6th Annual Spirit of Benny Family Friendly Fundraiser

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 03, 2017 / comments


March 17, 2012 was the first "Spirit of Benny 5K Fun Run and Walk" and it raised $5000 for seriously ill children and their families in El Dorado County. In 2013 the run was expanded to include a 10K. Since then over $35,000 has been raised. The 6th Annual Spirit of Benny 10K/5K Fun Run and Walk will be March 18th, 2017 to help Make-A-Wish grant wishes right here in El Dorado County. 

The Spirit of Benny 10K/5K Fun Run and Walk is a family friendly fundraiser that supports the seriously ill children and families of El Dorado County, CA. The staging area begins at 330 Fair Lane, Placerville and continues onto the scenic El Dorado Trail. The first half is on a slow decline and the return is on a slow incline. The 10K runners begin at 8am the 5K runners at 8:15am. Money prizes for top male and female finishers as well as ribbons for top finishers by age categories. There will be live music, a raffle and free coffee.

In its sixth year, the event honors the brief but influential life of Benny Penner who died in 2010 from Battens Disease at the  age of 5. Penner’s parents, Brad and Nancy, created this event to raise funds for nonprofit agencies that serve seriously ill children and their families. This year’s beneficiary is the Northeastern California and Northern Nevada chapter of Make-A-Wish with proceeds being designated for El Dorado County residents.

Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is special to the Milla-Penner family as it was the recipient of an all-expenses paid Make-A-Wish vacation to Disney World during Benny’s illness; a memory they will always treasure.

Benny’s twin brother Tomas now helps his parents with the run, which has consistently grown from a few hundred runners to nearly 500. Since the first Spirit of Benny run in 2012, more than $35,000 has been raised for local non-profit agencies.

“We will always be grateful to organizations who helped us make life more bearable during Benny’s illness. We appreciate the opportunity to give back to the community while honoring our son,” said Nancy Milla, Benny’s mother and race director. “We have incredible sponsors, live music and an outstanding base of community support. It’s a wonderful family event and we look forward to selling out this year.”    

The run is a professionally timed event managed by Capital Road Race Management, offering a fun yet challenging out-and-back course on one of Placerville’s favorite running routes. There are medals and prizes for top male and female finishers as well as ribbons for top finishers by age group. Gold Country Run+Sport of El Dorado Hills is sponsoring gift cards for winners. All participants will receive a technical tee and goody bag.

Online registration information and race details can be found at thespiritofbenny.org.