by Amie Rodgers
On May 14th, the sun was shining down on over 300 walkers as they took part in the Sue’s Crew 5th Annual 30-Mile Walk. This year had the largest number registered at 379 and at the time of publication, more than $33,000 had been raised with proceeds going to the Summit Healthcare Cancer Center, the American Cancer Society in Cumberland, MD, and the American Cancer Society in Show Low.
Sue’s Crew AZ has come a long way from the first year where local resident Jim Hillebrecht diligently walked over twenty miles to raise funds for cancer research. “The story starts back in Cumberland, Maryland, where my wife, Susan, died of breast cancer. My daughter, Kristen, still lives in Maryland. She is the cog of the Sue’s Crew machine. She started it in Maryland and of course, I was out here, not doing anything,” he chuckles. “After having a quadruple bypass, I decided to start Sue’s Crew AZ. The first year, I did the walk myself. I wanted to walk twenty-six miles, but I can’t add so I ended up walking 27.2. Then I was upset with myself because I was so close to thirty; so that is how it became a thirty-mile walk from Show Low to Pinetop-Lakeside and back again.
The next year, eleven other people joined me. Five of us finished the entire thirty miles. We gave the Cancer Society $10,000. The next year, more than a hundred people walked and we met our goal of $30,000.”
Last year, not even some of the coldest, wettest, nastiest weather could stop more than a hundred walkers from braving the elements.
With so many doing so much to support this cause, Jim Hillebrecht is overwhelmed with gratitude when it comes to thanking the many people and businesses that have come forward to support Sue’s Crew AZ. “This is not all about Susan Hillebrecht or me. We are just one story. There are thousands of stories like our around the country. There are many stories here in our community and that is why we walk. We walk to salute their bravery and refusal to quit despite being tired and in pain. There are no awards given to those who walk 30 miles because we don’t want to diminish the value of those who walk 2 miles because that is all they can do. The reward is in challenging yourself and joining the fight to end this thing we call cancer.”
Even though we are sure we may have forgotten a few names, duplicated some, or terribly misspelled others, please see the special pull-out poster in the centerspread of this issue commemorating the many community members who have put one foot in front of the other to make a difference. You are appreciated!
The 2017 Sue’s Crew Walk will be on May 13th. For more information, to make a pledge or to register as a walker, please call Jim at (602) 717-6746. You can also visit www.suescrewaz.org and find them on Facebook.
Kristen Ingram, Angie Garling, Mike Bosley and Adria Acosta of White Mountain Purified Water & Ice, Distinktive Autobody, Vinnedge Signworks, Paxman Photography, Amie Rodgers of the Maverick Magazine, Mike Leiby/White Mountain Independent, Bill Bess, Summit Healthcare, The American Cancer Society, Show Low Police, Pinetop-Lakeside Police, Navajo County Sheriff’s Department, ADOT, Navajo County Engineer Bill Bess, Sequoia School, Mindy Savoia, Deanna Lee, Tina Ellis, Sherril Phillips, Susan Cioni, Richard J. Cioni, Jr., Summer Lang, Minda Simmons, Anne Burnett, Wicky Budisazich, Navapache Electric, Bob & Donna Rouleau, Melissa Buckley, Alexis Knapp, White Mountain Websites, Jimmie Jayne, The Bistro at Annie’s, Christian Motorcycle Association, Department of Public Works, Jason Owens, Cellular One, Theresa Aguilar, North Star Business Center, James T, Fools Hollow Band, Desert Island Band, Show Low High School Pep Band, The John Thomas Band, Fat Chance Band, Father Kerry, Steve Bacon, McKay Lang, Bodyworks, New Horizons Physical Therapy, Home Depot, Rob Hephner, Teddy Croney, WME Theaters, Donna & Company, Brown & Russo Insurance, White Mountain Drywall, Church of Our Savior, Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce, Big 5, Siringo, National Bank of Arizona, Jessica and Luke Waldroup & Camp Tatiyee, Cattlemen’s, Aspen Ridge Vet, White Mountain Foot & Ankle, Dr. Ryan Hall, Persnikkity’s, Pro Health Chiropractic, Sue Robertson, Lakeside Family Health, Recreation Resource Management, Pine Needle Embroidery, J&T’s Wildlife Outdoor, White Mountain Radio, We Amuse, Rod Jones, Bob Owens, Connie Lolmaugh, Amy Adams, Dr. Brian Fuller, Dr. Craig Brady, The Lodge Sports Bar, Amy Herndon, Denise Albo, Joyce Alexander, Karen Anderson, Daniel Satterlee, Gabriel Bustillos, Jason Rooney, Mary Ann Andresen, Torsten Andresen, James Andrews, Patty Andrews, Debbie Anglemyer, John Antoni, Mary Ann Antonini, Brandon Armijo, Geraldine Armijo, Gilbert Armijo, Kristen Armijo, Matthew Armijo, Anna Antencio, Mercy Beach, Brenda Bejarano, Isabel Bejarano, James Bejarano, Nathaniel Bejarano, Bonnie Bell, Melody Bell, Becky Belnap, Newell Belnap, Sierra Belnap, Sydney Belnap, Karen Bender, Austin Benlow, Beth Bergman, Steven Bernasconi, Kathleen Block, Keaton Bollschweiler, Teresa Bollschweiler, Charles Bondi, Ezra Borrego, Savannah Osborne, Tenney Borrego, Newel Brewer, Trisha Brewer, Melissa Buckley, Wayne Buckley, Jim Burden, Kimberly Burleson, Addy Buzo, Chrissy Carlson, Brad Carlyon, Joshua Carlyon, Michele Carlyon, Kya Carroll, Aaron Casey, Patricia Castaneda, Laurie Chikusa, Paulette Christian, Brittany Clark, Amanda Conrad, Amy Conrad, Bekki Cook, Tanner Cook, Tawneel Cook, Thomas Cook, Ashley Craig, Evelyn Cromer, Abbie Crozier, Kathy Curran, Gail DeCross, Tracy Ditton, Aaron Dobson, LaShelle Dobson, Michelle Dodd, Brittany Dykstra, Mark Empey, Ada Ericksen, Aimee Eriksen, Angel Espinoza, Lynda Faber, Rich Faber, Amariah Fabian, Tiffany Fellows, Amber Ferguson, Brit Ferguson, Baili Ferrell, Sarah Ferrell, Skyler Ferrell, Jennifer Fite, Austin Flowers, Cayden Flowers, Taira Flowers, Annie Forpahl, Rhonda Fox, Kyriana Gandy, Elijah Gantchoff, Issaiah Gantchoff, Brenda Garvin, Michelle Gatto, Terry Gipson, Graciela Gonzalez, Courtney Graham, Lilly Grant, Heather Gray, Kaisey Gray, Laura Gurk, Megan Guthmiller, Michelle Hansen, Gary Heilman, Victoria Hernandez, Amanda Hill, Chandler Hill, Trinity Holmes, Xaylia Holmes, Renie Hooley, Scott Hooley, Bailey Horrall, Veronica Hoskins, Lisa Hughes, Trinity Hughes, Donna Hurstrom, Candance Hutson, Crystal Hutson, Kristi Iannucci, Avery James, Cassie James, Lisa James, Mallory James, Callie Jensen, Michaelyn Johndrow, Tony Johndrow, Grete Johnsen, Michelle Johnston, Rebekah Jones, Theresa Jones, April Kelley, Sandy Kerszykowski, Emerald Kizzar, Johonn Kizzar, Fran Klein, Kathy Krieg, Shar Kuhns, Linda Lacy, Cody Lang, Megan Lang, Tracy LaRue, Bill Lasley, Brody Ledford, Elorah Ledford, Royce Ledford, Theresa Ledford, Michelle Lee, Danny Lewis, Lynn Lewis, Daizy Lilly, Dee Dee Lilly, Dinny Lilly, James Lilly, Sarah Linder, Riley Lindmer, Brad Lockhart, Julie Lockhart, Joan Lora, Amanda Luptak, Janel Magill, Kalman Mannis, Haley Mariscal, Anthony McKey, Christian McKey, Cody McKey, Elizabeth McKey, Jessica Merritt, Anthony Messina, Lori Mettert, Shalayn Mettert, Tammy Mettert, Annette Morales, Reiny Morales, Victoria Morales, Crickett Morgan, Mariah Morgan, Larry Nicholls, Stephanie Nicholls, Pat Nolte, Katrina Obenstine, Crystal O’Donnell, Tanner O’Hernandez, Shanice Orea, Yner Orea, Kekoa Orlando, Natane Orlando, Zachery Orlando, Alex Orton, Kristen Orton, Preston Orton, Wesley Orton, Savannah Osbourne, Holly Ozog, Savannah Patterson, Shirley Patterson, Ashley Peck, Jackie Pepper, Crytal Petersen, Joe Petersen, Nicci Petersen, Ian Pettit, Kerry Pettit, Kyra Pettit, Michael Pettit, Linda Philbrook, Bhavani Polvino, Delsin Polvino, Shayan Polvino, Brenda Popp, Kara Popp, Elizabeth Prouty, Sarah Prouty, Joshua Pyatt, Michelle Quintana, Rachel Quintana, Sandy Quintana, Julie Radney, Steve Rodney, Lacey Rogers, Yvonne Rojas, Marcella Rominger, Tera Rossiter, Brent Roubal, Dale Roud, Debbie Roud, Cristina Saldana, Kathy Sandoval, Shannon Schroder, Mary Jo Shauinger, Sherri Shaw, Mathew Shriver, Michael Shriver, Mary Sikora, Stacy Simmons, Dana Sipes, Kassandra Small, Amber Smedley, Samantha Smith, Bob Snow, Susan Sobek, Samantha Spear, Trisha Spear, Josiah Spillman, Malaina Spillman, Tina Stabenow, Anne Steinaug, Marie Stewart, Kristen Stodghill, Lisa Stodghill, Matt Stodghill, Markus Stokkenes, Jerry Stone, Karen Stone, Nancy Sunshine, Drake Testerman, Leah Thomas, David Thompson, Roxanne Thompson, Carrie Tiernan, Freddy Tiernan, Kylie Tiernan, Peter Tims, Jill Tinkel, Jacci Tinkel, Laura Tippets, Sunshine Tippets, Dawn Tomlinson, Shaun Ulvestad, Audrey Walker, Benjamin Walker, Christine Walker, Jade Walker, Jesse Walker, Patrick Walker, Shylee Walker, Roberta Walsh, Jonelle Wartenberg, Daniel Weaver, Japheth Weaver, Kevin Weaver, Michael Weaver, Tammy Weaver, Joan Webster, Juanita Wooley, Timothy Wooley, Al Wyatt, Charlotte Yazzie, Pauline Yeager, Jim Hillebrecht