Above Photo: Kristine Susco (right), with Claudia Diaz at the 2016 Picnic with a Purpose
Each year, our Albuquerque office hosts a Picnic with a Purpose for our employees and their families. The event is designed to bring our employees and their families together for an evening of fun activities and great food, but with an underlying purpose to raise money for a local charity. In the last two years, we have expanded this event to include two additional fundraisers prior to the picnic. These fundraisers are designed to raise additional donations for the selected charity and provide opportunities for the staff to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
This year’s picnic was particularly important to the Albuquerque office because of the charity that was chosen. In April of this year, the Albuquerque office lost a dear friend and team member to breast cancer. Kristine Susco was an employee of Wilson & Company for over 26 years. She was a vital part of expanding the Albuquerque and Las Cruces offices and a major contributor to countless projects over the years. Kristine’s absence has been felt by all of us locally and left us wondering what we could do to honor the memory of our treasured colleague. To help us achieve this goal, we reached out to Kristine’s children and asked them to select the charity for this year’s Picnic with a Purpose. They graciously agreed and selected the Susan G. Komen organization.
The Susan G. Komen organization is a national organization, and is currently the only one that fights breast cancer on multiple fronts, including research, community health, global outreach, and public policy initiatives. They strive to make the biggest impact against breast cancer. Since its foundation, the Susan G. Komen organization has helped reduce deaths from breast cancer by 38% while on their journey to achieve their vision of a world without breast cancer. Their mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in communities. They invest in research to prevent and cure breast cancer. Their goal is to achieve a 50% reduction in the number of breast cancer deaths in the United States by the year 2026. For more information on this great organization please visit their website, http://ww5.komen.org/.
The first fundraiser we hosted was a Frito Pie Lunch on June 8th. Employees came together at lunch time to enjoy Frito Pies and raise money for the foundation. A number of employees volunteered to bring chili, and the event was a huge success. The second fundraiser was an Ice Cream Sundae Afternoon Treat on July 29th. This provided us the opportunity to cool off from the summer heat and celebrate Kristine’s birthday.
The picnic was held on July 21st at our Albuquerque office. There were a number of activities for employees and their families to enjoy, including a bouncy house, bungee run, face painting, Kona Ice, great food, an auction, and great door prizes! We also took time to celebrate Wilson & Company’s 85th Anniversary with custom coffee mugs for our employees and delicious cupcakes. We also received very generous auction item donations from some of our vendors. Delta Dental of New Mexico donated an electric toothbrush and Assured Partners of Colorado donated a 4 pack of Colorado Rockies tickets for any home game this season. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to Susan G. Komen along with all other donations collected from the fundraisers. Altogether, our employees donated $2,145 to the Susan G. Komen organization in Kristine’s memory. We want to thank everyone who made this year’s picnic such a success. We couldn’t have raised as much money as we did without the generosity of so many. In 2016, Kristine was able to enjoy these activities with us in person, and this year she was with us in spirit.