Upstate California, Eastern Washington charity runs raise thousands for head and neck cancer patients

June 30, 2023

Partners in Care fundraiser debuts in Redding, returns to Tri-Cities

From costumed kids portraying their favorite superheroes to work teams united for a common cause, hundreds of runners and walkers in Northern California and Eastern Washington helped raise nearly $7,000 for head and neck cancer education, screening and treatment in a pair of recent charity events in Redding and the Tri-Cities.

The annual Partners in Care 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk debuted in Redding, California, in early April, with Missy Patten of Anderson, California, taking top honors among female participants and Gage Bellomo of Shingletown the top male finisher.

In the Tri-Cities region of Eastern Washington, 116 participants descended on Columbia Point Marina Park’s scenic Riverfront Trail in Richland for the second annual event, with another 55 volunteers donating their time.

Alexandra Nagurney of Columbia, South Carolina, was the top female finisher in Richland, with Fernando Lopez-Vega of Pasco pacing the male competitors.

“We were literally blown away by the level of enthusiasm and support at our two West Coast events, with new supporters in Redding and host of returnees and newcomers alike in Richland,” said Kathy Tolentino, foundation director of the Florida-based, nonprofit Partners in Care Foundation, which works across the country.

“These two communities deserve a huge round of thanks for helping make the cancer journeys of multiple local families a bit more manageable.”

The charitable foundation hosts a nationwide series of spring charity runs, with additional events scheduled or recently completed in Colorado, Florida, North and South Carolina and West Virginia.

The race series began 11 years ago to bring awareness to head and neck cancers and to raise money for those unable to afford costly recovery therapies that often aren’t covered by insurance or which require a very high copay.