Growing the Number of Glowing Lanterns — Jim Carman and Heath Melton
Heath Melton and Jim Carman with The Howard Hughes Corporation, are currently ranked #2 and #3, respectively, in the nation for their fundraising efforts for this year’s Light the Night walk at Town Green Park benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In one month, 5-year old Crew Cones, a kindergartner in the Village of Creekside Park, will ring the coveted bell at Texas Children’s Hospital signifying his last blood cancer treatment in his battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a war his family and friends hope he will never have to fight again.
Despite advances in survival rates, half of blood cancer patients do not survive. Therefore, more funding is needed to advance research and ensure access to treatments for all patients. Unbeknownst to Cones, Jim Carman, Vice President Master Planned Community Commercial Development, and Heath Melton, Vice President Master Planned Community Residential Development, with The Howard Hughes Corporation were working day and night to raise awareness and funds in hopes to one day find a cure for blood cancers for people like Cones as they served as the 2018 Corporate Co-Chairs of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Light The Night walk in Montgomery County. Light the Night was held on Sunday, October 14th in Town Green Park in The Woodlands.
LLS’ Light The Night is an inspirational community campaign that raises awareness and funding for groundbreaking research and treatment options to eliminate cancer. Participants literally light the night by carrying illuminated lanterns – white for survivors, red for supporters, and gold to remember those who have lost their battle – to honor lives touched by blood cancer. Participants walk a designated route in and around Waterway Square and Town Green Park areas, and the event will conclude with a fireworks show along The Woodlands Waterway. Proceeds from corporate and individual contributions help to find cures and better therapies for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to provide information, education and financial support for patients and their families.
Carman and Melton had been involved with Light The Night peripherally as Howard Hughes employees when longtime Howard Hughes executive Alex Sutton, Co-President of The Woodlands, brought this beloved charity into the company fold several years ago. However, Melton lost his mother to cancer two-and-a-half years ago and wanted to give more than a financial donation to LLS—he also wanted to give of his personal time and leverage his vast business connections in the urban planning field in hopes to raise even more funds to help find a cure for blood cancers.
“My first Light The Night Walk was very moving—it’s a very emotional experience,” explains Melton. “My family and I walk in honor of my beloved mother.”
“Heath and I partner together at Howard Hughes so it’s a privilege to partner with him in this charitable capacity,” says Carman. “As I became more involved, I learned of several colleagues battling cancer—so this charity work really hits home and not in a good way. We must find a cure.”
Carman and Melton also serve on the Light the Night Executive Leadership Committee motivating local business partners and employees from the Howard Hughes office in The Woodlands and Bridgeland to support blood cancer research with a financial donation and/or donation of their time. No strangers to creativity, Melton and Carman have also been hosting employee work-day based fun fundraisers throughout the year such as the Executive Dunking Booth event where employees paid for a chance to dunk department heads, the Dress Casual Event where employees were allowed to pay to dress in jeans and sneakers at work, and a bake and art sale in the office leading up to this weekend’s event. Employee donations are matched 100% by Howard Hughes.
Last year, Light The Night Montgomery County event surpassed their $1 million goal for the first time in their 13-year history! With over 5,000 participants, the community raised an incredible $1.15 million and ranked #13 in revenue amongst 150 walks across the nation. The Howard Hughes Corporation raised over $114,000 last year and hopes to double that amount this year.
Join Jim Carman and Heath Melton and everyone at Howard Hughes in helping find a cure for blood cancers to help children like Crew Cones and people of all ages battling cancer everywhere.