About Team Spark
We are Team Spark, a group of teenagers from Puerto Rico committed to raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (“LLS”) as part of their Students of the Year Program (“SOY”). Team Spark was born following the diagnoses of our dear friend and team member Diana Carolina Gonzalez Baerga with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage IV in August 2018. Our team is composed of 14 members ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old. Our mission is to raise funds, so we can ensure a future without blood cancers. We could be partying, going to the beach, or studying, but we have chosen to participate in this campaign in part to prove that our generation cares and is committed, and in part to show that Puerto Rico’s solidarity has no bounds even when we are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane María and facing the worst economic recession in our history.
Team Spark was born with our participation in the LLS’ Light the Night Walk in November of 2018. We did so, as our friend Diana was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. As Diana is dearly referred to in her family as “Chispis” or “Little Spark” we thought we honored her and recognize her with our team name. Our participation in the Light the Night Walk sparked our desire and commitment to raising funds for the LLS so that someday there will be a world without blood cancers.
Meet Our Team
We are a group of determined teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old with a mission to raise funds towards a future without blood cancers. We could be partying, going to the beach or studying, but we have chosen to participate in this campaign, in part, to prove that our generation cares and is deeply committed to working towards a better future. We also want to show that Puerto Rico’s solidarity and good will knows no bounds, even when we are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane María and undergoing the worst economic recession in our history.
Team Spark was organized after our dear friend and team member, Diana Carolina González-Baerga, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Stage IV. Diana was just starting to undergo chemotherapy when we set out to raise funds for the LLS Light the Night Walk in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We had to choose a team name, and since Diana is affectionately referred to in her family as “Chispis” or “Little Spark”, we figured the name Team Spark not only recognized her and her courage, but it showed that we wanted to serve as an animating influence in the fight against blood cancers. As the song by the Boss says: “you can’t start a fire without a spark”. Our participation in the Light the Night Walk ignited our desire and commitment to raising funds for the LLS so that others may be as fortunate as Diana Carolina.
Meet the Members of our Team:
Orlando I. Martínez
Diana C. González Baerga
Maria E. Aguiló-Vélez
Raúl de la Torre
Jose Iturregui Fuertes
Camelia Rovira Denton
Cecilia M. Martinez
Diego Uriarte Bruno
Why we do this?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
For more information about the LLS you can visit http://www.lls.org/
The Students of the Year program is a seven-week campaign in which select high school students participate in a fundraising competition to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The candidates/teams who raise the most money at the end of the 7-week competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year. The candidates/teams who raise the most money at the end of the competition earn the title Student(s) of the Year. The students raise money in honor of a local patient hero who is currently battling or is in remission from a blood cancer.
For motivated high school students, this is the leadership development and philanthropy program that ensures they stand out among their peers when engaging with colleges and/or future employers. Through guidance and mentoring from experienced professionals at LLS – the non-profit with a track record of innovation and success – they will make a real impact in the fight against blood cancers.
This year, students in over 50 chapters across the country will be participating in the Students of the Year campaign and there will be both a local and national winner named. The amounts raised are top secret and are not disclosed until the local Student(s) of the Year is announced at a Grand Finale Gala.
For more information about the Students of the Year Program, you can visit http://studentsoftheyear.org/
Each LLS chapter designates a 7-week period, in Puerto Rico the competition will begin on February 13, 2019 and end on April 6, 2019. That means we cannot raise a penny before or after those dates.
Funds raised from the Students of the Year campaign help find cures and ensure access to treatments for all blood cancer patients.
•LLS funds research to advance breakthrough therapies for blood cancer patients.
•LLS is the leading source of free blood cancer information, education and patient support.
•LLS is the voice for blood cancer patients and survivors today.
During 2018, the LLS’ San Juan Chapter donated half a million dollars blood cancer patients and their families in Puerto Rico.
Donations to Team Spark may begin at campaign kickoff on February 13 and continue throughout the 7-week period. Just press the link below and you will be re-directed the official LLS fundraising page. If you prefer not to donate online, you may also write a check payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and give/mail it directly to the candidate (or by email to email@example.com) or send it to our local San Juan chapter (be sure to add Team Spark and "Students of the Year" to the memo line so we'll receive credit for your donation).
You may also participate in our campaign through the Rhyme Challenge or any of the other activities Team Spark will sponsor throughout the 7-week period.
Team Spark wishes to raise money in honor of two of our team members Diana Carolina González Baerga (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) and Maria Elisa Aguiló Velez (Leukemia) who thanks to the advances in research and treatments are now both currently in remission from blood cancer.
Our goal is to surpass $50,000. According to the competition rules, any candidate raising more than $50,000 receives the LLS’s Top Fundraiser Recognition Opportunity linking the campaign to a current LLS research portfolio. Our campaign wishes that any such contribution be devoted to a research portfolio investigating Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). This type of blood cancer has the lowest survival rate with 27.4% overall and 66.4% for children and adolescents younger than 15 years.
In addition to accepting online contributions, Team Spark will be hosting a number of activities throughout the campaign period. From parties, cocktails, auctions and a yoga marathon, to an online rhyme challenge, Team Spark is committed to meeting its fundraising objective. If you want to learn more about us, ask about the events or if you want to help, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of Team Spark’s participation in the Student of the Year competition, our team decided we wanted to attempt a challenge using social media as our platform. After considering various ideas, we opted for the Rhyme Challenge. Basically, it all starts with our team members challenging three persons either to put their creative skills to the test and create a rhyme or opt out of the challenge and donate.
The rules are very simple:
1. Once you have been challenged, you can choose whatever musical genre and language you desire.
2. If you opt to accept the challenge, you can still give us a small donation, let us say $10, if you decline the challenge, however, then you must donate a bit more, let’s say around $70. The idea is that you give whatever you can.
3. If you accept the challenge, then you will start your own video declaring your acceptance to the challenge, and then you will just rhyme away!
4. The only requirements is that you mention in your composition how cancer has impacted your life, or dedicate it to someone who has battled the condition.
5. Once you are nominated, you have up to 24 hours to respond to the Challenge by posting your rhyme in Instagram using the #TeamSparkPR and tagging our team at the following account @TeamSparkPR.
6. As part of your video clip, you will nominate at least 3 people by tagging them using their respective social media accounts.
7. Whether you accept or decline the challenge, please show us as part of your video this donation sign, which you can download here. It is important for us, so those following you in your social media accounts know where to find more information (…and donate!).
8. if you want, you can disclose the amount of your donation, you know, to inspire others, but Team Spark cannot disclose any amounts donated.
9. Finally, If you have not been challenged and you are dying to participate, please go ahead and start your own challenge. Just videotape yourself and remember to tag us.