11th Annual Stephanie L. Miner Event One to Remember

Members of the SLV Health family gather with friends and participants of the 11th Annual Stephanie L. Miner 5K Walk/Run.

Over 700 people made their way to Cole Park in Alamosa this past weekend to participate in the 11th Annual Stephanie L. Miner 5K Walk/Run. This was one of the largest turnouts the event has ever seen.

“We are thankful for all of the participants, volunteers, and sponsors that helped us make this such a successful event,” said Kelly Gurule, Foundation Director for San Luis Valley Health.

The event has raised over 40,000 dollars, with more money still coming in. The primary source of the funds raised came from t-shirt sales, which tallied over 1,000 this year. Additionally, local businesses donated money to sponsor the event, and City Market sold t-shirts out of their store.

This year’s event revolved around the development of cancer services at San Luis Valley Health, and the funds that were raised will be used towards expanding the services that the organization offers to those affected by cancer.

Highlighting this theme was Dr. Penny Cooper, San Luis Valley Health’s first full-time Oncologist, who was in attendance with Rhonda Benavidez and her family. Benavidez was diagnosed with lymphoma six months ago. She is the first in-patient chemotherapy patient at San Luis Valley Health and has received all of her services and treatment within the San Luis Valley Health organization.

Members of the Miner/Motz family

Members of the Miner/Motz family stop for a photo after completing the 11th Annual Stephanie L. Miner 5K Walk/Run.

Dr. Cooper, along with Benavidez and her family, shared a moment on stage before the event began, with Dr. Cooper praising San Luis Valley Health’s commitment to cancer services, as well as noting how it has been a pleasure to serve a patient like Benavidez.

Benavidez and her family had nothing but praise for Dr. Cooper and San Luis Valley Health, with Benavidez telling the crowd, “Dr. Cooper has literally saved my life. It has been such a blessing to stay close to home to receive my treatment. It has allowed us to minimize the costs that come with this disease and has allowed me to be close to my family.”

As the walk/run came to a completion, participants were able to drop a carnation in the river in remembrance of those affected by cancer.

Participants were then able to take part in a potato bar sponsored by the Motz/Miner family. There were also healthy snacks provided by the San Luis Valley Health Celebration Committee and an obstacle course for the younger participants.

“Each year, this event becomes more and more inspiring,” explained Gurule. “It is an opportunity for the community to come together around a cause everyone supports and allows our team to show how we are Your Trusted Partner in Health.”