Lake Tahoe Butterfly Effect 5K surpasses participation goal | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe Butterfly Effect 5K surpasses participation goal

Jen Schmidt | Special to the Bonanza
Top finishers in the men's 30-39 age group show off their butterfly impersonation. From left, Drew Casselberry, second-place; Nick Harris, first place; and Matt van den Berg, third.
Courtesy Joy Strotz / Strotz Photography |

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The community came out in force to show its support for thyroid cancer awareness at Saturday’s Butterfly Effect 5K at the Village Green, according to event organizers.

Although this was an inaugural 5K event for the fledgling nonprofit Lake Tahoe’s Movement of Wings, 287 participants showed up to run, walk or stroll, surpassing the organization’s participation goal of 200.

The event, which aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle and create awareness of thyroid cancer, also served as a fundraiser to benefit fellow nonprofit ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc.

It was inspired by longtime Incline Village resident Devenney Leijon’s passion for running and her thyroid cancer diagnosis in October 2013.

As of Wednesday morning, the final amount of funds raised by the event is unknown, and isn’t anticipated to be known for several weeks as donations are still coming in.

Thyroid cancer survivor and special guest Eaddy Mays, who is known for roles in the film “The Blind Side” and TV series “Teen Wolf,” emceed the event.

Attendees enjoyed a post-race Zumba dance party on the Green along with food, a silent auction, face painting, a Caterpillar Dash and doggie dress-up contest.

Many booths manned by local businesses and nonprofits were present, including a “Check Your Neck” station teaching attendees how to informally screen oneself for thyroid cancer.

Thyroid cancer affects the butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck — the thyroid — which produces hormones that regulate body functions such as heart rate and body temperature.

Visit butterflyeffect5k.org to learn more.

Jen Schmidt is an Incline Village resident and a board member for Lake Tahoe’s Movement of Wings. Bonanza Reporter Margaret Moran contributed to this report.