Philly Gay Man Running for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Man of the Year”


Nick Casey

Philly accountant Nicholas Casey is in the running for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)’s national Man & Woman of the Year contest, which is much less like a beauty pageant than it sounds. To be in the contest, Casey must run his own fundraising campaign for LLS in the name of two local kids: Cullen and Alana, who are both in remission after a fight with blood cancer. He racks up votes by generating dollars from funders—each buck counts as a vote and the person who has the most at the end of the 10-week competition wins the title of Man or Woman of the Year.

Casey with Cullen (left) and Alana, two young local survivors of blood cancer.

Casey with Cullen (left) and Alana, two young local survivors of blood cancer.

“I decided to run, because it’s an amazing opportunity and honor to make a difference in multiple people’s lives,” says the 24-year-old when asked why he decided to take on this particular challenge. “I am not directly affected by Leukemia, but I am directly connected to cancer. My grandfather passed away from bladder cancer, and my uncle passed from brain cancer. I love that LLS’s research is not only for Leukemia—the drugs and treatment are spread to help cure other forms of cancer, too.”

Casey is the only out candidate taking part in this year’s contest. He tells me he’s fairly new to Philly’s gay community, and recently joined Stonewall to make some friends. “It has been a blast. I have met so many amazing people and made some really great friendships.” He works full-time at Ace Group in their Global Treasury department and he is a partner for a pop-up food/food truck called Guerrilla Kitchen.

He is already in the midst of his campaign, which started on March 31st. Part of the way he’s raising funds is to host several events between now and the contest’s end date on June 13th. This weekend, on Saturday, May 2nd, he will host a Kentucky Derby-themed brunch at Cappelli Brother’s Cigar Company in the Gayborhood. (Because, you know you’ve been meaning to check out that place.) On May 16th, he and Brittany Lynn will host a swimsuit bar crawl through the Gayborhood called “Cancer’s a Drag: Come Get Lei’d”. Plans are not yet set in stone, but it will feature four bars and a host of specials for attendees. Stay tuned for more information.

If you can’t make the event, or if you want to donate separately, you can visit Casey’s fundraising page here. Would be great to have a gay, Philly winner, huh?!