On a warm winter Saturday morning, 116 U-Haul Team Members and a number of their family members hiked Phoenix’s South Mountain for the 33rd annual Climb to Conquer Cancer event.
Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Climb to Conquer Cancer brings awareness to cancer and allows people to aid in the search for a cure. Participants made their Feb. 27 journey up the mountain to support and remember loved ones who have been affected by the disease.
“I was inspired to participate in this event when one of my dearest friends was fighting against cancer,” said Rosario Valle, a systems administrator for U-Haul Dealer Services. “She was one of the strongest ladies I knew. She was full of life and had the best attitude, even when struggling and trying to fight against this horrible disease. At the end of her battle, she asked (for me) to always remember her – and this is a way to keep her memory alive.”
Valle has been participating in the Climb to Conquer Cancer for the past seven years, and every year she brings along a new family member or friend to join the group. This year she brought Isabel, her 9-year-old daughter.
Since 2007, Team U-Haul has contributed the largest donations in Arizona to the Phoenix event. Team U-Haul has raised nearly $600,000 for the American Cancer Society through the Climb to Conquer Cancer event over 24 years. This year, Team U-Haul has raised more than $10,000. That amount will be matched by the Company to double the donations.
“It was a great day,” Diane Monzu, supervisor of the Credit Administration department since 2011 said. “The weather was perfect and I thought there was a huge turnout. The walk was challenging but not too bad. The stations they had every mile with water and snacks were always a welcome sight and it was nice to have the signs marking what mile you were on.”
The top fundraisers among U-Haul Team Members were Laura Miller ($4,290) and Phyllis Gurstell ($2,954). Donations to assist Team U-Haul are still being accepted. To donate, visit the U-Haul page on the American Cancer Society site at: http://main.acsevents.org.
Participants brought their energy and generosity to with them to make a real difference in fight against cancer. They shared a common goal no matter what reasons lead them to the event.
“To be part of the Climb to Conquer Cancer event means that I will always remember the struggle and fight my family and friends fought and lost to this horrible disease,” Valle said. “It means that I will always remember them by walking in their memory.”
Monzu added: “This was my first time and I plan on doing it again. It gave me great personal satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment. I have several family members affected by cancer so it meant a lot to me.”
To check out the story from last year’s Climb to Conquer Cancer event, click here.
Thank you to the U-Haul participants in the 2016 Climb to Conquer Cancer: Erick Acevedo, Amanda Adams, Ken Adams, Suzi Adams, Margarita Angheven, Sam Austin, Michael Baca, Matthew Braccia, Amber Bremer, Scott Bremer, Karen Butler, Mackenzie Butler, Anthony Cantu, Kelly Casey, Dean Cerimeli, Codie Church, Kristine Collins, Saundra Cotton, Jean Covington, Manuel Cuellar, Prescilla Cuellar, Marlon Daniels, Angie DeWinter, Luke Delgado, Elisha Dudley, Norman Dudley, Steve Dufresne, Brittany Dukarm, France Duran, Sandra Duran, Mandy Flanagan, Robert Flanagan, Margie Fonseca Vega, Eva Franco, Marie Friend, Alicia Galaviz, Joey Gieser, James Gonzales, Monica Granillo, Michael Gurstell, Phyllis Gurstell, Mirna Gutierrez, Paula Haber, Tina Holz, Alicia Jacobo, Jerrica Johnston, Karema King, Kirk Lanctot, Andrew Lindholn, Maghen Lindholm, Diana Lizardo, Maritza Lomba, Naomy Lopez, Yvette Lovato, Allison Lunsford, Anthony Manquero, Richelle Manquero, Jordan Mcgarry Farr, Cathy Mcgarry King, Nora McKinnon, Mikita McWhite, Zac Michaels, Kamiah Miller, Laura Miller, Ronald Miller, Diane Monzu, Bill Neff, Jeannie Neff, Courtney Neyra, Diego Neyra, Josh Nies, Karena Nies, Adrew Olson, Jeanne Olson, Silvia Olson, Angel Orozco, Iveth Otero, Blanca Quintero, John Quintero, Jenna Repkin, Linda Reyher, Tony Reyher, Jeanne Rohrer, Laura Rollins, Latasha Ross, Chasan Royer, Ben Sailer, Kathy Schultz, Morgan Smith, Lisa Soldano, Daniel Stanley, Paul Stanley, Stefanie Stanley, April Stapley, Hugh Stapley, Taylor Stoltzner, Stacey Stubbs, Fred Tuffly, Isabel Valle, Leonel Valle, Rosario Valle, Nita Vazquez, Patricia Velez, Carlos Vizcarra, Melissa Vizcarra, Michelle Vukov-Mikel, Alexis Wagner, Preston Wagner, Bobbie Webb, Adam Weeby, Teagan White, Tracey Williams, Nicolle Zavala and Samantha Zavala.
Why do you think it is important to give back to your community? How do you give back?