Support for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Stems from Deep Community Roots

Eight years ago, when Skylight’s Tom Gallagher and Mike Buganski became business partners, they viewed their new arrangement as not only a great fit from a business perspective but also as a great union to better serve their community.  Growing up together in a Toledo neighborhood, Tom and Mike have known each other from school days and had been largely part of the same community.  Hailing from large families (Mike is one of twelve and Tom one of seven), they both point to values they learned at an early age of “looking out for one another” and doing “their share”.

These values and deep early roots in their community continue to fuel their passion for helping others.  Their involvement, over the last four years, in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year campaign, is just one example.  The Man & Woman of the Year is a fundraising competition for leaders in local communities. Teams are pitted against each other over 10 weeks to raise money and awareness of blood cancers.  The title “Man or Woman of the Year” is awarded to the candidate whose team raises the most funds.

Tom and Mike have been involved in different ways over the years.  Back in 2016, Mike stood as a candidate for “Man of the Year”.  This year they sponsored the campaign and formed part of Jeremy Zeisloft’s fundraising team.  Jeremy went on to be crowned 2018 Northwest Ohio Man of the Year at the Grand Finale gala event on June 8th (check out the images below).

Tom Gallagher, Financial Advisor at Skylight’s Toledo office, has always been clear from the start that this was an organization he wanted to support: “Mike and I have seen kids, young adults and adults battle for their life against this terrible disease so it was a no-brainer for us to jump in and help.  We have clients who have been directly affected and other clients who have family members who have been affected.  It hits you hard and we wanted to do all that we can to help support the LLS, patients, and families in our community.  The funds raised will go a long way to help fund research for a blood cancer cure and help improve the quality of life of those affected.”

Tom and Mike brought over 30 guests to the Grand Finale at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown to celebrate all the candidates’ efforts and enjoy food, cocktails, music and the views of Toledo and the Maumee River from the Heights on the top floor.  They were delighted that the campaign raised a record-breaking total of more than $305,000.  This brings northwest Ohio’s contribution since the competition’s inception to $1 million.

Both are delighted to see the LLS hit the $1million, as Mike Buganski, Managing Director explains: “We had a great evening with friends celebrating the culmination of our 10 weeks effort and succeeding in reaching $1 million with contributions over the years.  Everyone in our team worked hard and pulled together to raise funds by organizing activities such as cornhole tournaments, a Hoedown, Shotgun, and auctions.  It was the icing on the cake to see Jeremy awarded Man of the Year 2018.  It’s a privilege for Tom and me to do what we can to support our community and the great work of the LLS.   Thanks to everyone who supported us!”

Thanks to Viridian Ivy Images for their kind permission to use photos from the Grand Finale event.


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Image Courtesy of Viridian Ivy Images 2017
Image Courtesy of Viridian Ivy Images 2017
Image Courtesy of Viridian Ivy Images 2017