Our own Danielle DeMott of Gig Harbor has been nominated to compete in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) 2020 Woman of the Year. Across the country money is being raised for the LLS in honor of blood cancer survivors. Candidates in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska chapter compete with other candidates across the country to fundraise the most money between March 27 and June 5. The winner is subject to much fanfare and will be featured in Forbes magazine and honored at Soho Park in June.
Then the greater competition begins: the national title of LLS’s Man and Woman of the Year.
When I asked Danielle if she was excited about the fanfare and the prospect of winning, she shrugged her shoulders and simply stated: “In a competition like this, where the money goes toward cancer research, everyone's a winner.”
That pretty much sums up Danielle’s approach toward this year's competition; a world without cancer is a world that wins. The competition is meant as a fundraiser, and in doing that the competitor gains greater satisfaction.
With a background in celebrity sports real estate, a gentle smile and an innovative personality, it’s no wonder that she was nominated as a perfect candidate for this year's competition. Winning requires creativity, ingenuity, charisma and a big heart. And heart is exactly what Danielle has in abundance.
Her campaign slogan is simply this: Show your heart. In a world where it’s easy to shy away from soft-hearted generosity, Danielle’s statement seems fitting to who she is as a human being. Even in the little things, Danielle strives to be a person who is vulnerable. Regardless of what she’s been through, she only has eyes for where she’s going. Her endurance for healing has made Danielle someone who strives to be kind, even when the world is unkind. It’s this same capacity for vulnerability that some could argue for as being a weakness but what the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has deemed a strength. Since her openness results in a better community, I’m inclined to agree.
Showing her heart is exactly why Danielle got involved with LLS in the first place. Though she doesn’t have any personal experience with cancer, she feels deeply for others. Caring for others is an innate aspect of who she is. Plus, she feels like she’s in a good place to help. Her unique experience, open schedule, creative mind and connections make for a serious fundraising package.
In other words, her mind is bursting with fundraising ideas; ideas that are not just focused on celebrity representation or million-dollar donations, but on every little bit. Her strategy for this year's efforts is to “just ask for a little, and people will do what they can.” In other words, she trusts in the better half of people to win out. It is that mentality that makes her so inspiring.
Most people don’t have the time or energy to give a lot, but everyone can give a little. With generous action, Danielle hopes to inspire a little openness in everyone she meets. Whether that person is big in the limelight, or small. All that Danielle wants to see is a show of heart.
And as for Danielle’s personal plans? She hopes to be a flight attendant. She’s currently in the interview process, but that takes a few months, so why not do something good for her community in the meantime? She’s willing, and so she is able.
She also participates in an adult kickball team and spends her free time painting and woodworking. The dream is to one day open up her own little boutique. Will that happen? She’s not sure. She thinks it would work though.
Danielle is a special soul. Not because she’s somehow larger than life or especially capable in comparison to someone else. She’s not famous, nor does she have a lot of money. She has time, but never too much. She has experience, but aside from winning Ms. West Coast she hasn’t spent a whole lot of time in the limelight. Her greatest gift is in her genuine care. She is a woman much like everyone else, except that she seeks to live out to the full extent of her personal gifts for the sake of other people.
If you want to show your heart and support Danielle in this year's campaign, there are plenty of opportunities! You can donate during her campaign, become a member of her campaign team, or sponsor the grand finale that will be held on June 5. Feel free to email her at Danielle.Demott@gmail.com or visit her website at LLS.org.mwoy/wa/seattle20/ddemott.
Ultimately, in this world, we are small in the grand scheme of things. Danielle is an inspiring example of what the world could look like if all of us are willing to empower each other toward something good.
Whatever you decide to do, may it be done with a showing of the heart.