Findlay Kia Finance Director Sarah Wilbur was named the 2016 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year in a gala gathering May 20 at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa.A native of Sonoma, Calif., and a nine-year employee of Findlay Automotive Group, Wilbur raised more than $100,000 for the society. She was also runner up in the 2014 event after raising more than $50,000.
Involved with LLS since 2011, Wilbur said she has been inspired to support this cause after witnessing how many people the group helps, especially pediatric patients and their families.
“Cancer is something that often times comes without warning,” Wilbur said. “It can break people emotionally, physically and monetarily and I am very proud that through this campaign we are able to help some of these people and their families during such a devastating time. The wonderful thing about LLS is that their help is not one dimensional. They offer financial aid and assist with treatment, but they also offer support and education for those just diagnosed and their loved ones, as well as funding research for future cures and treatment.
A 10-year resident of Las Vegas, Wilbur’s latest campaign included a long list of sponsors that jumped on board to help battle Leukemia and Lymphoma highlighted by presenting sponsors Findlay Honda Henderson and Findlay Cadillac. Among the platinum sponsors were Liberty Mutual Insurance and Manheim Auto Auction.
The gold sponsors were Findlay Kia and The Bar Las Vegas.
Joe Wickman, one of the owners of The Bar, said “When Sarah approached us, we were happy to get involved and we were happy to support. This is very close to home considering that we have a close friend who is a 15-year blood cancer survivor.
“We are proud to be part of the record-breaking campaign that Sarah put together this year and look forward to continuing to support LLS in their efforts to eradicate blood cancer.”
In addition, custom suit company STITCHED donated three custom suits that were auctioned with the proceeds donated to LLS by well-known Las Vegan Eamon Springall.
For every $50,000 collected, Wilbur receives a research grant. Her first grant will be for early detection in pediatric patients and will be in honor of Carson Arreola, a local six-year-old boy who passed away only two days prior to the gala after being diagnosed with leukemia.
Wilbur said the battle to defeat cancer continues in November with the annual Light the Night walk Nov. 5 in downtown Las Vegas.
“We’re going to put together a team at the Light the Night event to honor Carson,” Wilbur explained. “If anyone wants to be involved, they can contact me via email at email@example.com.”
Findlay Automotive Group CFO Tyler Corder praised Wilbur for her efforts.
“We are extremely proud of Sarah for the great job she has done raising money to help find a cure for blood cancer,” Corder said. “Sarah has worked very hard for this cause and it’s great to see her get recognized as the LLS Woman of the Year. She is not only a valuable employee but she has proven herself to be a great person. We couldn’t be more proud.”
Findlay Kia general manager Byron Klemaske said Wilbur’s dedication to the cause is evident by the final result.
“When she believes in something, she puts 150 percent into it,” said Klemaske. “Even more amazing than the money she raised was the speech she gave.’
Findlay Kia is part of Findlay Automotive Group that was founded more than 50 years ago by the late Pete Findlay, whose son, Cliff, now spearheads 28 automobile dealerships in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Idaho.
The dealership is situated at 5325 W. Sahara Ave. Further information can be found by calling 702-252-8900 or by visiting www.findlaykia.com.
Further information regarding the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Southern Nevada can be found by visiting www.lls.org.