After two of his longtime friends — Judge Michael Fondi and businessman Cletus Wandler — were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Robey Willis organized the first Carson City Kiwanis Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day in 2014.
He lost them both — Fondi in 2016 and Wandler in 2015 — but his event is still going strong, in memory of his friends and to give hope to future patients.
“All I’ve ever known pancreatic cancer to be is a death sentence,” Willis said. “I just want to see people live through this darn thing.”
The sixth annual fundraiser, which features a golf tournament, fun run and bench press, will be Sept. 21 at the Silver Oak Golf Course.
Willis said golfers should sign up as soon as possible.
“People are starting to register already,” he said. “The golf tournament has sold out each year.”
The four-person scramble golf tournament begins at 9 a.m., and Michael Hohl Motors is donating a car for a hole in one. It features a men’s, women’s and mixed divisions, also senior men’s women, and mixed divisions. All members of a senior team must 55 years of age and older.
The entry fee remains $100 per person. Entry forms can be picked up at the Silver Oak Golf Course Club House and at the Carson City Kiwanis website.
This year’s walk/run will change distances to a 2 mile and an 8K.
“It’s a warm up for the Nevada Day Classic,” Willis said.
The run begins at 8 a.m. Registration is $30 for the 8K; $20 for the 2 mile; and $10 for the kids 12 and under fun run. Register on active.com; Kaia FIT and Blue Zone Sports at their Carson City and South Lake Tahoe stores.
The bench press championships will begin 7 a.m. on the Silver Oak patio. The categories include men’s and women’s divisions for those 18 years old to 55 years old. There is the senior men’s and women’s division’s for those between 55 years old and 70 years old.
A new division, super seniors, has been added for the those older than 70 years old. There also is the teenage division for those between 13 and 17 years of age. Finally, there is a kids division for those 12 years old and younger. Cost is $10 for three lifts.
“Each year, every event starts to get a little bigger as it gets better known,” Willis said.
The bulk of the proceeds from the event go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the national organization providing support, resources, volunteer opportunities and hope for people fighting the disease.
The remaining 25 percent goes to local scholarships.
For information, contact Robey Willis at RobeyBarb@sbcglobal.net or (775) 882-8587.