$174,013 raised by the 2017 Students of the Year Campaign, winner talks to FOX 43 about the importance of getting involved

Winner, Annabel Krebs, sat down with Ali Bradley to talk about why students her age should get involved with LLS and raise money for important cause.

The room erupted with cheers and a standing ovation when it was announced that $174,013 was raised in 2017, during the second annual Students of the Year campaign.

Eight students from across central Pennsylvania dedicated their time to raising money that goes to lifesaving research for blood cancer patients. It was a seven week challenge hosted by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Central Pennsylvania.

After countless fundraising events, rallies, and t-shirt sales, those who participated, their families and LLS supporters came together at Harmony Hall in Middletown to see the result of their hard work. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s grand finale is the night they had all been waiting for. Student competitors entered on a red carpet eager to continue fundraising throughout the final hours of the event.

The evening was full of fun, tears, and a lot of joy. Emotions were high when 12-year-old Leukemia patient, Josiah Garcia, took the stage, who was brave enough to tell his story, one that started over two years ago. He said thanks to events such as Students of the Year, Josiah is now on his was to getting better each and everyday.

Throughout the night you could buy a chocolate bar, but attendees weren't allowed to open it until later in the evening. One chocolate bar contained a golden ticket. The person with that golden ticket in their chocolate bar got the opportunity to credit all of the proceeds to the candidate of their choice.

One of the most memorable moments of the evening was when Cumberland Valley High School freshman Annabel Krebs opened her chocolate bar and realized she had won the golden ticket. Krebs immediately started to cry tears of joy and was asked up on stage to announce who she would credit the proceeds. The audience chuckled assuming she would credit them to herself since she found the ticket.

When Krebs approached the microphone, she announced she wanted to give the proceeds to her competitor Southwestern High School sophomore Morgan McAdams. Everyone in the room immediately stood up to applaud the noble act and watched as Krebs and McAdams gave each other a tear filled hug.

Speakers throughout the night included Fox 43's Jennifer Ready who emceed the event, LLS leaders, the 2016 Central PA Man & Woman, and the 2017 Boy of the Year Josiah Garcia.

Bob Ruth Ford awarded $5000 in scholarship funds to the students.

Students in 2017 were challenged to raise over $10,000. Five of the eight students were able to accomplish that goal.

The excitement only grew as runner up - Cedar Cliff High School sophomore Sophia Gregory - was announced. She was able to raise $39,118.

Then came the big moment, the announcement the whole room was waiting for, the winner. The envelope made its way to the stage and read that Krebs was the winner. She raised $54,444.

Year to date LLS has been able to invest over $1 billion in research with nearly $60 million staying here in Pennsylvania to find new and more effective treatments for patients. $14 million has been invested in Pennsylvania’s Therapy Acceleration Program, a strategic initiative to speed the development of blood cancer treatments and supportive diagnostics.

As LLS says "everyone wins when cancer loses."  These students showed how dedicated they are to helping find a cure for cancer.