Benefit set to help Valley girl obtain new leg |

Benefit set to help Valley girl obtain new leg

by Sharlene Irete

Like most people, Lenna Fagan doesn’t like to speak in front of a crowd and doesn’t feel comfortable in the spotlight. But being the subject of a fundraising effort is giving the 14 year-old a lot of exposure.

“The Reno Rodeo Foundation picked one person for 2007 so I’m going to be famous,” Lenna said.

When asked if she’s ready for all the attention, she said, “Yep.”

The Reno Rodeo Foundation contributed $15,000 toward a $47,500 prosthetic leg being made for Lenna. As the Wish Program recipient, Lenna will be in the 2007 Reno Rodeo parade and ride into the arena on a horse during the rodeo.

Almost half of the cost of the leg with its microprocessor knee has been donated but it is up to Lenna, her family and a network of friends to raise the balance. They hope to do so during the Leg for Lenna Benefit at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville.

The Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School student was born with just one leg and after years without a prosthetic limb, Lenna and her family were introduced to a certified prosthetist who could build her a C-leg.

The C-leg, made by Otto Bock HealthCare, has a microprocessor-controlled knee that reads a person’s gait, speed and weight distribution to allow for taking stairs and climbing hills.

The prosthetist Rick Riley played a big part in bringing Lenna’s situation to the attention of the Reno Rodeo Foundation and Rotary International.

Lenna and Riley spoke to acknowledge the rodeo foundation’s contribution on Sept. 11.

“I’m still nervous speaking in front of people,” Lenna said. “Rick did most of the talking.”

Lenna has asked Ted Nagel to sing the song “Mountains” by Lonestar at the benefit. A Carson Valley resident who was the focus of a fundraising event in July to supply him with a new electric wheelchair, Nagel is known for his singing with the Chorus of the Comstock barbershop quartet.

“I love to sing, it’s my passion,” said Nagel. “I appreciated Lenna asking me.

“This is a neat cause and I’m totally aware how this community comes through for people. I’m pretty sure they’ll come through for Lenna.”

The Leg for Lenna Benefit will have raffles, silent auction items and dessert. The event will feature entertainment by David John of the Comstock Cowboys.

Raffle items include a TV, a Kirkwood Ski Resort season pass and a scenic flight in a Cessna 206. Also donated by the Carson Valley Inn is an over-night stay with dinner at Fiona’s and breakfast at Katie’s.

Benefit organizers are still looking for donations of big ticket raffle items. For information on how to help, call Meredith Fagan at 265-7215 or Denise Axelson at (775) 790-3659.