Learning that you have cancer can be one of the darkest moments in someone's life. That's why Melissa Bochat, community development specialist for Entergy Texas, decided to bring light to the darkness of cancer by becoming Entergy's campaign chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk in The Woodlands.
"Knowing that so many of our employees and customers are impacted by cancer encouraged me to get involved and make a difference," said Bochat. "In some way or another, we all know someone whose life has been impacted by cancer. I even found out someone in my own family had been impacted by leukemia, which I didn't previously know."
The money raised goes directly to cancer research and patient support across Southeast Texas. Last year, LLS dispersed over $1.25 million throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region to not just patients, but families and neighbors across the Entergy Texas region. In 2017, 15 out of 17 general cancer therapies were derived from research done by LLS.
As a campaign chair, Bochat coordinated internal efforts around fundraising events by sharing LLS' mission. She also served on the Executive Leadership Committee for LLS with other community leaders across The Woodlands.
Bochat credits the campaign's success to an overall employee fundraising competition and a barbecue competition that encouraged fundraising and employee involvement.
"Our 2018 employee fundraising campaign raised $76,620.68, far exceeding our original goal of $50,000," she said. "It was exciting to see us exceed our goals."
Despite all the extra time and effort that went into being a campaign chair, Bochat found the experience rewarding.
"It's gratifying doing something that helps others. Some ofmy favorite memories at Entergy have been working with people outside my day-to-day role," said Bochat. "It was awesome seeing everyone come together, both at events before and then at the walk. I developed a lot of relationships through this experience, both inside and out of Entergy, that I'll cherish for years to come."
The 2018 Montgomery County Light the Night Walk raised a total of $1.2 million to fund blood cancer research, education and patient services across the Texas Gulf Coast.