Benzel ready for Saturday Fools Run

Martha Benzel, 91, is looking forward to Saturday's Only Fools Run At Midnight fundraiser for SAIL. Martha is a Seattle Mariners fan and said she may wear her hat in the 1-mile walk portion of the event.

Native elder Martha Benzel, age 91, is looking forward to Saturday’s Only Fools Run At Midnight


While Martha enjoys the costumes it is not why she has attended the past 10 runs.

“I like the bragging rights,” Benzel said. “And it is for a really good cause.”

Benzel lives at Wild Flower Court where she is president of the residence council and has just helped write bylaws for the residents there.

Benzel is a Tlingit elder from the Raven-Coho clan, and current camp council member for Camp 2 Alaska Native Sister Hood of Juneau. She is a past first grand camp president for the ANS, a pas president of several ANS camps and has started a number of ANS camps. Benzel was on the original Alaska native health board when she lived in Anchorage.

Benzel has Parkinson’s disease and uses a walker on the course and is accompanied by her daughter, Sandi Benzel.

“She doesn’t dress up either,” Benzel. “I don’t run either, I just walk. I just like it. I don’t mind staying up so late. Yeah I look at the costumes and enjoy them. The money raised is for SAIL and that is a good cause.”

Benzel is also an avid traveler and does beautiful native bead and vest work. She has attended the Seattle Mariners spring training camp and considers them her favorite team.


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback






Fri, 04/20/2018 - 23:19

Lights go out on possible JDHS comeback

With 16 minutes to go in Friday night’s game against West Anchorage, the Juneau-Douglas High School Crimson Bears were trying to fight their way back... Read more

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:48

JDHS girls topple West Anchorage

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 10:43

Kenai blanks JDHS boys soccer