Susan Arrington is Zuri Group’s Director of Business Analysis, and she brings 30 years of nonprofit experience to the team. She finds the passion of nonprofits inspiring, and is personally involved with two nonprofits who have missions that are close to her own passions.
One of those nonprofits is Running Rivers, a Colorado-based organization whose mission is to facilitate the connection of people with healthy freshwater ecosystems through novel recreation events, education activities, and on-the-ground projects. Every year, Susan participates in their fundraising event, the Middle Creek Flyathlon, and this year was no exception!
Just like a triathlon, the Flyathlon contains three elements:
- Trail Running
- Fly Fishing
- Beer Drinking
“Two trails run up and down a canyon that follows Middle Creek. During the race, you must catch a trout with a fly rod. You must carry with you all that you need, and you cannot have your rod already assembled. Time is taken off of your run for the size and species of the fish you catch (all fishing is catch and release after taking a picture on your race bib which contains a ruler). When the race is over, it’s all about reliving the race (and drinking craft beer) long into the night, under the stars.”
And the Flyathlon is not the only Running Rivers event that Susan has participated in.
“Earlier in the summer, we participated in replanting along a native trout stream that had been trampled by cattle, almost destroying the fishery. Along with Trout Unlimited and other organizations, Running Rivers provided money and volunteers to help restore this beautiful stream so that the native cutthroat trout will thrive.”
This year’s Middle Creek Flyathlon was very successful, with participants raising more than $23,000 to help Running Rivers continue their mission. Susan was the second highest fundraiser in the group, raising $1,650.
“There is something about giving back to the earth that is deeply rewarding. We’ve been given so much and we often take it for granted. I don’t want to do that anymore. With more and more politicians moving away from supporting public lands, it’s up to us to support, restore, and foster a better environment for our children and grandchildren.” – Susan Arrington
Susan McNelis, a Senior Technical Project Manager here at Zuri Group, started volunteering with the Bend Spay & Neuter Project when she moved to Bend in 2006.
A lifelong animal lover, Susan was concerned about the high incidence of feral cat colonies in Bend, and wanted to do something to help. Initially, she helped with low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics, and manned Bend SNIP tables at festivals around Central Oregon- but found that what she enjoyed most was participating in Bend SNIP’s Trap/Neuter/Return Program, which focuses on reducing feral cat colonies.
“Feral cats spring from unaltered domestic pets and have to scrap out a living outdoors as wild animals; it’s a hard life out there- so reducing the colony humanely is very important”, Susan says. “Look at this adorable graphic with horrific statistics- the data doesn’t lie!”
“Trapping the cats, bringing them to Bend SNIP to get fixed, and returning them to their colonies where they can no longer procreate, ensures that these animals are allowed to live out the rest of their lives without perpetuating the problem by procreating.”
In May 2018, Susan was appointed to the Bend Spay & Neuter Project’s Board of Directors.
“I’m thrilled to take my years of professional knowledge in the technology sector to help Bend Spay & Neuter Project in ways I was not able to as a volunteer. Working with Zuri Group has given me an opportunity to work with non-profits on a regular basis allowing me to indirectly make a difference. I’ll be able to use this experience to help make a direct difference in our community by helping animals!”
Zuri Group joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon for their Bowl for Kids’ Sake event in April 2018.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ signature fundraiser. Each year, half a million people across America come together to have fun and raise money to support Big Brothers Big Sisters as they change how children grow up.
Kim Evered, the Director of Support here at Zuri Group, is the Advisory Board Chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon and has been a Big Sister for 9 years- so BBBS is an organization that is very close to our hearts.
Zuri Group was thrilled to be able to participate in this year’s event, and we look forward to participating again next year!
Some of our Zuri family participated in the MSK Cycle for Survival in New York City this March 2018.
The MSK Cycle for Survival event was founded in 2007 to raise money for rare cancer research. 100% of all money raised at these high-energy indoor team cycling events directly funds lifesaving rare cancer research.
Nationwide, the #CycleforSurvival events raised over $38 million- Patrick Shepherd participated on a team which raised over $10,000 at the event in New York City.
About 50 percent of people with cancer have a rare cancer. Rare cancers include brain, pancreatic, ovarian, stomach, all types of pediatric cancers, and many others. Even though they account for about half of all cancer diagnoses when combined, research on many rare cancers is drastically underfunded, often leaving patients with limited or no treatment options. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center—is committed to changing that reality. MSK’s close collaboration between doctors and researchers is a unique strength: new drugs and therapies developed in the lab can be moved quickly to patients’ bedsides. – Cycle for Survival
Zuri Group is proud to partner with Memorial Sloan Kettering as a client, and we’re so thrilled that members of our Zuri family were able to help contribute to the wonderful work that MSK is doing to help people beat rare cancer through new and innovative treatment research.