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Racing mice benefit local kids

The Hensel family — dad John, Noah, Hunter and mom Kelsie —has been helped out by Superheroes For Hope, which is holding mouse races next Friday to benefit children dealing with serious diseases.

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

Superheroes For Hope, a Bonne Terre not-for-profit benefitting children dealing with serious illness, is holding a unique fundraiser — mouse races.

Yes, mice are set to race on Friday at Twin Oaks Winery, 6470 Hwy F, Farmington. The doors open at 6 p.m., and the first race begins at 6:30 p.m.

To attend the races, one can show up at the door and pay $25 per person or buy an eight-person table in advance for $200. For more information, contact Rhonda Hubbard at 573-518-3416 or message the Superheroes For Hope Facebook page. This is an adult-only event with a cash bar. Guests are invited to bring snacks but are asked to please not bring drinks.

According to Hubbard, founder of Superheroes For Hope, all of the proceeds from this event stay in this community and benefit local children.

Hubbard said she started the organization because she felt called to give back to the community and didn’t like not knowing where money was going with larger organizations. By creating a small, family-oriented, volunteer-based organization, Hubbard can personally give checks to families for various needs.

One family who received funds from Hubbard is the Hensel family from Desloge. The Hensels are a family of four, and the youngest, Hunter, is a 6-year-old boy who was born with a congenital abnormality of the cervical spine. During treatment for his spine, Hensel developed a rare immune deficiency called common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). This disorder causes low antibodies and a greatly increased risk of infection for Hensel.

Each week, Hensel must receive infusions of antibodies that are not naturally produced. These weekly infusions cost the Hensel family about $900 a month. The Hensels met Hubbard at a Superheroes For Hope side-by-side fundraiser earlier this year. Hensel’s father saw the event on the Superheroes For Hope Facebook page, and the family decided to participate.

Through conversation, Hubbard learned about Hensel’s health struggles and decided to help. Within days, the Hensel family was presented with a check that covered about a month’s worth of medicine.

Hubbard says the people helped by Superheroes For Hope often find the organization the same way the Hensels did or are located by the organization through word of mouth.

Superheroes For Hope has helped about 20 families a year for the past seven years through generous donations from businesses such as Coldwell Banker Hulsey. Hubbard said she also appreciates volunteers like attorney Matt Landoff and accountant Rick Black, who volunteer their services so the organization can direct more funds toward those who need it most.

“It takes a village,” said Hubbard.

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