TUCSON, Ariz.—Watermark Retirement Communities and its CIO, Bryan Schachter, received recognition for their fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)–Tucson.
Schachter raised $105,570 for the LLS fundraising effort, Light the Night, in 2021. That made him the eighth most successful fundraiser in the national program and No. 1 in Tucson and in the LLS region that also includes Phoenix and Las Vegas. He additionally served as corporate walk chair for the local event, which includes a fundraising walk.
This is the second year he’s raised significant funds to support LLS. In 2020 he convinced donors to give $54,000 and then pledged that the following year he would double the amount of donation dollars he would solicit from contacts, including co-workers.
“His honesty and real passion for the mission shine through when he talks about LLS and Light the Night,” says Christina Stucki, the nonprofit organization’s campaign development manager. “He has a way of encouraging and supporting others in their fundraising efforts. He shows our volunteers that even in a relatively small market like Tucson, big things are possible.”
In mid-February, LLS Tucson presented Schachter the organization’s national HERO Award to express, as it says on its signature blood drop-shaped honor, its “deepest gratitude” for his “extraordinary fundraising efforts … in memory of Rich Sims.”
Sims and Schachter were friends and roommates. After Sims died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Schachter signed up as a stem cell donor. His eventual two rounds of donations to a 39-year-old man extended that person’s life for several years.
“It is humbling to know how many people have been impacted, either personally or through their family or friends, by blood cancer,” says Schachter. “I am happy that I was able to raise money towards such a deserving cause.”
“I never imagined being able to raise this much, but it reflects the tremendous support of my friends, family, co-workers and business network.”
As a Watermark Retirement Communities employee, Schachter’s efforts also boosted the company’s standing as the top corporate Light the Night fundraiser in Tucson. LLS presented a national IMPACT Award to Watermark for raising more than $100,000 in the 2021 event, including bringing in donors who had not previously pledged support during LLS’s Light the Night event.
“We are honored to receive this meaningful IMPACT award and proud of the extraordinary LLS fundraising leadership Bryan Schachter provides and our team supports for this worthy cause,” noted David Barnes, president of Watermark Retirement Communities.
Both Schachter and Watermark dedicated their fundraising efforts toward tackling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “We feel blessed that Watermark was able to support Bryan’s efforts and give the space to help us grow our event locally,” says Stucki.
Schachter echoes that sentiment. “I not only appreciate Watermark’s financial support,” he says, “but also the understanding of the time and effort that it would take for my role with LLS. It reflects the company culture and passion for helping folks in many different ways.”
In the 2021 campaign, LLS Tucson raised over half a million dollars for the first time. That money will continue to provide free patient services, fund research towards a cure and support advocacy efforts.
Schachter will serve as the national executive challenge chair, connecting with corporate executives throughout the country who personally raise funds for LLS.
“Our tagline for the event is ‘Bringing Light to the Darkness of Cancer,’” Stucki says, “and Bryan is a bright light for so many.”
About Watermark Retirement Communities
For over three decades, Watermark has created extraordinary communities where people thrive with aging as renewal rather than retirement. Watermark communities are known for highly trained and caring associates, a lifestyle built on choice and innovative programs including the award-winning Watermark University featuring a wide variety of engaging classes for residents and area seniors. Watermark has been named in the top 25 Best Workplaces for Aging Services in a national program conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute and published on Fortune.com and is the first nationwide senior living company to be certified SAGECare platinum. Watermark’s industry-leading Stay Safe. Be Well. program incorporates innovative technology and extensive mitigation protocols with well-being community life programs. Learn more at Stay Safe. Be Well. A privately held company with a reputation for service, innovation, integrity and financial stability, Watermark manages more than 60 retirement communities coast to coast. Based in Tucson Ariz., Watermark is ranked as the nation’s 9th-leading senior housing operator by the American Seniors Housing Association. Visit watermarkcommunities.com for more information.