We’re halfway through 2022 and halfway through Chugach’s 12 Months of Giving Campaign. As we hit the halfway mark, we would like to extend our gratitude to Jennifer Sodergren, who works for Chugach Alaska Services in Valdez, for nominating the American Cancer Society (ACS) as this month’s recipient of a $1,000 Chugach donation.

For Sodergren, the reason she stepped forward and nominated the ACS is the fact that cancer continues to be so prevalent. “There is no one I know who can say they do not have a friend or relative who has battled this terrible illness,” Sodergren says. “And I have personally walked in the Relay for Life in Valdez for several years with friends and family to help raise money to fight cancer.”

Millions of people walk or run in the annual Relay for Life events throughout Alaska and the United States to raise funds for the ACS. As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars are raised each year to invest in cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and treatment.

The biggest reason that Sodergren participates in the Relay For Life is the immediate benefit it provides to those impacted by cancer. “It’s the one fundraising event the ACS promotes that helps build awareness of this dreaded disease and that makes a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer HERE AND NOW!” Sodergren passionately states.

Sodergren’s enthusiasm for the Relay For Life can be traced back to the founding of the event 20 years ago when she and two of her college associates established the fundraiser in Valdez. At the time classmates Sodergren and Rainer Masters and Professor Gail Rendardson were members of Prince William Sound Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa. For Sodergren and the other members of this honor society, membership focused on more than achieving high academic scores, it also centered on bettering their community. With this higher pursue in mind, the three took on the project of introducing the Relay For Life to their town. Now two-decades later, this fundraiser brings in large numbers of participants who annually come together for a marathon evening of walking, running and fun with the collective purpose of raising money for the ACS.

One of the Chugach Employee Core Behaviors is We Build Community, which means that our employees seek to better the communities where they live and work. We’re proud of the example Jennifer Sodergren has set in building community, and since Sodergren lives and works in Valdez and since she is a founder and an ardent supporter of her local Relay For Life, Chugach is making this month’s $1,000 donation directly to the event she helped to establish: the Valdez Relay For Life.

Chugach thanks Sodergren for the work that she does on our behalf in Valdez with TCC, and we thank her for taking part in the 12 Months of Giving Campaign.

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Director Randi Jo Gause

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