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Lockport couple to be honored by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Western and Central New York Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will present its 2018 “Service to Mankind” Award to Debbie and Rocco Surace of Lockport on Feb. 24.

The award recognizes the couple’s outstanding leadership and dedication to advancing the mission of LLS in curing leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease, and improving the quality of life for patients and their families.

The couple will be recognized at the 26th Annual Diamond Ball at Samuel’s Grande Manor in Clarence.

Longtime active members of the community, the Suraces have provided personal leadership and financial support for the local LLS chapter. Since they began volunteering in 2008, when their daughter was diagnosed with Acute Mylogenous Leukemia (AML), they have participated in many Team In Training (TNT) events. They also served as chairs of the 2015 Diamond Ball and the 2016 Light The Night Walk, both of which were recordbreaking fundraising events.

Debbie Surace earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Niagara University. She is a registered nurse for Catholic Health, working in cardiac services at Sisters Hospital, St. Joseph Campus. She recently attended the LLS volunteer leadership conference in Washington, D.C., where she advocated for patients by speaking with elected officials regarding blood cancer related issues and health care reform.

Rocco Surace is a partner with the Bonadio Group CPA firm. He also is a graduate of Niagara University, with a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting. He is the immediate, three-time past chairman of the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization. He is also the current chairman of the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Eastern Niagara Health System and Insyte Consulting. Rocco Surace also serves as chairman of the Niagara University president’s board of advisers.

The couple has three children and two grandchildren.

All proceeds from the Diamond Ball will go toward research of leukemia and lymphoma, myeloma and blood cancers, local patient services, advocacy, educational and community service programs in the central and Western New York region. For more information about the event, contact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at 834-2578 or visit

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