DUARTE, Calif. — For the fourth year in a row, members of the Southern California produce industry teamed up to fight cancer in women.

This year, 155 members of Team Produce, under the leadership of captain Marty Craner, owner and president of B&C Fresh Sales, Orange, raised more than $15,000 for the Walk for Hope Nov. 7.

The funds support the City of Hope cancer hospital and research center.

In addition, produce-related companies provided $25,000 in sponsorship fees, and local produce firms donated $80,000 worth of fruits and vegetables to race participants and visitors.

“It’s a privilege to be able to work with all of our local produce vendors, suppliers, wholesalers and growers to support such a great cause,” Craner said. “The City of Hope does a lot of excellent work.”

For the first time, this year’s walk was expanded to include all women’s cancers, not just breast cancer.

Team Produce takes on women’s cancer

Tom Burfield

Participants in the Nov. 7 Walk for Hope in Duarte, Calif., enjoy fresh fruit donated by the Southern California produce industry. Including corporate sponsorships and in-kind donations, the industry contributed more than $100,000 to fight cancer in women during the fundraiser.

Team Produce takes on women’s cancer

Tom Burfield

Roger Schroeder, vice president of produce operations for Stater Bros. Markets, and Marty Craner, owner and president of B&C Fresh Sales, hand out fresh fruit at the Walk for Hope in Duarte, Calif., Nov. 7.

“We’re grateful for the support from the produce industry to help save more women’s lives,” said Cheryl Kennick, senior director of development, City of Hope. “They contribute tremendously to the lifesaving research and treatment programs for women’s cancers.”

Among those who supported this year’s fundraiser were Albertsons Southern California Division, Fullerton; B&C Fresh Sales; Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard; Bristol Farms, Torrance; Coast Produce Co., Los Angeles; Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash.; Davis-Lewis Orchards, Garden Grove; DLJ Produce Inc, Industry; Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village; Hollandia Produce LLC, Carpinteria; Jons Markets, Los Angeles; Odwalla Inc., Half Moon Bay; Perimeter Sales & Merchandising Inc., Los Alamitos; Progressive Produce Corp., Los Angeles; Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale; San Miguel Produce Inc., Oxnard; Stater Bros. Markets, San Bernardino; Umina Bros. Inc., Los Angeles; and Westlake Produce Co., Los Angeles.

Several such walks were in cities throughout the U.S. this year. The Los Angeles event was presented by Albertsons.

“City of Hope is a remarkable organization that touches so many in so many ways,” said Steve Lawler, business development manager, produce and floral, Albertsons Southern California Division. “To be able to help sponsor and support Walk for Hope is very special treat for me and to many of those at Albertsons."