McKenzie is Pineapple's Campaign Manager. This is her second year working for LLS, but has personally fundraised more than $50,000 over the last 6 years for them, in honor of her mom. McKenzie is a passionate outdoorswoman who loves climbing, hiking, foraging, but most all, mountaineering. She recently reached a new high point of 19,790' feet in Peru via a challenging ice route. She has taken a real pineapple to the summit of Mount Rainier 4 times, and carries a smaller resin one on all her climbs as a reminder of those fighting blood cancer. McKenzie volunteers her spare time as guide and board member for Recovery Beyond and for Soulumination, her mother's non profit.
In rain, snow, or sun, but mostly rain, Tom has been the on-course manager for Pineapple since 2007. He's placed a ridiculous number of obstacles in three different parks. In his spare time, he arranges lazier events like dining and tubing down a river. He admires our EMTs who so often get the runners to finish the course. He apologizes to any runner who waits for an obstacle -- while they're wet and muddy and, most likely, rained upon.
Justin, Trisha and their family are a huge part of Pineapple. Not only do they have one our biggest teams, at 42 last year, but Justin's work, Charles Schwab of Downtown Seattle, sponsors the event. This is their 5th year participating and are some of our most involved members. Justin's father, Rusty, battles multiple myeloma and is an honoree for the event this year. They originally got involved because Trisha wanted to do something meaningful, bring awareness to blood cancers, raise funds to battle this disease, and bring hope to those fighting.
Scott formed his team, Chet's Swing Riders in 2011 in honor of his close friend Chet Clerihue who was dragged down by Lymphoma, and all people battling blood born cancers. Chet was born and raised in Colorado, to honor that, their team wears wrangler getups and giant red cowboy hats. Scott enjoys anything outside- bikes, hikes, climbs, skiing, fishing, and general monkeying around. Which makes him perfect for Pineapple.
Nicole is a second year committee member for Pineapple and 4th year participant. She is involved in honor of her mother who passed away from blood cancer last year. Nicole is a veterinarian in Tacoma, loves her 3 dogs and hikes all over the state with Pineapple medallions on her backpack to bring awareness. She has recently gotten into climbing and scrambling through the Mountaineers. Her team is always one of our largest and you may recognize her because she participates in a T-Rex costume, and her husband in a similar get up. Her sister is flying out from Hawaii to join this year in honor of Nola, who is dearly missed.
Nate is a second year participant and committee member. He is involved because his bff's mom has blood cancer. Watching what their family goes through inspired him participate and join the committee. His first year team had 25 people and raised almost $7,000. Nate is the program manager for a non profit, Recovery Beyond. They are a supplemental addiction recovery program that teaches their participants how to climb mountains, backpack and experience the gifts of the outdoors. Nate is a great cook, listener and leader.
Lynette has fought non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for the past 7 years. She has been treated 4 times and is on 'watch and wait' with her oncologist at SCCA, which means she will likely be treated again in the near future. Since being diagnosed, Lynette has been passionate about raising funds for LLS. Personally she has raised over $127,000. Lynette is the founder of her own non profit, Soulumination, they takes photos of terminally ill children, free of charge. Many of Soulumination's photographers donate their time to capture Pineapple for us.
Becki has a close family member who was diagnosed with an incurable lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma in 1989. She refers to them as a "silent survivor". Not everyone is comfortable telling their cancer story because they are afraid of being treated differently or they may have survivors remorse. In 2015 Becki was approached by another person with cancer and asked to work on a documentary film about cancer, giving her an opportunity to be a public voice for many who can't be. She became involved with the Pineapple Classic and LLS because she believes in the organizations mission in funding research and improving quality of life for families and patients living with cancer. Without organizations like LLS her "silent survivor" would not be where she is today.
Aaron has participated in Pineapple for 8 years, and is a second year committee member. He participates in honor of his brother, who lost his battle with blood cancer. His team honors him by wearing animal hats, an ode to his animal safari in Africa. If you have ever met Aaron, you will immediately recognize his huge smile and be welcomed by his outgoing personality.
Bailey has been a Pineapple participant and top fundraiser for the past 8 years. We are holding a spot on the committee for her as she just had twins and bought a house with her husband!
Phillip works for Mortenson construction who has been an amazing partner and sponsor for the past 4 years. Phillip has been a great fundraiser and team leader during that time. He is instrumental in helping us with logistics that in turn have saved the event money that can go back to blood cancer patients and research.
Jen has been involved with Pineapple for the last 5 years. She does so much behind the scenes for us. Her company, College Hill is not only a sponsor but works with McKenzie to make all the artwork, provide the t-shirts, incentive store and so much more. They also donate a ton of time on projects for Pineapple. We don't know what we would do with Jen and College Hill!