Although Jen Hoffmann has passed away, her memory lives on through her Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure teammates.
Team THRIVR was founded by Hoffmann and is primarily comprised of Ahwatukee Foothills residents.
Hoffmann’s husband, Greg, has taken over and become the new captain of the 38-member team.
The group will be hosting a fundraiser this Saturday, June 26, between noon and 5 p.m. at Florencia Pizza Bistro to raise money for this year’s 60-mile walk in November.
Team member Marisa Craney walked the 3-Day for the first time last year after Hoffmann passed away during her third reoccurrence of breast cancer at 37.
Hoffmann was 28 when she was first diagnosed, and Craney said her life was prolonged by the research of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
“Jen was a complete inspiration and she never complained during chemo,” Craney said. “When she passed away so young it was tragic. That was when I knew it was time for me to do something more.”
Craney said her first walk as a part of Team THRIVR was overwhelming, but through preparation and the help of cheering crowds she was able to cross the finish line.
“There was a senior couple who had two daughters both pass away from breast cancer in their 30’s. They gave me a little card with pictures of their daughters on it during the walk. It meant the world to them that we were trying to make a difference,” Craney said.
Last year Team THRIVR raised more than $90,000. This year, they have upped their goal to $125,000. The team has currently raised $46,056.
Craney said that asking for donations in this bad economy sometimes makes her uncomfortable, but that “the response I have gotten has been all positive.”
Florencia Pizza Bistro owner Val Yemetz is donating 20 percent of his proceeds from the fundraiser to Team THRIVR.
“I chose Florencia Pizza for this fundraiser because I wanted to keep the event casual and familiar,” Craney said, adding that she wanted to support Yemetz’s Ahwatukee Foothills business because his food is outstanding and he has been wonderful about doing whatever he can to help.
“We want to help raise money for a cure,” Yemetz said.
Florencia Pizza Bistro is located on 3646 E. Ray Road.
The cost of the event is $15 for adults and $10 for children. There will be buffet-style pizza, salad and drinks as well as wine tasting by Cline Cellars at the fundraiser.
There will be raffles throughout the day and a silent auction. Some items in the silent auction include a mountain bike, spa and golf packages, custom jewelry and a collectible electric guitar.
A representative from the Susan G. Komen organization will be present to answer questions about breast cancer awareness.
Erica Tiffany is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.