J&M Grassroots: Community

On Tuesday, October 10th, J&M Strategic Consulting will take part in the annual Light the Night walk hosted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).  This organization is committed to saving the lives of blood cancer patients everywhere.  All proceeds will be used to provide patients with support services, advocate for lifesaving treatments, and pioneer the most advanced blood cancer research.

J&M has a long and proud history of serving the community, but LLS is closest to our hearts.  President and Founder Jen Dodge was first introduced to LLS in 1999.  During this same year, Jen met Maureen Durkin, who was instrumental in making the LLS fundraiser an annual commitment for Jen, and eventually, J&M. “Meeting Maureen changed my life really.  I had ‘given back’ before but was nowhere near as committed as I am today,” commented Jen.  “Her energy and passion for bringing people together to fight cancer was contagious.”

At the time, Jen’s oldest son, JT, was six years old.  Jen had heard about the upcoming 10th annual LLS Gelatin Splash, and before long, a few of JT’s hockey teammates were signed up to dive down a slide into gelatin to support the cancer fight. Jen and Maureen talked about another LLS fundraiser that day, Light the Night, and just like that, a tradition was born.  It didn’t take long before both of her son’s hockey teams participated annually.

“What has always impressed me about Jen was her compassion for others and the way she passed along that same compassion, dedication, and determination to her young sons and their friends,” explained Maureen.  “Jen showed these boys that no matter what your age, what you do for others makes a definite impact.  Many of these young men became great athletes – and I think most would agree that they are even greater human beings.”

Jen founded J&M in 2004 as a means for supporting her boys through their hockey dreams but was always dedicated to serving the community.  Every year, she has made it her mission to attend community events, especially Light the Night.  However, in 2008, Jen was out of town on the day of the event and was disappointed to have to miss.  Roughly one month later, while sitting on the patio of a restaurant in San Francisco, LLS Light the Night walked just past her table.  This was an incredible moment of resonation for Jen.  “I had mixed feelings watching Light the Night walk past me that evening.  Guilt for missing that year, joy in watching people on the other side of the country embrace the fight, and a sense of pride knowing that the entire country was in this together.”

Over the years, Jen and J&M have continued to support LLS in more ways than just their events.  In 2011, over $2,000 was collected for JT’s high school graduation party, all of which was donated to the organization.  Jen has also led the charge in donating money from her sons’ hockey related activities.

Our relationship with LLS is one that will continue for many years to come.  This year, we are proud to announce that we are bringing our largest contingency yet.  We encourage everyone to participate with us or donate to the cause.

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