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In three short years, the San Diego Together4Hope two-day/40 mile walk for City of Hope has raised more than $150,000. Much of the success goes to the ‘crew,’ a dedicated group of volunteers working tirelessly to make sure walkers are fed, hydrated, cheered for and kept on course for the 40-mile journey.

Nine-year-old Alison Newman is one very special crew member. A part of the event from the first, she joined her mom, Joy Newman, in 2012 for the 40th mile, crossing the finish line hand-in-hand. Alison and her mother have been crew members for the last two years, serving as official route leaders. And in 2014, Alison not only biked the entire course with her mom, she played a big part in the closing ceremonies by handing out medals to all the walkers at the finish line.

Robyn Hima, director of philanthropy for the City of Hope San Diego Regional Office calls Alison a remarkable young lady. “Her compassion maturity and outlook on life should serve as an inspiration to not only kids her age, but adults worldwide. If I could, I would hire her today as a professional fundraiser. But until she gets a little older, I’ll continue to admire and value her as a key volunteer.

In addition to recruiting friends to be route cheerleaders for the 2015 walk, Alison has inspired her Girl Scout troop to dedicate a portion of their cookie sales to fund admit kits for City of Hope. Admit kits, filled with games and goodies, are given to City of Hope’s youngest patients to help bring a few smiles to a very scary time. And bringing smiles to the community and beyond is exactly what Alison does best.