An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
By Andy Ishii | October 23, 2015

Many may cringe when they hear that they would have to drive 100 miles let alone run 100 miles. Office Essentials’ Ted Gruener’s commitment goes far beyond that of the norm. For months, Gruener trained religiously in preparation for one of the most daunting feats of physical endurance he's ever undertaken – the Leadville “Race Across the Sky," a 100-mile run along some of the most arduous terrain in the Colorado Rockies which took place on August 22.

“It was by far one of the hardest races I have ever competed in, but knowing I was doing it for City of Hope helped me push through the challenging times,” said Gruener.

Ted Gruener (with medal) pictured with members of his “TG Crew” holding a City of Hope banner at the finish line.

“The challenge is staying mentally tough (or stubborn) and vowing not to quit. When I felt my lowest, which happened about four to five times on the mountain that day, I thought about my sister Shelli, and my co-workers Shirley, Sue and those fighting cancer every day. They don’t have the option of quitting! We are working hard to find a cure but until that time, they courageously keep fighting.  Battling the mountain was so much smaller than their daily fight. That inspired me to keep fighting, too!” said Gruener.

“That’s why it was important for us to make a difference by supporting City of Hope and their mission so that one day, cancer will be a thing of the past,” added Gruener.

Office Essentials inaugural Cornholing for Hope event.

After the completion of the “Race Across the Sky," Gruener and Office Essentials continued their fundraising efforts for City of Hope by hosting their inaugural “Cornholing for Hope” event. Cornholing resembles a game of beanbags (bags actually filled with corn kernels) that are tossed at a raised wooden board with a circle cut out as a goal. Opponents stand by their boards, 30 feet apart from each other, and see who can score the most points.

Thanks to the generosity and commitment of Gruener and the Office Essentials team, more than $12,000 was raised to support cancer research and treatment at City of Hope.

Read more about Gruener's “Race Across the Sky.