Avi Nessim, from Atlantic Beach, a freshman at North Shore Hebrew Academy High School in Great Neck, won the Community Involvement Award and a $500 scholarship for his efforts in raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as part of the inaugural Students of the Year campaign on Long Island that collected $168,000 in six weeks.
The Community Involvement Award is given to a person that best incorporates and inspires his or her community through the campaign. His cousin, Isabella Nessim, 15, helped Nessim as part of Team Cancer Busters. Isabella, who attends the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in Manhattan, raised more than $1,000. Avi has collected money for the past five years in honor of his late grandfather, Abraham Nessim, who he is named after. Avi never met his grandfather, who died of leukemia at 53 in 1977.
More than one million Americans are living with a blood cancer; and every three minutes one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer. The society raises money for blood cancer research and cures.