Garth Brooks turns to friends in all places

‘Man of the Year’ candidate aims to raise $100,000 to fight cancer
By: Tiffani Collins, Auburn Journal Correspondent
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A Gift 4 A Cause
Chevy’s Fundraiser day
Chevy’s will donate 15 percent of proceeds
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 10
Where: Bell Air Shopping Center, 2100 Grass Valley Hwy., Auburn
Flow 4 A Cause
Family yoga and bake sale
When: 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 7
Where: Flower Farm Inn, 4150 Auburn Folsom Road, Loomis

Did you know that one person in the United States will be diagnosed with a blood cancer approximately every four minutes?
An Auburn man is hoping to raise awareness of this statistic through a series of fundraisers that began on Thursday.
For 17 years the Greater Sacramento Area Chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has put on a Man, Woman and Student of the Year campaign, a 10-week long fundraiser in which the various candidates compete to raise the most money for their category. This year’s nominee for Man of the Year is Garth Brooks, professional development director for University of Phoenix, who currently lives in Auburn.
Brooks donated his time and money this last December to Volunteer Center Sacramento, an organization whose goal that season was to raise money for adoptive families who couldn’t afford to celebrate Christmas. This year Brooks aims to raise $100,000 in his campaign, “A Gift 4 A Cause.”
“It’s striking how many people have been touched by battles with cancer,” said Brooks when asked why he chose this particular cause. “I lost a close personal friend to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”
Other blood cancers include leukemia, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).These types of cancer can affect the bone marrow, the blood cells, the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system.
To be diagnosed with something like Hodgkin Lymphoma is daunting, but not as devastating as in years past. For instance, those individuals in 1960-1963 who were given such a diagnosis had a 40 percent survival rate according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
That number rose to 86 percent in 2001-2007 thanks to a better understanding of this disease, as well as the other blood cancers, and a marked improvement in medications and treatment protocols — all of which made possible by research and development funded by donations to organizations such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Brooks is not alone in his experience. His campaign manager, Shanna Leslie, lost her aunt last year after a five-year-long battle with cancer.
“The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is doing great work and I am honored to support them with this campaign,” Leslie said. “This organization funds research that is going to cure cancer, I know it.”
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society lets any candidates who reach $50,000 name a grant in honor of a friend or loved one.
“This cause is near and dear to our family,” said Allison Harvey, Brooks’ chief of staff. “My husband lost his mother almost ten years ago to melanoma. The first grant we get to name will be in honor of my mother-in-law, Susan Harvey.”
If Brooks is successful in reaching his $100,000 goal, he plans on naming the second grant for Chelsea Brady, the close friend who succumbed to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
To raise the money, Brooks has planned several events — everything from Flow 4 A Cause, a family yoga event with a silent auction and bake sale set for 2-4 p.m. at the Flower Farm Inn, to Chevy’s Fundraiser Day which goes from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 10 in the Bell Air shopping Center. At the end of the 10-week campaign’ the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will host a grand gala in Sacramento in which there will be a live and silent auction. Brooks is asking Auburn businesses to donate gift cards and products for the event to also help send more business up to the Auburn area.
For more information and a complete list of events and locations, go to or visit Brooks’ campaign page on Facebook at