Alaska Airlines employees host “Sitka Sue Walk” on April 26 to help fight cancer

Participants line up for the 2011 Sitka Sue Walk. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Buggins)

Participants line up for the 2011 Sitka Sue Walk. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Buggins)

The Alaska Airlines station in Sitka has been hit hard by cancer in recent years, which is why the local airline employees will host the Seventh Annual Sitka Sue Walk at 7:30 a.m. (meet at 7:15 a.m.) on Saturday, April 26, at the Rocky Gutierrez Airport.

This annual walk honors the memory of long-time Alaska Airlines employee Sue “Sitka Sue” Frank, who passed away in 2007 from lung cancer. In 2012, the airline lost another Sitka employee, John Gassman, to cancer. Saturday’s five-kilometer walk from the airport to the Sitka Fire Hall and back will honor both in a “Flight to Fight” cancer. Participants can walk or run one way or round trip, and this is a dog-friendly event.

Sitka Sue was known for her walks around Sitka, and her goal was to walk at least seven miles a day. After her death, a park bench was placed in her honor in front of the Sitka Fire Hall, where firefighters fondly remember the many meals she cooked for for them over the years. After her death, the local

Alaska Airlines employees dedicated their new employee wellness walking program to her.

Donations of $10 are suggested, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society‘s Sitka Relay For Life, which will be held Aug. 15-16 at Sitka’s Moller Park track/football field. This is one of many ACS Relay For Life events around the country (here’s more info about the Sitka event from this KCAW-Raven Radio interview in February 2013).

Alaska Airlines will have a team at the Sitka Sue Walk, and there will be luminarias to honor Sue and John. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Sheri Buggins at 738-0254.

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