Empowerment in the face of adversity: A philanthropy perspective.
When I joined the WCA in January of 2020, the story and origins of the Susan ”SueB” Newby 5K 10k, which takes place in October, became one of the first events I was introduced to by my colleagues in the Philanthropy team. It was clear to me that this event had a special place in the hearts of many WCA staff and after hearing the details, it was easy to see why.
Susan “SueB “Newby was a Boise resident, HP employee and passionate sportswoman and equestrian. One evening she set off on a trail ride with her husband and never returned. Her husband upon his return alerted authorities that Sue’s horse had bucked and she had fallen to her death down a steep 100-foot cliff.
After news of the tragic accident spread members of the horse community, that Sue was a much-loved member of, stepped forward to tell law enforcement officials that horses very rarely behave in that way, especially with her experience and the training that her horse had. The police widened their investigation, and as they began questioning Sue’s husband on the events of that day, he took his own life. Unfortunately, it became clear that Sue had been a victim of domestic abuse for some time leading up to her death, and since this tragic event, Sue’s Family and friends have been committed to raising awareness about domestic abuse. Home is not safe for everyone, but it should be.
This year, we have decided to keep our event virtual, and there is an opportunity to participate in a 5k or 10k at any time between October 3 and October 9 during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Keeping our event virtual allows us to provide outreach to many people across our community and the wider globe about the importance of healthy relationships and to provide vital information about the signs of domestic abuse. The Staff at The WCA recognize the resilience and dedication of Sue’s family and friends. Who have in the face of such tragedy, decided to dedicate their time to promoting and supporting the vital work we do. We are committed and dedicated to making this event a success, to honor and raise awareness because abuse can affect anyone and everyone should be aware of the warning signs.
A couple of Mondays ago on Live at Lunch, we talked about our up-and-coming SueB 5K 10K, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet with and interview “live on air” 2 of Sue’s long term friends.
Both of Sue’s friends have been dedicated members of the SueB event committee for the past 12 years. As they shared their stories of how and why the event began, it became clear to me that they had made the decision many years ago, along with other friends and family that her memory would live on. Importantly, Sue’s memory is honored in a way that promotes healthy relationships and awareness that everyone is worthy of a safe, healthy and happy home.
One thing that was most moving for me during that Facebook Live at Lunch was having the opportunity to hear the personal stories that made Sue the person she was. From the tales of her soccer team triumphs to her trips downtown for dinner and dancing. These stories helped me not only get to know her but importantly humanized the vital issue of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse knows no boundaries and when I take part in the SueB 5K 10k this year I will be running in memory and in honor of all the people I know who have been victims of domestic abuse. I hope you will think about joining us this year too and running in support of those that you know. Your support will help keep Sue’s legacy alive and help the vital work to end domestic abuse for good, continue.
You can sign up here.
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