14th Annual Believe Walk Raises Over $1.2 Million in the Fight Against Cancer

San Bernardino, California (October 25, 2021) – The annual Believe Walk, co-founded by Annie Sellas, Cathy Stockton, and the late Nancy Varner along with Stater Bros. Charities, had gone virtual for a consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not stop the Believe Walk community from achieving a record-breaking fundraising milestone. People from near and far came together, virtually, united in one mission and belief that no one should face cancer alone.  

Because of the amazing efforts and generosity of Believe Walk fundraisers, donors, and sponsors, over $1.2 million was raised in the fight against cancer.  Stater Bros. Markets’ company-wide efforts played a huge role in the fundraising success.  Together with their valued customers and vendor partners, Stater Bros. teammates raised over $900,000 through a chainwide in-store campaign and online fundraising.

Proceeds will continue to fund programs and services at local organizations making great strides in cancer care. This support includes patient navigation services, transportation to and from appointments, advanced screening and equipment, financial assistance with rent, utilities and groceries, home healthcare for terminal patients, and much more. 

Grant beneficiaries:

  • Beloved Foundation
  • Desert Cancer Foundation
  • Loma Linda University Cancer Center
  • Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center
  • Redlands Community Hospital
  • Riverside University Health System Foundation
  • St. Bernardine Medical Center
  • The Care Project
  • The Pink Ribbon Place at Riverside Community Health Foundation

“The Believe Walk community stepped up in a big way, and we are eternally grateful for their unwavering support.  Cancer patients and their families need our help now more than ever. These funds will help alleviate some of the stress and financial hardship that families face throughout their cancer journey,” said Danielle Oehlman, Director, Stater Bros. Charities.

The Believe Walk, led by Stater Bros. Charities and Inland Women Fighting Cancer, is a life-changing event that brings a community together to celebrate, remember, and honor loved ones affected by cancer. What started as a grassroots event in downtown Redlands 14 years ago, with over 1,500 participants, had grown to nearly 12,000 participants in 2019, becoming one of the premier fundraising events in the Inland Empire.  To date, over $6.1 million has been invested in local programs and services to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.

This achievement results from a shared vision between the three co-founders, Annie Sellas, Cathy Stockton, and the late Nancy Varner. In 2007, the ladies crossed paths while in treatment and embarked on a journey to transform cancer care in their communities. A year later, the ladies approached Stater Bros. Markets’ late Executive Chairman, Jack H. Brown, to discuss their vision for starting a charity walk, and the rest is history.

As their friendship grew, Annie, Cathy, and Nancy formed an unbreakable bond that led to the formation of Inland Women Fighting Cancer, a committee of women united to raise funds and awareness for the Believe Walk. 

“It continues to be a privilege to help people in our community with all cancers, having been a survivor and standing on God’s word, “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23),” said Annie Sellas, Believe Walk co-founder.  “And we truly appreciate the Stater Bros. Markets team for their efforts and rallying behind this great cause,” added Annie.

“From the onset, our wonderful Believe Walk has been blessed with the support of Stater Bros. Charities and our caring community.  A big thank you to all our Believers for their continued support for cancer patients and their families in the Inland Empire,” stated Cathy Stockton, Believe Walk co-founder. “Next year IWFC looks forward to walking the beautiful streets of Redlands together while feeling the love and joy shared by all,” added Cathy.

Virtual or not, the Believe Walk community has continuously demonstrated that we are better and stronger together, especially during a time of great need.  Because of these fundraising efforts, cancer patients can continue to get the care they need today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Stater Bros. Charities and Inland Women Fighting Cancer look forward to returning to downtown Redlands in 2022 to commemorate the 15th annual Believe Walk.  Ready. Set. BELIEVE!

About Believe Walk

The Stater Bros. Charities and Inland Women Fighting Cancer Believe Walk support the fight against all types of cancer. The Believe Walk is committed to raising critical funds that support programs and services at local cancer-fighting organizations in Southern California. Together with our participants, donors, and sponsors, the Believe Walk has invested over $6.1 million to improve the quality of life for those affected by cancer. To learn more, visit believewalk.com.

About Stater Bros. Charities

Stater Bros. Charities is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports critical needs in the communities where Stater Bros. Markets employees live and work. Since 2008, Stater Bros. Charities has invested over $36 million in countless local organizations and causes that benefit hunger relief, children’s well-being, education, health, help for our nation’s veterans and active service members. Funds are raised throughout the year from generous customers, supplier friends, and caring members of the Stater Bros. Supermarket Family. To learn more, visit staterbros.com.

About Inland Women Fighting Cancer

In 2008, co-founders Annie Sellas, Cathy Stockton, and the late Nancy Varner recruited a small group of committed women within the Inland Empire to form a Believe Walk advisory committee, “Inland Women Fighting Cancer.” As advocates for the Believe Walk, IWFC partners with Stater Bros. Charities to provide vision, fundraising insight, and project development to the Believe Walk each year. To learn more, visit believewalk.com.