me if I am continuing to walk and fundraise, since I reached such big goals in 2008. My answer is ‘yes’, I am continuing because breast cancer is still being diagnosed every 3 minutes. Actually my goals for 2009 are the same as in 1998 when I started at 60 yrs. old. It is about challenging my body and raising as much as I can in the fight against breast cancer. I walk because I can’t walk away!”
Learn more about Barbara Jo’s inspiring story — and support her fundraising — by visiting www.bjkcounselor.com
Thirty-seven outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2009 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award. Their dedication and achievements made selecting a winner very challenging. We recognize all of the nominees by listing them in our 2009 Honor Roll: