'LaRena's Race' May 10 at French Ford Middle School

May 10, all northern Nevada residents are invited to join "The LaRena Smith Bengoa Run, Ride or Walk for the Cure."

The 12th annual event will take place on Saturday, May 10, at French Ford Middle School.

The race will begin at 10 a.m.; registration is from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Registration fees are $25 for adults, $25 for phantom racers, $20 for team members or senior citizens, and $10 for children under 10.

All registrants will receive a free goodie bag with a race t-shirt; a continental breakfast will also be available free of charge.

A raffle and silent auction will be held in conjunction with the race. Participants do not need to be present to win.

Four homemade quilts, gift certificates and other gift items, including Mother's Day items, will be available.

All proceeds from the race event go to help those in Humboldt and Lander counties who are undergoing cancer treatments.

The race courses are 1, 3 or 5 miles long, and participants are encouraged to have fun and make the race their own.

There will be competitive runners and bikers, but also many who enjoy the course at their own pace. Strollers, bikes, wagons, carts, horses, golf carts or motorcycles are welcome!

This year's theme is "Celebrate Life, Search for a Cure." Mary Maher Bengoa, who co-organizes the event with her mother Amorita Maher, said the past 12 years have brought many reasons to celebrate.

"As I look back over the years of this event, I am so excited to see where our organization and this event have come," she said.

"It has been beautiful to see that loss and feelings of sadness and frustration from not being to help a loved one beat cancer have turned into an active way to fight cancer and to change people's lives for the better."

Bengoa said many of those who have received assistance have shared parts of their own private struggles.

"They have found such relief in having what little help we can provide; it drives those in our group to keep working to make that available to those in need."

Bengoa said that help wouldn't be possible without the local business and community members who give so generously.

"We can't thank them enough," she said. "We appreciate all that they give and know that smaller donations from some are just as big a sacrifice as bigger gifts from others."

Since 2003, the Larena's Race Foundation has distributed $170,000 to 135 cancer fighters in the Humboldt and Lander communities.

Applications for assistance and more information are available by visiting the group's website at larenasrace.org, or by calling Amorita Maher at (541) 585-4072, Mary Maher Bengoa at (775) 635-8520, or Jeannie McRae at (775) 623-4069.

Donations can be made to the LaRena's Race account at any Wells Fargo Bank.