Team U-Haul hiked 5.5 miles and raised $29,900 to assist the American Cancer Society on Feb. 24 as part of the 35th annual Climb to Conquer Cancer event at South Mountain Park in Phoenix.
Before sunrise, 95 U-Haul Team Members gathered alongside other companies and individuals from around Arizona. All proceeds from the climb went to the ACS its research, support programs, lodging and transportation.
“My motivation (to raise money) is like so many others who participate,” explained Joel White, scheduling manager for U-Haul sales and reservations. “I’ve lost loved ones to cancer. I want to find a cure to end this suffering.”
25 Years of Partnership
This is the 25th consecutive year of U-Haul International partnering with ACS for the Climb to Conquer Cancer. The rolling start began at 7 a.m. and more than 3,000 people began walking the mountain.
Along the 5.5-mile trail were eight water stops sponsored by Valley companies. Goodies were handed out to participants. Water, Gatorade, sunblock and sunglasses were among the items available. Some booths had music, yet all of them had smiling vendors shouting encouragement to the hikers.
“The Climb to Conquer Cancer is important because it gives me the opportunity to fight back against this dreaded disease,” said Phyllis Gurstell, executive assistant at Oxford Life. “Throughout the 17 years that I have participated, I always set a goal for myself. It becomes my personal challenge to meet and surpass that goal.”
The Climb was increasingly relevant to Team Members as U-Haul continues to promote the Healthier U initiative. This network-wide movement aims to assist 28,000-plus Team Members and 20,000-plus neighborhood dealers, across the U.S. and Canada, to become healthier, happier and improve their overall wellness.
U-Haul Donates Nearly $30K
Since partnering with ACS in 1993, U-Haul has carried out in a matching program. For every dollar raised by a Team Member for the Climb to Conquer Cancer, U-Haul matches that dollar. Because of that, U-Haul has been the top company fundraiser for numerous years.
This year, U-Haul Team Members raised $14,950. After the match, ACS will receive $29,900 from Team U-Haul.
“My mother lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia in July of 2015,” White shared. “During her last six months she described the support from our family and friends as a ‘happiness bundle.’ She said the heart produces happiness bundles, and these gave her the motivation to live another day. If the money I raise can bring even one happiness bundle to another cancer patient, then I will have honored her and her fight.”
Finally, thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Climb to Conquer Cancer. With every dollar donated, ACS gets closer to finding a cure.
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